Growing em indoors

redfire(8)October 5, 2011

Just a quick noob question..

would it be prudent if i was planning to plant and grow indoors mainly, to grow my peppers under lights from now until the spring, and then transfer to outside.. i live in North of England, so warm weather's not at a a premium...

thanks in advance!!

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I would hold off until late Winter/early Spring.
I don't start seeds until March in my neck of the woods.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 5:46PM
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cool thanks mate, suppose they dont need to be so big when i plant em out...

any good varieties you would recommend? and the best places to source seeds?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 5:50PM
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esox07 (4b)

yes, you have to gauge it on your own local climate. I would start seeds about two months or so before your weather is good enough to put them outside for the summer. I will be staring mine in probably mid February but I live in growing Zone 4 and have a relatively short growing season.

I have only really grown for two years now and really just one...last year, I just planted a couple starters from stores. But my favorites for eating so far are Hot Hungarian Wax. The time tested Cayenne and Habanero for more heat are great for beginning. I grow mostly for fun though and dont eat much, other than the Hungarians. I use the Cayennes and Habaneros dried and ground up for powder which I season foods with. I grew Bhut Jolokia for fun but can't eat them....way too hot for me. But there are dozens/hundreds of serious pepper heads on here that can give you a little more exciting suggestions.
Best places commercially that are normally suggested are The Hippy Seed Company and Pepper Joes. You can find either with a google search. Stay away from Ebay and places like People tend to get a lot of seeds that turn out to be other than what they expected. You might just try asking on this list. Many are more than willing to send you some of their own stock for just a self addressed postage paid envelope.
Good luck,

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 9:21PM
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What peppers you'd be best with depends a lot on what you plan on doing with them.

Do you want something that looks cool? If so, check out the various ornamental peppers. They stay fairly small, have lots of different colors in their peppers, and are actually edible (they're just really hot without much taste). Alternatively, you could go for peppers with really odd shapes. The "Christmas Bell" Uba Tuba pepper for example looks absolutely nothing like any pepper you've ever seen in your life.

Do you want peppers to eat? If so, how hot, and how do you want to eat them? For making stuffed peppers, classic bell peppers are good, as are poblano's and mulatos. For hot eating peppers, can't go wrong with classics like jalapenos.

Then there's peppers like the bhut jolokia and trinadad scorpion that are just so unbelievably hot no sane person would want to be in the same room as one, much less actually eat one. Great for growing just for the fun of it, as well as daring your friends into trying one while you record them for youtube.

My pepper selections for next year are Bhut Jolokias (have one this year that I'm overwintering and cloning), christmas bells, poblanos, sweet red cherry peppers, and the NuMex Halloween ornamentals.

For growing inside, the ornamentals do best, as they stay small anyway, but virtually any pepper will grow indoors as long as you give it enough light and don't overwater it.

I personally try to buy my seeds from the New Mexico State University Chili Pepper Institute whenever I can, as I've always gotten top of the line seeds from them. Seeing as you're in England, you won't be able to order online from them, but you can still order by phone.

I've heard good things about Pepper Joe and Hippy Seed Company from multiple people on multiple sites, so they're good bets as well.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 11:09PM
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im mostly thinking of growing some medium hot ones for eating and pickling.... although a few ornamentals would be nice, and think im gonna try Bhut Jolokia (just for the youtube reason you give, Edmynion!!! lol)

will definitely try the sites you give, thank you all for advice. :D

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 4:42AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The flavor of indoor peppers hasn't been very good in my experience.
In fact, the indoor grown peppers I've eaten have been mediocre to downright awful.

Then again, I started growing peppers just to see how long I could keep them alive as houseplants.

If you don't set your expectations too high, you won't be disappointed.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 10:18AM
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If you've got some growlights or other space for starting your bedding plants in the spring, why not use it this winter to grow peppers? If you start them now they should produce for you before you need the space for other plants in the spring. I've got a bunch coming up right now... the greenery and the heat will be appreciated when it's all white and far below freezing outside.
From last winter under lights:

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 8:55PM
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If it was me,I'd decide on what I want to grow and check out the times they take until harvest from seed or transplantable sprouts.
Add 2 weeks min. and more like 3 or 4 from seed to planting outside-if you are growing stuff from seeds that you can't get plants locally.
It also depends on what you are growing-Chinense,Baccatum Annuums etc.
Fluoros work great for strong sprouts in the 5000K to 6500K range( shop lights are cheep).
The more Lumens the better.
On for from 18hrs to 10hrs depending on the lumens you use per hour.
Over that length of time eventually messes with root growth and stresses the plants after a while.

Hybrids of mixed varieties are different too.
Best places to source seeds at a cheep price is trading seeds on the net in general.
In general if you are looking for sweets the people trading sweets are people only growing mild to sweet peppers and so on.
People only grow what they like.Lots of sweets,milds,hots or superhots.
Any trade of seeds is usually only crossed with similar type peppers so a cross is usually similar to what the seeds were supposed to be if not pure.
A lot of crossed seeds grow similar stuff the first year and then get crazy the second year especially if you save seeds from non isolated plants.It depends on the parent plants and what they crossed with.

As far as super hots go,I love 7Pots for their flavor but temper their heat with milder pepper mixes when I use them.
Enough milder stuff to still get the flavor and heat I like.
I never or will ever eat a super hot pod by itself.
I love 7 pots flavor but have learned that to balance the heat and flavor I have to use a small amount of them and let whatever I used them in Blend so I can eat it with the heat and flavor I like.
If I don't let the super hots blend I end up with mild stuff and with parts that are way too hot or super mild rather than what I like to eat.
I make a lot of powder,rubs and mop blends that I smoke stuff with.
I Love adding Cascabell and Chile Negro to most of my chile mixes for their tastes and they make a great milder source for mixing with super hots - Flavor and a heat combo.
Several sweets combined with other peppers are really great to get stuff with making the flavor I like when I smoke or cook stuff.

So I'd say it depends on what you like and start the different varieties according to the time they take to mature/harvest.
Start hybrids latter than chinense or whatever.
Annuums and Frutescens seem to be earlier in general.
Starting stuff like Baccatums and Pubescens early a lot of times means a spring and summer harvest.
Depends on your growing space and what you want to mess with doing ahead of time and what you expect for an end result,work you want to do to get what you want or have room to start growing for your garden.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 10:25PM
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madferret(UK 8b-9a)

I live in the Oldham area, nr Manchester and had no problems growing them in a sunny window. In summer it's the night time temps that mess them up so unless your getting consistent temps (probably 18C+) and who gets that up here?

I also use a mix containing peat vermiculite and perlite at about 2:1:1 you may have to water everyday (on sunny days) but can use a 2L drinks bottle. I cut the tops off and direct sow into them and then replace the top, this helps maintain a suitable climate for them to grow, although some removal is required to prevent mold when watered.

If you want a good small plant, try capsicum salsa it's mainly ornamental but the chilles do have heat. I've also got what I think is a St Helena Yellow and this has good sized chillies which grow upright on a small plant.

If you want some seeds of the two mentioned above I can probably sort some out fresh for you if you drop me an email. I've also got some from an unknown variety which is red, upright and has a good flavour.

Ive got a few experimentals going from saved seed, including a Thai, and also a Tabasco which although is now a huge plant only has two chillies growing.

Hope that helps


    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 6:22AM
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bunnyman(Thumb of MI)

I have good luck growing hot peppers indoors. At the moment I have three kinds of habenara and cayenne growing. My cats ate all the leaves off my 2-3 year old jalapeno plant and it finally died.

Biggest problem you have is your light cycle. This is the fall time of year and plants are shutting down for the winter. For natural light from the window I'd wait until mid-late February when the days are getting longer.

I've had very good luck starting under electric lights. Because of the short grow season much of my outdoor garden gets started indoors under a 4' shop light with plant/aquarium bulbs in it. I easy save enough money starting from seed to pay for the lights and electricity.

Hot peppers do so well in a pot that I no longer plant them out in my regular garden. In the warm months I put them outside on a deck and in the winter pull them indoors near a large sunny window. They can be quite large... I have a Red Savina habenera cultivar that resembles a small tree. The size will be mostly determined by the size of your pot. Plastic coffee containers (1 gallon?) give me plants 12" to 18" tall.

Peppers self pollinate so even just one plant will produce pods indoors. Cayenne has been my best producer and jalapeno also seems happy to put out pods every couple months. Habaneras only seem to fruit in the longer days of natural light. I'm sure I could fool them with an electric light but I'm a tight-wad and have lots of peppers left from summer. A treat to pluck a couple fresh peppers in the winter to add zest to a dish. I find hitting them with a small dose of "bloom builder" type plant food will cause them to put out a batch of flowers some of which become pods.

Cayenne has done very well for me because I grow from my own seed. After a couple generations it sort of dials-in to my conditions. A strong enough plant to live 4-5 years with me eating the pods and my cats munching on the leaves. About an 8 week cycle all year long of putting out flowers, developing pepper pods, harvest, and repeat. More pods then I can eat and those that hang on the plant until they are dry become my seed source when I plant new.

One of my older plants a habenera puts out the smallest little pepper pods. They are however fresh with delightful flavor. A half dozen I need to clip and make pepper jelly with at the moment.

Seeds I don't know. I've bought from several places. You just don't know until they grow. With peppers I get considerable variation in the same package... heat, vigor, even fruit maturity time. A tough easy plant so save seeds if you get one that hits your fancy.

good luck!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 6:32AM
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hi i'm from manchester, and currently growing over 30 naga morich indoors. I dont have a greenhouse well not a proper one, so started them off on the window ledge. The weather in Manc is not good so usually wait until about July before i put my full grown chillis out. I also grow thai and indian long varieties. Last year i left them out until late october and they were still growing chillis. I use normal compost and give tomorite tomato feed when they start to get buds.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 8:31PM
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