You’ll remember that last month, I gave you some tips about how to give your chilli seeds the best chance of germinating, and starting to grow into big healthy chilli plants.
So, you’ve planted your seeds, crossed everything that wasn’t painful, and all of your dreams have come true! Your chilli seeds have sprouted! But before you get ahead of yourself, just hold on a second, you’ve got to make sure you look after them well if you’re going to be rewarded with precious fruit.
When your chilli seedling has developed its second set of leaves, it is time to pot it on to another pot.
A mistake that some people make at this stage is to repot it straight into a huge pot, thinking that this ok. If you do this, all that will happen is that the chilli plant will grow its roots to fill the pot, and concentrate on producing foliage, but not the stems and flowers. If the plant does not produce flowers, then you will not get any chillies!
As a general rule of thumb, your chilli plant should be potted on to a larger pot when the roots start to appear out of the bottom of the current pot. Personally, I pot on plants from a 3 inch to a 5 inch and eventually to a 7 inch pot.
Keep an eye on your plant and water it if the compost looks as if it is drying out. Again, the idea is to keep the compost moist and not drenched. In the colder months, you will find you only have to water every two or three days, but as the weather heats up, you will probably need to water every day.
When flowers start to appear on the plant, you can give it a helping hand by adding liquid tomato feed to the water. It should be diluted at half of the recommended ratio for tomato plants.
Alternatively, you could use one of the feeds that are specifically designed to be used with chillies.
Also remember that your chilli plants also need light, and the more light that you can give them, the faster and stronger they will grow!
In the next installment, I’ll be giving you tips about how to make sure that all the flowers on your chilli plants turn into lovely chillies. See you then!