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’.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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
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.
7th February: the tallest of the chillies has now reached 12.5cm and all three plants have been potted on into larger pots.
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.
30th May: The warmer weather has definitely encouraged these plants to grow and the first flowers will be open very soon.
6th July: One month on and we have chillies on the plants.
15th July: laden with chillies
20th August: Almost 1 year since these seeds were sown and the first of the chillies are finally ripening.
7th September: The chillies are ripening at a steady pace now.
17th September: And 10 days later