The propagation tray is provided with a cover. Soon your seeds will germinate. In the meantime, spray the pepper seeds with water. You can prevent mould and high humidity by airing the seeds regularly.
The advantage of area sowing is the low effort required to grow many small chilli plants. Because of the mass of chilli seeds, you don't need to worry about a high germination rate. The quantity makes the difference. However, sooner or later you will have to prick out the chillies if they were not planted in individual pots or root balls from the start.
After about 10 days after planting, the first chilli seedlings will appear. At the latest, when the first true leaves touch, it is time to prick out the young chillies. After transplanting, the plants have more space. This means they benefit from more light, air and nutrients. Look for signs of disease in the propagation box. If this is the case, it is better to start separating the chilli plants straight away.
When pricking out, you do not need to move all the seedlings at once. Take the plants that are already growing more vigorously first. It can do no harm for the whole chilli cultivation to also distribute the best locations to the larger plants.
In March the pricking out should be finished. Growers of particularly spicy chilli plants are usually already active in January.
Take enough time for pricking out. For a successful singling, you should be able to work carefully and in peace. The roots of the chillies should receive as little damage as possible from the pricking out. After loosening the chilli plant from the growing medium, the root mass should not be left in the air for more than half an hour. The fine root tips would otherwise dry out and no longer regenerate.
It is inevitable that a few roots will break off. Fine root hairs will break off. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, shortening the root ball helps with later root formation. The root system will re-branch where the root was torn off.
A good tool for pricking out is the pricking stick. Alternatively, a pen can be used. We use popsicle sticks ourselves.
Imagine the chilli seedling as it has taken root in the substrate. Now push the popsicle stick under the rootstock at a 45° angle. Now the place where you put the stick into the soil is about 3 cm next to the plant. The beginning of the pricking stick is directly under the root. Due to the 45° angle, this should now also be 3 cm.
First break the structure of the soil in a lateral direction. A slight back and forth movement of a few millimetres is enough. Now push the plant with the soil upwards. The soil should break open and parts of the chilli root should already be bare. Take hold of the sensitive plant stem with your fingers and carefully pull the chilli together with the root out of the substrate.
The exposed root must now be protected from drying out. It is best to put it straight into fresh tomato soil. If you want to prick out more than ten chillies, remember to take out only enough so that the roots are not exposed to the air for more than half an hour.
Plant the spicy plants by poking a planting hole in the new soil and holding the chilli halfway into the hole. Push the soil together with the pricking stick. Do not forget to water well. This is also to flush out the cavities in the planting holes.
Plants usually grow better when they sense their fellow species in the immediate vicinity. In a window box, you can only pull the plants as far apart as necessary. Repotting immediately in a larger plant pot is also a good idea.
Coco soil is well suited as a growing medium for chilli seeds. The stable, coarse structure simplifies the pricking out process later on. Growing soil from the hardware store is mostly mixed with soil improvers, which also makes it suitable for seed trays.