Kick Start the Year by Growing Your Favourite Flavours: Sow these Red Chilli Pepper & Sweet Pepper Seeds Now!

Kick Start the Year by Growing Your Favourite Flavours: Sow these Red Chilli Pepper & Sweet Pepper Seeds Now!

Chilli pepper and sweet pepper plants grow slowly and can take longer than we expect to reach maturity and produce peppers.  January is my favourite time to sow chilli and sweet pepper seeds, as it gives the plants a longer growing season with extra time for fruit to develop and ripen, compared to the standard spring-sown plants.  You don’t need a greenhouse to grow these tender plants.  Chilli peppers and sweet peppers make beautiful conservatory plants; they thrive in light, bright areas and can be grown as houseplants in sunny rooms.

Using my Vitopod Heated Propagator to Raise Chilli Pepper & Sweet Pepper Plants

I raised these chilli pepper plants in pots of Dalefoot Compost inside my Vitopod Heated Propagator. Chilli peppers need temperatures of around 20-25C (68-77F) for germination.

Last year, my January diary was chock-a-block.  I often use my pre-germination method for sowing chillies and sweet pepper seeds, but I couldn’t guarantee that I’d have time to pot up seeds as and when they sprouted.  Instead, I sowed my seeds directly into containers filled with Dalefoot Wool Compost for Seeds and placed the pots inside my Vitopod Heated Propagator.  This worked brilliantly, I achieved almost 100% germination!

NB: If you’re using a propagator, I’d advise re-using all your old plastic plant labels.  Wooden plant labels don’t last long in humid propagators and rapidly break down when placed in contact with garden soil or compost.  Plastic plant labels or Haxnicks Bamboo Plant Markers tend to be more suitable for plants like peppers that have a longer growing season.

Haxnicks Bamboo Plant Markers are made from bamboo. These biodegradable plant labels are a sustainable alternative to plastic.

Chilli Pepper ‘Pepperilli’

Chilli pepper ‘Pepperilli’ was bred by Tozer Seeds. These plants tend to have a naturally upright form and require less staking that other chilli pepper varieties.

Chilli pepper ‘Pepperilli’ is my husband’s favourite chilli pepper to use as a pizza topping.  This cultivar was bred by Tozer Seeds.  ‘Pepperilli’ plants produce large-sized chilli peppers that offer endless opportunities in the kitchen; why not try ‘Pepperilli’ chillies stuffed with rice, herbs, and spices?

Chilli Pepper ‘Pepperilli’ is a productive and attractive plant. This variety produces large sized chilli peppers that can be used in a wide range of dishes. As the summer progresses and the chillies ripen their flavour becomes hotter and their heat intensifies.

Chilli Pepper ‘Draky’

‘Draky’ chilli pepper plants are incredibly productive! These plants will benefit from a simple support frame made by inserting canes or stakes around the plant and using twine tied and wound around the canes to create an open but effective support system.

Chilli pepper ‘Draky’ produces chilli peppers blessed with the sweetness of red peppers mingled with the heat of a chilli pepper.

‘Draky’ chilli pepper plants produce large sized chillies that ripen from green to red. Chilli peppers thrive in peat-free compost; all my plants are grown peat-free.
My ‘Draky’ chilli peppers often grow into the soil as the peppers are a large size and the plants are so productive that they literally drive some of their fruit into the ground!

Chilli Pepper ‘Sivri Biber’

Capsicum annuum ‘Sivri Biber’ plants are very popular with cooks preparing Turkish dishes.

Chilli pepper ‘Sivri Biber’ is an essential component for Turkish cuisine.  This chilli pepper is usually harvested while the chillies are immature and green in colour, when they have a milder flavour and can be eaten whole.   Alternatively, leave a few chilli peppers on the plant and allow them to ripen to red to produce chillies with a more intense heat.

Chilli pepper ‘Sivri Biber’ plants start off their lives with an upright growing habit, but their arms are soon weighed down by the weight of their harvest. If you’re gardening in a small area and need every inch of garden space, maintain an upright form, whilst supporting your plants by inserting bamboo canes around your plant and weaving in between and around the canes with twine to create a circular support frame.
Capsicum annuum ‘Sivri Biber’ produces long and slender chilli peppers that ripen from green to red.

Sweet Pepper ‘Panache’

Of the sweet peppers I’ve grown over the past couple of years,  Sweet pepper ‘Panache’ was a standout performer delivering an abundance of delicious, sweet peppers that ripened from green to red.

Sweet pepper ‘Panache’ used to be known as ‘Stuff Enuff’. This is a really productive sweet pepper that produces large peppers that ripen from green to red.

Chilli peppers and sweet peppers are tender plants that are killed by frosts and cold temperatures.  These plants need to grow in a bright and sunny, warm, protected environment.  By the middle of May, chilli peppers and sweet peppers can be hardened off (move the plants outdoors in the morning and bring them undercover at night) for a few weeks, before they make the permanent move outdoors when all risk of frost has passed.

Here are some of the colourful sweet peppers I grew in my small garden. Sweet peppers demand a long growing season and benefit from their seeds being sown in January, giving the plants more time to develop and ripen their fruit.
As the summer progresses and the chillies ripen from green to red, so their flavour becomes hotter and their heat intensifies. The seeds are the hottest part of the chilli. If you aren’t fond of fiery flavours, remove the seeds when preparing chillies, or opt to use immature green chillies, or choose to grow chilli pepper varieties that don’t have any heat. Another option is to grow sweet peppers instead. Pictured: chilli pepper ‘Pepperilli’.

For more gardening advice for January, please click here.

For more articles about edible gardening, please click here.

To see my vegetable plant pages, where you’ll find pictures and advice to help you grow a wide range of vegetables, please click here.

To see my houseplant plant pages, where you’ll discover pictures and tips on how to grow a wide range of houseplants, please click here.

For articles about houseplants, please click here.

Other articles you might like:

Your email will not be published. Name and Email fields are required