Chilies need an early start to get the best pick you can from them. The chili flower is one which thrives in a warm climate and if, like me, you live in a temperate zone then the longer you can give then to develop the better. I have to grow mine in a greenhouse to have the best from the type I grow but I still start them away early.
I am planning on starting some chili seeds this morning and there is certainly 6 inches of snow on the ground outside. I start the chilies in little plug trays that have individual cells and will sow a single seed in each cell. Sieve some compost over the top of this and after that you need to put the seeds somewhere cozy. The seeds will need at least 15C to germinate but higher is much better and 20C to 30C is going to be better. Some chilies, such as Habanero, can take as long as a month to germinate so be prepared for a wait several chili seeds tend to germinate much faster than this. I tend to germinate most of my seeds on a kitchen area windowsill in my house but with chilies I use a heating pad to give extra warmth.
Once the seeds have germinated you can reduce the heat and I tend to move them on to the windowsill rather than a heating pad. When the seedling starts to develop, and you can judge this as the roots start to grow through the bottom of the cell it is time to flower the seedlings into pots. When i grow my chilies in a greenhouse I always use new pots in order not to introduce any disease through old pots. I do reuse the pots but not for greenhouse vegetation. Pot your chilies in to compost suitable for seedlings and remember to handle the particular chilies by their seed leaves just. This is to avoid crushing the originate of the developing plant which will make it die. As I grow mine within small individual cells, it is easy to press the complete root ball out of the cellular and plant this in the compost in a new pot.
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This avoids a check to the growth of the grow as you are not disturbing the root.
Continue to grow the plants on a windowsill inside your house when it is cold outdoors and do not plant them out into the greenhouse or the ground too early when you need to avoid frosts and chilly spells.