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2012 Germination Update

As i’ve discussed before there are loads of different ways to germinate chilli seeds and everyone has their favourite method. I usually use a regular propagator placed on top of a reptile heat mat in order to boost the heat delivered to the seeds (it’s also much cheaper than a heated propagator). I did this for the fist week after I planted the seeds then, with a long weekend away planned, I feared the seeds would dry out if i left them and any that did germinate would be short of light and at risk of wilting while i was away.

Instead of leaving them on the heat mat I decided to move the seed tray into my homemade light box. I used a regular plug timer to give the seedlings 18 hours of light each day. The low steady heat coming off the fluorescent tubes kept the temperature at a steady 19 degrees, not far off perfect for germination yet not too hot to dry out the seed tray cells. I also left the clear plastic lid on the propagator to help retain the moisture in the compost.

When I left (about 1 week after planting the seeds) just 3 had germinated so I watered them heavily and left home with my fingers crossed. I’m please to say that when I retuned home the tray was almost full of healthy germinated seedlings.

2012 Germination Progress

After planting some chilli seeds in the first week of January it’s now the 29th and despite my little trip away germination rates have been good. As you can see above all of the Aji hot seeds have germinated and 2 of the Rocoto Reds are also up. The Rocotos have been a lot slower than the Aji’s both to germinate and in their subsequent growth.

Wahaca Seedlings Serrano

The Wahaca seeds that I was so sceptical about have excelled as you can see in the shot above. They have all germinated (most of them inside of two weeks) and the seedlings look really healthy and are growing much faster than the Aji’s and Rocoto’s.

I’ll soon have to cull some of the Serranos as there are several seedlings in each cell – it’s not something I enjoy doing (killing chillies!) but it is essential in order to allow the remaining plants the best growth rates. I’ll just snip of the weaker plants at the base of the stem with a pair of scissors rather than try to separate the roots and risk damaging the plants.

Aji Hot Seedling

So all being well i’ll have a heathy crop of Seranno’s, Aji Hot and Rocoto Reds. Now that the first batch of pepper plants are underway i’m switching my thoughts to what i’ll plant in batch number two….

5 comments… add one
  • Dave k February 11, 2012, 2:17 am

    Hi there i was looking at the way u germinate and i have the scorpion butch t chilli seeds. I heard one way of germinating is to soak them in water over night. Does that wrk as well?

    • The Chilli King February 12, 2012, 3:56 pm

      Dave k – Soaking the seeds in water overnight will not germinate them per se but will speed up the process. It will mean the seed casing soaks up lots of water, softening it up and ensuring it is easier for the seedling within to burst into lofe and force it’s way out of the casing. Once soaked overnight plant them in potting compost as usual.

  • Dave February 6, 2012, 12:01 pm

    cheers… i’m quite stoked about the amount that have germinated… I figure out a way to post a photo soon

  • Dave January 31, 2012, 8:08 am

    How many seeds did you plant in each cell? I have done something similar but planted 5 seeds in each cell. Was this a mistake? It’s my 1st time growing from scratch so I’m a bit nervous…

    • The Chilli King January 31, 2012, 9:15 am

      Dave – I usually plant just one seed per cell as i don’t like separating seedlings or culling plants unnecessarily. However the Serrano seeds I got from Wahaca came attached to little sticks, up to four seeds per stick. As they’ve all germinated I have up to 4 seedlings per cell. Be very gentle when you do separate them, handling only by the leaves to avoid damaging the stems.

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