Heated propagators

I've got two little Aldi heated propagators with chilli seeds in them. Unfortunately my first batch isn't going too well as I've got a 3 out of 15 success rate but those that are appearing now have me all a worry.

How big do you let them grow before taking them off the heat? 1 inch tall? 2 inches? After they've grown x amount of leafs?I have an unheated propagator to decant them in too before I then put them on the windowsill / greenhouse and I've heard about tomato plants going all long / lanky / spindly if you "mother" them too long so I wouldn't want the same to happen to my chilli plants.

Can anyone give me the idiots guide too looking after seedlings with propagators?


  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    I wouldn't advise idiots to grow anything as important as chillies image

    But if they’ve germinated put them on a sunny windowsill. I grow my chillies on the windowsill above the radiator, I grow mine in pots so I don’t need to prick out, however, as soon as they have ‘true’ leaves, that is, more than the two cotyledons then prick them out if they’re all together. I avoid growing in trays as it’s too much work. I’m not growing for the local park. image

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,892

    Jim, This idiot is nothing if not keen!

    I had the propagators on a windowsill but a chilli farm via Twitter told me the temperature drop over night would do them no good what so ever even being heated which would explain my low success rate so I've moved them into the kitchen above the fridge as per their recommendations.

    I might try putting the next lot in little pots rather than the seed tray - I'm terrified of damaging the plant when its this tiny! I usually grow my tomatoes in bigger than initially required pots for this very reason.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,256

    On the rare occasions that I use a heated propagator I have the seedlings out as the germinate

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,504

    Agree with nut - I always remove seedings from propagators as soon as they've germinated, or sometimes just remove the cover first for a day or two first before removing them.  If you don't do that they'll get leggy very quickly and won't make good plants.  You do need to put them somewhere with plenty of natural light and where it won't get below about 10C (not below 15C would be better for chillies I believe.)

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    Hi Clarington, oh, yes, that was you. I used to work in a nursery and pricked out thousands and thousands of seedlings in my time but since getting a bit older I find it so fiddly and I end up losing half of what I prick out so now I just use sectioned trays from B&Q, either the little plug trays or bigger depending how many seeds I have etc. So much easier and you don't lose any. You can always make the top part of the compost more gritty than underneath for aiding germination too. I do the top inch very sandy and the bottom more compost, it works well. Chillies like a more gritty compost I'm told since you treat 'em mean. I'm no Chilli expert though. I normally have mine sown and germinated by now but I've got so many left from earlier years I'm only going to grow them for the fun of picking fresh for my pizza. image Mmm I want pizza now. No mozzarella though. image

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,892

    Thanks all, I'll start decanting the seedlings tomorrow after work. I think the guest room windowsill has the most sunshine and should fluctuate too much in terms of heat. 

    Hmm pizza: I really ought work out what to have for supper!

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