The Land Rover Owners Wife

Chilli, Little Elf

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This is a record of how long this particular set of seeds took to germinate and how they looked at various stages from first appearance to the development of the first set of true leaves and beyond. I hope this will prove useful.

 Variety: Little Elf
Sown indoors: 30th August 2013
First Seedling: 14th September 2013
Germination: 16 days

This is a new variety for me and a friend recommended it as a suitable chilli for growing indoors, on a window sill, over winter and so I thought I’d give it a go. She gave me 5 seeds and I decided to use this four cell seed tray insert which I placed in a thoroughly washed plastic meat tray. A small food bag made a pretty good ‘propagator lid’.

Chilli Little Elf  Chilli Little Elf

I was quite surprised to see the first signs of seedlings just 16 days later because, in my experience, it normally takes at least 21 days for chilli seeds to germinate. However, I’m usually sowing chillis in February and, as with these Little Elf seeds, the propagators are on windowsill, in the house but I’m guessing that the warmer ambient temperatures and longer days of summer, even late summer, has influenced the germination time of the seeds.

Chilli Little Elf

10 days after emerging and two of the seedlings are looking pretty strong and healthy. There is a third seedling but its’ leaves got trapped in the seed and it has sustained significant damage,despite my best efforts to carefully free the leaves. It may not survive but as it is still alive, I’ll give it every chance.

Chilli Little Elf

The third seedling didn’t make it but at 3 weeks after emerging I have two healthy young seedlings, each with their first set of true leaves and one with the second set starting to grow.

Chilli Little ElfThe one thing I’ve learned about chilli seeds, over the last few years, is that the seeds of one sowing can germinate weeks or even month apart which makes it very difficult to know what to do with apparently ‘barren’ seed modules when emerged seedlings have been potted on.

After the failure of seedling number three to make it and no signs of life in the other module, I thought I’d only have two seedlings from this sowing, so I was surprised and delighted to spot yet another emerging seedling some three weeks later, on October 5th.

Lagging three weeks behind its' companions, this seedling was a welcome sight.

Lagging three weeks behind its’ companions, this seedling was a welcome sight.

At a month old the two oldest seedlings are now standing 1.5iinches/4cm tall and are growing quite quickly for chilli plants: 14th October

Chilli Little ElfBy November 7th the tallest chilli has reached approximately 7cm and has been transplanted, along with its companions, into separate pots.

Chilli Little Elf

By the end of the year, 30th December to be precise, the first two chillies had both reached around 9-10cm in height, with the third, later chilli some way behind.

Chilli Little Elf January 15th, 2014 and the tallest chilli plants have grown 2cm in two weeks. Even the smallest of the trio is doing well and now measures 4.5cm.

Chilli Little Elf   Chilli Little Elf

7th February: the tallest of the chillies has now reached 12.5cm and all three plants have been potted on into larger pots.

Chilli Little Elf

11th May 2014:

The young plants seem to have been in a state of hibernation during the last couple of months but have begun to grow again during the last few weeks and now have the first signs of flowers on them.

Chilli Little Elf  Chilli Little Elf

30th May: The warmer weather has definitely encouraged these plants to grow and the first flowers will be open very soon.

Chilli Little Elf 7th June: All the chillies were given a feed about a week ago and it has really perked them up. The flowers are very close to opening now.

Chilli Little Elf  Chilli Little Elf

6th July: One month on and we have chillies on the plants.

Chilli Little Elf

15th July: laden with chillies

Chilli Little Elf 7th and 9th August: I’ve put the four plants, in their pots, into a flexi bucket which means I can easily move them outside during the day to help with ripening of the chillies.

Chilli Little Elf    Chilli Little Elf

 20th August: Almost 1 year since these seeds were sown and the first of the chillies are finally ripening.

Chilli Little Elf

7th September: The chillies are ripening at a steady pace now.

chilli little elf

17th September: And 10 days later

chilli little elf

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One thought on “Chilli, Little Elf

  1. Hi Elaine. Your chilli seedlings look about the same stage as mine and I sowed them a week earlier than you. It is amazing what difference the warm weather can make. I normally start mine in the first week of August but the cat tipped over my seed tray and I had to start again. Grrr.
    Cheers Sarah : o )

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