Transplanting - Chilli Pepper Gardening
4 - Transplanting
After 2 weeks from planting, the seeds should probably be germinated if they were exposed to stable weather conditions during this time. Once the seedlings have appeared, you must try to place then on areas where they can receive plenty of light – at least 12 hours daily. This will improve strength and growth of your chili plants. As soon as two pairs of leaves appear, it’ll be necessary to perform a transplating to another vase or container. This is the first transplating and is recommended to allow your plant’s root to grow more freely and also, due to the new vase small dimension, it’s easier to fertilize and irrigate. Of course you can skip this first stage if you want and go directly to your definitive area, but we do recommend to perform this step because it’s easier to handle the small vases in case of an emergency, where you need to protect your seedlings if the weather suddenly changes. Your chilis plants are still fragile and need all care and attention. Once they’ve grown up, they can resist better on their definitive planting area.
To perform this first transplating, you can choose a new vase with an diameter of 100 millimeters, approximately. With 2 pairs of leaves they have grown roots enough to be transplanted without any further problems. Generally, from the very first day of planting to the appearing of these 2 pairs, it takes approximately from 2 to 4 weeks.
Don’t pull your seedlings to take them out of their vases! This can seriously damage their roots or even destroy the plant by tearing them completely. If you have chosen to use homemade paper vases (see our article 3 – Planting and Germination ), you just need to tear the paper vase off without further difficult. If you’re using plastic trays or vases, it’s advised to use a small and appropriate shovel to extract your seedlings without damaging them. You can take a look at our Classifieds section to see if there’s any announcing shop available at your surroundings.
To perform this first stage transplating, follow these steps:
- fill the new vase with ground, letting just a center hole big enough to accommodate the seedling and its surrounding ground
- use a small shovel or any other similar tool available and take the seedling off of the first and small vase or plastic tray. If you are using those small paper vases we taught step by step at section 3 – Planting and Germination, you don’t need to take the seedling off of the vase. You can place it inside the new vase directly or just tear the paper vase off.
- once the seedling has been placed, just press the surrounding ground gently and it’s done! Your chili plant is ready to start receiving even more daylight and has much more space to grow. Don’t forget to protect your plants from wind and low temperatures.
After 4 weeks, your chili plant will be ready to proceed to its definite place or area, thus the second and last transplating is needed. At this time, your plant should be moved to a vase or container with an area of approximately 400 millimeters of radius around the plant. You can use circular or rectangular vases as long as the suggested area is respected. You can also use smaller vases or containers for your chili plants, but you might seriously compromise their growing process which is a risk that should be avoided.
During our articles, we have suggested or only mentioned vases and containers. That’s because it’s easier to move your plants around if anything happens to the area they are disposed. For higher chili production, of course, you should be using bigger reserved open or greenhouse areas where your chili plants must be planted directly on the ground.
Practically any area where you can have a well cared ground, enough space and good climate can be used for chili cultivation.
You can choose between clay or plastic vases or containers. Clay vases or containers are generally more beautiful or better designed than those made of plastic. In the other hand, plastic vases or containers offer the advantage of keeping the soil both on moisture and temperature.
Always remember to clean and sterilize all container or tool before using them on your plants or soil. This helps to avoid spreading any disease or fungus that can damage your chili plants.To perform your definite transplating, follow these steps:
- clean and sterilize your new vase or container
- make sure your vase or container has holes on its bottom surface. This helps to prevent the water from accumulation, due to excess of irrigation. If the vase or container you get doesn’t have any holes, you can create them by yourself. Just make a couple of holes with diameter ranging from 8 to 10 millimeters, equally spaced over the bottom surface
- place a layer of small rounded clay rocks to help you with even more control over the irrigation. These smalls clay rocks are commonly sold on gardening stores. Take a look a our Classifieds sections for more information about shops and different types of establishments on your area (BRAZIL ONLY, at the moment). This layer will help absorb any excess of water and prevent any damage to your chili plants roots
- fill your vase or container with soil until it stays from 20 to 30 millimeters under the upper border limits. Use only soil recommendend for flowers or ornamental plants. Mix your fertilizer while filling your vase or container. We normally use fertilizer indicated for tomatoes or similar plants. Follow the instructions from the fertilizer manufacturer to apply the right dosage on your soil
- open up equally spaced holes on the soil, big enough to accommodate your plants
- take your chili plant off of its current vase including all the surrounding soil if possible
- place the plant in one of the previously made holes. Make sure the top surface from the plant’s surrounding soil stays 10 millimeters under the top soil surface of the definite vase or container
- just as an example, on a rectangular container of about 1 meter length, you can place up to 3 plants. Big chilis varieties, such as Pimentão or Cubanelle should be planted with enough surrounding area between each one
- press the soil around the plants slightly just to fix them in place. Place more soil if needed to level it completelly
- irrigate the soil and be sure to place them where they can receive daylight at least 8 hours everyday
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