Sowing seeds indoors – chillies and tomatoes

nine little seedlings with two baby leaves each in a plastic pot in a green tray. there are more plastic pots with similar seedlings all on a windowsill.

Sowing seeds indoors has become a tradition for the months before spring even begins! This is particularly so for chillies and tomatoes. I like to sow these seeds early so that the chillies and tomatoes have time to ripen in the summer heat.

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Sowing chilli seeds indoors

I have had great success growing chillies in my garden in the past years. This has meant I now have some saved chilli seeds that I can sow this season of Aji Limon, Ring of Fire and Cayenne chillies. I am also trying some new varieties, such as Basket of Fire and Bolivian chillies. Friends have given me some of their favourite dry homegrown chillies too.

seed packets of tomatoes and chillies with one broken red chilli and seeds on a green mat. some small plastic pots with compost and white labels in them on the mat too.
Sowing chilli seeds indoors in small pots

This year, I am using small plastic pots for each variety of chilli. Each pot has been filled with seed sowing compost. This compost is ideal for supporting the germination and growth of the first four leaves. Once I have sown the seeds in these pots and labelled them, I give them a little watering. Then I cover the trays with a plastic cover before placing them in a warm place. This place in my house tends to be by the boiler in my kitchen.

small seedlings in several plastic pots, each with a white label, growing on a windowsill
Chilli seedlings with their first two baby leaves

In about 10 days, the seeds have germinated and I have placed the pots on my kitchen windowsill. They need lots of light and this is where they will live till they develop the next set of leaves called true leaves.  True leaves have the characteristic shape of tomato leaves. Once these appear, these seedlings will be transplanted into their own accommodation – a small pot of their own!

Great chilli varieties to try out:

Sowing tomato seeds indoors

I am so excited as I sow my tomato seeds! This is because I am remembering the delicious taste of my homegrown summer tomatoes, yum! Roma and Sungold  tomatoes were so tasty last summer that I am sowing their seeds again this year. Sungold tomatoes are incredibly tasty and even ranked as one the top 10 cherry tomatoes by the Royal Horticultural Society! In addition, there are some new kids on the block too .. tomato varieties of course. I am looking forward to growing the beefy Costoluto Fiorentino, San Marzano plum tomatoes and the mysterious Black Russian heritage variety.

I am adding littler versions of tomatoes too this year, like the Minibel, Vilma and Hundreds and Thousands. Now you can see the reason for my excitement as I sow these tomato seeds indoors.

I have done exactly the same as I have for the chillies above and these tomato seeds have germinated within a week! Amazing to see them peeping out so quickly and they are now taking up the rest of the kitchen windowsill. Seedlings need a lot of light, especially at this time of the year when the daylight hours are shorter. Love watching them grow while I am washing up!

several small plastic pots with little seedlings growing in them. Each pot has a white label. All the pots are in one green tray on a windowsill.
Tomato seedlings all reaching up for the skies on my kitchen window sill

Great tomato varieties to try out:

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