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Sowing seeds - chillies and sweet peppers


by Adam Pasco

Despite temperatures in my greenhouse dropping to zero at night but soaring by day, I've just got to get on with more seed sowing. Chillies and sweet peppers are top of my list.


Cutting sweet pepper from plantDespite temperatures in my greenhouse dropping to zero at night but soaring by day, I've just got to get on with more seed sowing. Chillies and sweet peppers are top of my list.

Last summer I had an outdoor electric socket installed for the garden; for the first time I've been able to run an extension to my greenhouse to power an electric propagator. When temperatures all around have fallen, the propagator maintains a warming 20Ë?C, perfect for germinating most seeds.

I always grow an assortment of chillies and peppers as there are so many varieties to choose from. My favourite sweet red pepper (or capsicum) last year was 'Bell Boy', which had large green fruits that ripened to red. They were delicious in stir-fries and Thai curries - our family favourites.

Among my sowings this year is Chilli Pepper 'Anaheim' which came in a free seed packet with the April issue of Gardeners' World Magazine. The packet also contains Basil 'Sweet Green', Tomato 'Gartenperle' and oriental mixed salad leaves, so I'll be well stocked with produce this summer.

Sowing seed is simple, and the lovely thing about chillies and peppers is that they are perfect for growing in containers. Although I usually keep mine in the greenhouse there's no reason why pots can't be moved out in June to a warm, sunny patio. Colder autumn weather will finish off plants grown outside, but last year I was still picking fruits grown under glass in December.

Of course, when it comes to chillies you must decide how much heat you can take. 'Anaheim' is described as 'mildly hot', but if you want something to blow your head off the seed catalogues compete with one another to offer the hottest. I'm not sure I'd call eating hot jalapeno or habanero a pleasurable experience; sweet and colourful peppers are more up my street.



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Gardeners' World Web User 01/01/2008 at 00:00

Gardeners' World Web User 01/01/2008 at 18:31

How can we tell when the chillies are ready to pick?

Gardeners' World Web User 16/04/2008 at 19:59

I planted the free pepper seeds(Anaheim) indoors as suggested but unfortunately thev'e all failed although every one of the tomato seeds (Gartenperle) are doing well

Gardeners' World Web User 17/04/2008 at 19:01

Are you sure those Chilli pepper seeds have been left long enough? Mine always take ages to come up even on a warm windowsill!

Gardeners' World Web User 17/04/2008 at 22:29

hi can i grow seeds in greenhouse in april without a heater.

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