Autumn-sown peppers

Peppers and chillies are perennial plants that, in theory, can be overwintered. They are tender, so they need to be protected from frost, and they will rot if over watered (like many plants over winter). But the biggest problem with overwintering peppers seems to be their need for lots of light. They drop their leaves and become very sad looking specimens for several months.

I know of people who have had success overwintering peppers in greenhouses, and I will try that next year – this year I don’t have any pepper plants I particularly want to keep.

But I thought it would be worth trying to germinate pepper seeds in autumn – and keep the seedlings alive until spring. With their reduced light requirements, and their tendency to grow slowly in low light levels, they should be fine over winter and ready for a rapid growth spurt when the days start to get longer.

That’s the theory. I sowed my trial plants on 21st September, and they’ve just germinated. Dedo de Mocha is a sweet aji – basically a chilli with no heat. And Sweet Lipstick is an early, red bell pepper variety. Both sets of seeds came from Real Seeds.