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Chilies on the Rise: Class of 2013

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Seedlings in wave #1 and #2 for this year. Selection is focused on South American chilies plus a good amount of the superhots. Many varieties of aji, which are good for ceviche and other S.A. dishes.

Stared seeds in 50/50 mix of coir fiber and vermiculite. Neutral pH, good moisture retention, and open structure for easy root development. Trays are on heating pad with thermostat control set at 85°F. Use humidity dome while germinating, then removed when seedlings emerged. Watering is tricky. Want enough to keep the seedlings from drying out, but not so much as to encourage damping off (a fungus that grows in the surface of the soil and kills the seedlings). Seedlings are in the greenhouse with good ambient light during the day, but no hard, direct sunlight. Daytime temperatures are regulated to be 90°F max and nighttime temperatures above 60°F.

Chilies are slow to start and slow to grow. Be patient. Germination can take 30 days or more. Gotta have patience. Lots of it. Under the right conditions, you will get almost 100% germination rate.

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