Plant your seeds. Fill seeding trays with compost
, water them, and let the water drain. Seeds should be sown around 2-3 centimetres apart (one inch). Then, cover the trays loosely with Clingfilm.
It can take 1-2 weeks for your chillies to germinate, although some varieties can take up to six weeks. Popping the tray on a heated propagator can speed this up a little (although an electric blanket would serve you just as well).
Water your chillies regularly, but don’t soak them. In fact, some sources reckon that stressing your plants a little can give your crop a better flavour. In the early days though, keep soil damp but not ‘wet’.
Keep your trays somewhere warm with lots of bright sunlight such as a windowsill that gets a lot or sun, or in a conservatory if you have one.
When the seedlings are approximately 5cm (two inches) in height and have gained their second set of leaves, they are ready to be moved into their own individual pots. These pots should be around 8-10cm in diameter. You will need to re-pot them again when they have reached 15cm (six inches). Pop them in their own pots, or you can get three plants in one 12-inch tub. Make sure the pots have lots of compost, filling them up to around 1cm from the top.
One of the most important things to remember if you are growing indoors is to hand pollinate your chillies when they flower. This can be done with a cotton bud, just dabbed into each flower.