Introduction: How to Start Chilli Seeds
Chili plants are one of the most interesting and easy to grow types of plants that you can grow virtually anywhere. They are great for patios, balconies, porches and even your office!
If the conditions are right, most of the Capsicum Annuum chillies will mature from 60-80 days. This is my first instructable, and I am going to explain the process of starting the seed.
You can buy the seeds on pepperlover.com, although keep in mind that you should order them from your own country if possible due to shipping and handling which can cause your seeds to crack! Lets get onto the process now!
Step 1: Obtaining Seeds
There are many different ways we can get seeds for our project. Here are the most common ones:
1.Buy them online
If some variety seems good to you but is unavailable for free purchase, you can go on http://www.southdevonchillifarm.co.uk/ or another website and pick up a packet of seeds for just a few dollars! The seeds on the photo are an ornamental variety called Explosive ember. I will say this again, if purchasing online try to buy it from dealers that are close to your area due to seed damage being a real problem.
2.Extract them from chilli peppers
Make sure the pepper you are buying/harvesting is fully ripe! I can not stress that enough. Seeds from immature peppers will do you no good. Generally they are mature when they set to their final color, which is most commonly red or yellow, but may also be brown, white, pink/orange, orange, or ivory. After obtaining it, you need to dry it while it is hanging. Hang it by a thread or something of that sort. The hanging will prevent molding, once it is fully dried, open it. Wear disposable gloveswhile extracting the seeds. The capsaicin oil which gives the chilli its spice will stick to your hands. And it isn't easy to wash off. You won't be aware of it's presence until you accidentally rub your eyes (or use the toilet, for that matter).
Step 2: Materials You Will Need
The basic materials you will need for this are:
-A paper towel
-Some sort of container (tray)
-A rubber band
-Some sort of potting medium (I'll explain this later)
Step 3: Seed Preparation
Take the towel, and bend it into a strip, place the seeds inside discard any seeds with black spots or defects, and bend it again so the seeds are sandwitched inside, make sure to spread the seeds from one another, and make sure it can fit in the tray.
Put that in the tray, and douse it in water, put enough so the towel becomes wet and there is some water in the tray, don't overdo it, put just a bit over a millimeter of water, cover the tray with the plastic film, and secure it with the rubber band. Finally you need to poke some holes in the foil and put the tray on a router or something else with a constant temperature overnight.
Here is a formula for when you need to determine how many seeds to use.
Required amount of plants = x
X+(20% of x)= approximate amount of seeds.
This is due to the presumed 80% germination rate of the seeds. Meaning that out of 100 seeds minimally 80 will germinate.
Step 4: Planting
Next day, unwrap the spicy package and extract the seeds with the tweezers, take extreme caution not to damage them as they are soggy now. Now I shall cover the planting medium conundrum. The cheapest way to do this is to get plastic cups (one for 2 seeds) and cut off the bottom, and using a hot object such as a soldering iron or even just a lighter make holes in the bottom of the containers Do not attempt to do this with scissors, just don't. Fill the little planters with potting soil and put them on a bigger tray (Preferably with a lid) you could use a propagator which is ideal. Or you could use commercial seed starting pellets. Make the holes and put the seeds in, you want the seeds about 4 mm under the ground. Lightly sprinkle the dirt over the hole and water so the dirt sets.
Step 5: Replanting
Once the plant has grown out of the pellet/soil, it is time to replant it. Replant it into a bigger container. If you are using pellets, just drop the whole thing in your new pot. If using the cups then make the Spock greeting, the stem will go in the gap and the rest will be touching the cup and then turn the whole cup over, the dirt and roots should fall into your hand, you can now replant it. Always replant a little deeper so the roots can form properly.