Pricking Out Mirasol Chilli Seedlings
This guide applies to most common seedlings, but Mirasol is an excellent example.
Mirasol Chilli Pepper Seeds are very easy to germinate. Just sow them in moist, good quality compost and leave them in a warm place (minimum 17 degrees c) and they will be large enough to handle in 3 weeks or so.
Once your Seeds (in this case, Mirasol Chilli Seeds) have germinated and grown to a handleable size, you will become the proud owner of a crowded pot of seedlings, which you’ll soon have to transplant to a less crowded home. You may want to move the young plants straight into their final position, or into larger pots to grow on before planting outside in their final position.
Water your Seedlings Well
Make sure you water your seedlings well and allow them to stand for half an hour before pricking them out.
The soil mix you planted your seeds in will have an impact on how easy it is to prick out your seedlings. The addition of perlite or other material that will add drainage will make pricking out easier. Make sure the mix you are putting the young plants into is of high quality. I’ve used a well-rotted compost mix which will hold plenty of water and nutrients to feed the young Plants as they grow.
As with the Mirasol Chilli Plants I am growing, make sure the new pots are large enough to allow them to grow big enough. I use 3.5 inch pots, and finally into 8 inch pots or larger, if they don’t go straight in the ground.
Carefully lift the seedlings, taking sufficient soil to protect the roots. Don’t be afraid to take too much soil – it is much better than digging too shallow and breaking the young roots.
Divide your Mirasol Seedlings
Carefully Position your Seedlings
Slowly and gently slide your baby plant into its new home. This will become an easy process once you’ve repeated it a few times.
Fill the pots with Good Quality Compost
Gently fill up the pot with good compost. Plant the baby Chilli so that it is half an inch shorter – this will encourage a bushier, more sturdy plant. If you need to handle your Mirasol seedling, use the leaves, NOT the stem or roots. The leaves are much more durable and will recover quickly if damaged slightly.Tap the pot gently to encourage compost to settle into any gaps, and firm gently as you go along to ensure an even texture.
Water In Well
This will ensure that moisture and soil settles around their roots and give them a good head start.
Chillis enjoy a lot of water, especially on hot summer days during the growing season.
21 Young Mirasol Chilli Plants from 1 Pepper – that is not a bad haul! I’ll put 2 of the young Mirasol plants aside to grow on, which will provide me with more than enough Chillis for the next year or two. I’ll only need to dry and sow the contents from just ONE of the dozens of Chilli Pepper Fruits I’m going to be picking this year to keep the supply going indefinitely.
Over-Wintering Chilli Plants
Chilli plants can be successfully over-wintered too. Bring them inside in a cool place, with minimum temperatures of about 5 degrees centigrade. Your Chilli may well grow back for many years, saving you the effort of propagating your own seeds!
Harvest Mirasol Chilli
When the fruits are bright red and ripe, snip them form the plant and dry them in an airy place. You can tie them on strings or leave them on kitchen roll – they dry extremely well.
Storing Mirasol Chillis
After a few weeks they are dry enough to store long term. I use an old jam jar, which I thoroughly clean and dry before adding a few dozen Chillis. I put a handful of dry rice in with the fruits to act as a dessicant. If the jar is kept airtight in a cool, dark place the chillis will last for a year or two at least.
Just put one fruit aside to thoroughly dry. When it is truly crisp, split it and remove the seeds. Store them in a cool dry place in a small paper bag or similar. They will keep well for a year or more in my experience.
Mirasol Chilli Plants
It bears relatively small fruits that point towards the sun (the name Mirasol derives from ‘facing the sun’ in the local tongue). They have a fiery heat, but are also surprisingly tasty.
Mirasol quickly became my favourite Chilli and I rarely grow any other varieties now.
Growing Mirasol Chilli
Mirasol Chillis will grow well on a bright windowsill, in pots or in the ground, if you give them a sunny sheltered position. Start them off and grow them on indoors to allow them to achieve a good size and plant out in late May, when the weather is warm enough to allow them to flourish.
Make sure you water them well in dry periods and feed them regularly with a tomato fertiliser. I mulch heavily with compost to conserve water and have excellent results!
They’re well suited to pots as they have a relatively compact habit, but make sure they don’t dry out!