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From the fiery to the super sweet, there's a pepper to suit everyone. Large, sweet peppers are delicious stuffed and baked, whereas small chilli peppers are added to food to provide a fiery kick. Not all chillies are super hot though! Jalapenos are a flavoursome mild chilli, perfectly pickled in vinegar or smoked to make chipotle. Chilli Pepper 'Spangles Twilight' is just as ornamental as it is mild and sweet with small pods in purple, white, red and yellow.

When to sow sweet pepper seeds

Sow your sweet pepper seeds in spring. Leave around two months between the time you sow and the date of the last frost date in your area so usually the best time to sow is in March and April. This is so your seedlings don't become lanky or 'etiolated' before light levels and temperatures increase.

Which pepper is the sweetest?

Sow super sweet mini peppers 'Mini Bell Improved Mix' for a deliciously sweet flavour. These mini flavour bombs have a more concentrated sweet flavour to the larger peppers, and are a great addition to salads and fantastic eaten straight from the plant. Pick the mini red, yellow and chocolate coloured treats between July and September.

For a large sweet pepper with delicious flavour choose sweet pepper 'Thor'. This hybrid can produce pods that reach up to 25 cm in length! Perfect for the grill and barbecue. 'Thor' is best sliced lengthways as an accompaniment to meat and fish.

How to grow chillies from seed

Always choose fresh, quality seed from a reputable supplier for the best results. Sow your chilli seeds onto damp compost inside a heated propagator and set the temperature to 21°C. If you don't have a propagator, choose a warm spot inside the house, avoiding dry heat like a radiator. An unheated greenhouse is a good place to germinate your seeds as the weather warms up.

After germination, move your seedlings to a sunny spot. If you notice your seedlings leaning towards the light, increase their light level and make sure to turn their pots every couple of days to keep them growing straight. Pot on your seedlings, carefully handling the leaves not stem, potting them into small single pots.

When to sow chilli seeds

Sow your spicy chilli seeds early in the year. The hottest varieties need a longer growing season. Sow these spicy chilli seeds in January or February inside in a heated propagator. The early chilli seedlings require additional light from a grow light. Sow less fiery chillies in March and April.

For a step by step run through, read our essential growing your own chillies from seed guide at Thompson & Morgan. Find out which varieties are best to sow for your palette, whether that's sizzling heat or mild, gentle flavour.

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