In January I happily agreed to join the vegetablism chilli trail and @5olly sent me my 5 varieties in plastic bags: Piqullo, Guindilla, Hungarian Yellow Wax, NuMex Centennial and Chiltepin. Here’s my report on progress, accompanied by my usual out-of-focus pictures:
I duly sowed 2 of each on 17th February, keen to see them germinate and grow. I was a little concerned that I’d not be able to germinate the Chiltepin as I wasn’t entirely sure how I could imitate the digestive system of a bird: This variety is one of the hardest to germinate as it usually passes through a bird’s digestive system 1st.
My preparations were elaborate; I don’t have a heated propagator, but I know chilli seeds need heat to make heat so had sat the tray on top of several hotwater bottles for a couple of days to warm the compost before sowing. After sowing, I kept the hotwater bottles heated for 10 days, morning and evening, the tray wrapped in an old towel and bubblewrap – never have seeds been so lovingly nurtured! My attempt at substituting hotwater bottles for a heated propagator, so successful with lettuce seed and leeks in January, failed miserably with chilli seeds – seems they need constant temperatures of 21oC until germination – obviously not hot enough for them – or dud seed?
I think perhaps I may have germinated some of the seeds, but if so, they’re not doing very much, possibly sulking in the cold. I’ve since retrieved the single seeds I kept back ‘in case’ and am going to try another experiment: soaking and chitting them. I’ve wrapped them in kitchen roll and popped them back into their plastic bags, dampened them with warm water and have left them on top of the radiator. I ‘mislaid’ 2 of the seeds as I returned them to their bags, so only 3 in my experiment, now.