A good trick for chilli plants or vegetable plants in general lies in the choice of soil, which plays a very important role for the plant. In fact, it must have all the nutrients that the plant needs to grow strong and vigorous. We say that the choice of soil is the foundation of every success.
The period for sowing can vary, in southern Italy you can start planting the first seeds in the middle of March, when the night temperature does not fall below 5 - 10° C while if we climb the Italian boot we can sow even in April, since as we know the more you go north, the colder the climate becomes so it's up to you to decide how and when to sow.
An excellent alternative in order to have the seedlings already ready to grow in the months of March and April is to grow the chillies indoors, a technique that allows the growth of seedlings in a controlled environment with artificial lights.
One of the essentials for sowing the peppers is the soil. It must be soft and fine-grained, not to hinder root growth in the first months of life.
The main characteristics of good soil are: lightness, the percentage of peat must be moderate because chillies prefer slightly acidic pH.
The right PH is 5.5, but a variation of 4.5 to 6.5 PH is allowed.
To grow chillies, you have to choose a fertile soil, rich in loose organic substances and not too compact, mixed with inert material to promote water drainage.
If the soil has a poor draining ability, it is possible to add perlite, pumice, and/or vermiculite to the compost. Expanded clay is recommended if grown in pots.
It's advisable to avoid clay or peat soil because they compact too much after the watering and consequently they stifle the roots. The optimal temperature for germination varies from 20° C to 30° C. The lower the temperature, the longer it will take for germination.
If the temperature is constantly maintained at over 20° C 24/7, the germination will take place in about 3 or 4 weeks
Have a look at our category of high-quality soils and substrates suitable for growing chillies: sale of soil and substrate for chillies.