After changing my sowing date for the 2012 season…… when I sowed Jan 1st….I have decided to revert back to sowing on Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, to give it the proper title. I have done this for about 6 years previously. Now, I’m not saying that sowing later than I usually do was the reason for what I believe was my poorest growing year so far….. that was down to many factors, including slugs & snails, early sun scorch from the freak heatwave early in the year, and then poor weather throughout the summer !
So with the 2012 season in it’s death throes as I write this…. I am pleased to announce, that 2013 has started !!! Yes folks, today I’ve sown my first batch of seeds…..Why so early ? you may ask, well as I’ve mentioned in previous articles, chilli growing can be an all year round hobby, with the use of heat & artificial lighting. Also, Cap.Chinense require a long growing season, and this gives me a good head start. It also gives me something to do through Winter !
all first round sowing’s are cap.Chinense:
Infinity, Fatalii, Carolina Reaper, TS Butch T, TS Morouga, Nagabon, Bhut Jolokia , Chocolate Bhut Jolokia,
Naga morich, Naga Viper, Chocolate Scorpion, Orange Hab, Lemon Drop, paper Lantern,
Aji Chombo, Pimenta De Neyde, (which is actually a C.Annum X C.Chinense)
7pot Barrackpore, 7pot Jonah, 7pot yellow, 7pot Brain, 7pot Primo
I have sown the seeds, around 150, in Multi Purpose Compost in small polystyrene tubs, and also Jiffy 7 pellets, and these have been placed in the heated propagator and on a heat-mat.
Out of these, I would hope to get around 80 – 100 plants after losses.
Last year, I sowed the majority in Rockwool cubes, and had quite a lot of failures in germination….. I have no idea why, but I’m taking no chances this time ! However….I will need a lot of the seedlings in Rockwool cubes, because they will be going into Hydro equipment, i.e NFT Systems,Wilma and Quadgrows. So what I will do is, when the seedlings are ready to be pricked out, I will simply split a one inch Rockwool cube down one side…and place the seedling neatly into the split.
However, as the Jiffy 7 pellets are only 18mm in diameter, they fit nicely into the hole of a 3 inch Rockwool cube
.Once they have been pricked out, the seedlings will go into light-boxes, under blue LEDs for a while, and then Daylight CFLs.
Depending how this first batch get on…I might make a second sowing around New Year. This would give me chance to get the number of plants I want, should the first sowing be disappointing.
So fingers crossed…. I hope to have some seedlings in a few weeks. I’ll let you know !