How to grow Sweet Chilli Peppers.
Breaking away from tradition, we have decided to grow some sweet peppers for the 2016 season as well as all the mega hot ones which we have dabbled with for some years. This decision was easily made when a friend gave me an unopened packet of 50 Sweet Romano peppers, so waste not want not, I have decided to give them a go. These sweet peppers have very thin skins and will produce an abundance of mixed coloured fruits up to 25 CMs long (10”).
These are superb in salads as you may well know and can also be halved and stuffed with whatever you fancy just to add a little flavour.
To be honest, these little chaps need precisely the same treatment as do hot chillies so there shouldn’t be too much difficulty in germinating most of them, but having said that, we are in the middle of Derbyshire and the climate here is far colder than further south, so extra care needs to be taken with anything you want to sow very early in the year.
The best time to sow sweet chillies is from early January to mid April but the early sowings can suffer from being too cold to germinate even when they are kept in a sunny position inside. To do the job properly you really need an electric propagator which will see them up and running within 7 to 10 days.
These days I do things the easy way initially by popping individual seeds into coir growing pockets which expand greatly when dropped in water. When they coir pockets are properly soaked (5 mins or so) you merely add the seed (1 per pocket) and pop the whole lot into your propagator.
Up come the mini plants a week later and it will benefit them greatly if they can be kept in the propagator for a further couple of days before being taken out into the outside world. After that you can take them out of the propagator but they still need to be kept warm so I always add them on into 3” pots which must be covered for a further week or so to get them acclimatised to your greenhouse world.
All the above of course needs to be done inside, and we never grow any type of chilli outside in our region as to do so would result in either the plants dying or producing a very poor crop.