It is now Spring and I have a healthy batch of chilli seedlings well on the way. I’ve been extremely busy over the last few weeks moving home as well as starting a new job so i’ve neglecting my chilli plants a bit recently.
After my plants germinated back in the first week of April I used a home made light box to help their growth. The main reason for doing this was the lack of south facing window or sunny garden at my old home.
As you can see in the photo above, my pepper seedlings were long overdue to be potted on. Finally last weekend I found the time to putting them into individual pots. I don’t think the plants have suffered too much from being stuck in a cell tray however it may take them a while to put on more growth while their somewhat small roots get used to their new larger pots.
I usually tend to pot on my chilli plants 3 to 4 times between when they germinate and when they are fully grown. I germinated this years crop in seed cell trays with the aid of a heat mat. Now i’ve just put them into 3 ” pots and i’ll probably put them straight into 9″ pots in a few weeks time.
As with all plants when re-potting them try to avoid disturbing the roots as much as possible. This can be tricky when removing them from seed cells so I use 2 x lolly sticks stuck together as a little spade to help me get the root ball out in one piece.
Save Money on Small Pots
I have just repotted my chilli plants into some old plastic drinks cups recycled from work. They are slightly larger than your average drinking fountain cup measuring about 3.5″ (9cm) diameter across the top. The plants will only be in these pots for a few weeks at most so i’m more than happy to use drinking cups. All i do is use a drill to put 2 or 3 drainage holes in the bottom of each pot.
As well as saving money on pots, helping the environment another advantage of using these clear cups is they let you see exactly how dry the compost inside is so you can ensure you don’t over water the plants.
Having moved house a couple of weeks ago the plants have now been installed in their new home – a conservatory. One problem I had in my old home was the very small, shaded garden which meant my chillies received very little direct sunlight. I’ll be interested to see how their growth rate increases now they are living in a warmer, sunny environment.