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Grow-How

Planting Instructions

Review, download or print our Planting Instructions here.

What to Do When You Receive Your Chile Plants

If your order arrives in poor condition, first, please accept our apologies. We strive to ensure safe arrival of our plants. Notification about orders that arrive damaged must be made within 72 hours of receipt, by email, with a photo.
We have much experience shipping and can give good advice if we can see the plants.
PLEASE KEEP ALL PACKAGING MATERIAL as it shows packer information. Damaged boxes may be inspected by UPS.

Remove the plants COMPLETELY from the packaging, and remove ALL cardboard pieces. Do not leave in the box!
Move them to a bright but cool spot to acclimate back into the sun. If the soil is moist, Do Not water. If the soil is dry, just give the pot 1-2 Tablespoons of water. This would be a great time to add seaweed to the water, 1-2 Tablespoons per gallon. Allow the water to drench through the pot, and wait at least 3 to 4 hours before adding more water. Always let plants dry before adding more water.

Allow plants a few days to acclimate to their new climate after their travel in a dark box. Take a couple/few days, increasing the sun each day until the plants can handle all day sun. Do Not keep indoors for more than one day!
Keep an eye on watering, but don't always keep the pots wet; allow pots to dry between waterings. This makes a stronger plant. If they get too dry and begin to wilt, give the pot 2 Tablespoons of water. Wait at least 3 to 4 hours before adding more water. If the pots get too wet, use a pencil or a nail to scratch the surface, or gently poke a few holes into the soil, to allow air to enter.

If in doubt about watering, DON'T !! ... never ever over-water.

When and How to Transplant Your Plants

If your plants have arrived looking very stressed, wait a few more days until they stabilize before transplanting. Be sure that night temps will stay above 55-60 degrees for peppers, 50-55 degrees for tomatoes. Young plants do poorly with cold nights.

Locate your garden in a well-drained sunny area, and work organic matter into the soil. If you are in a region where summer temps are very high, try to locate your plants where they will receive some late afternoon shade. Transplant on a cloudy day, or in the evening hours when the sun is not so strong. At the nursery, we soak in a fish emulsion and seaweed solution for 5 minutes immediately prior to planting, and then do not water after planting. Dig a hole larger and deeper than the root ball of the plant you will be transplanting. Gently open the bottom of the root ball so that all roots extend downward, and plant at the same depth as in the pot.Tomatoes can be planted as deep as possible - remove all leaves that will be below soil line. If you have soaked your plants, do not water after. The plants are already wet. Use excess on other plants.

Remove all buds, flowers and fruits until you see that the plant has put on good strong growth, or for at least 2 weeks. This may seem crazy to do, but doing so will give you a larger plant just loaded with fruit, versus a small plant with only a few fruits. Remember to lay down a 5inch layer of mulch.

To get a jump on the season, or if you cannot plant out right a way, up-pot your plants up into slightly larger 4 inch diameter pot using a regular potting mix (we Do Not recommend Miracle Gro). We soak in a fish emulsion and seaweed solution immediatley prior to planting, and then do not water after planting. We open the roots and set at the same level as in the other pot, and cover with soil. Topdress with our Organic Granular fertilizer, using 1 teaspoon per 4 inch container, around the edge of the pot and buried just slightly. We grow out for 2 weeks, then up-pot into a 6 inch container, doing the fish/seaweed soak and this time using 1 Tablepoon of Organic Granular fertilizer per 6 inch container, topdressed around the edge and buried just slightly. When safe to plant out, we have a larger and stronger plant, that will begin harvesting earlier than if we planted a small plant out.

When and How to Water Your Chile Plants

After transplanting, the plants will need to have consistent soil moisture to nourish them as they start making new roots into their new environment. Keep soil moist but never saturate the soil. Remember, if in doubt about watering, DO NOT.

For the first few weeks, keep a keen eye on your plants. A 5inch layer of mulch is essential to keep the roots cool and moist, and from heating and drying out from the sun. Use straw, or hay on sections of newspaper. To test the soil moisture, dig below the mulch and feel the soil a few inches below the surface. Only water if dry. Water in the morning, and never in the heat of the day. Water the soil, not the leaves. Do Not water every day! Water as little as possible.

At the nursery, with 5 inch mulch, we do not water all summer! Mulch makes for happy plants.

When and How to Fertilize Your Chile Plants

We use organic fertilizers on all of our plants. While a plant will uptake and utilize an organic fertilizer the same as an inorganic fertilizer, your soil certainly will know the difference. Organic fertilizers promote the good bacteria and soil microorganisms, which are essential for good plant health. They encourage earthworms and other soil organisms, which are good at aerating and loosening the soil. Inorganic fertilizers do not do this, but instead, damage the soil.

Granular Organic fertilizer is best for peppers and eggplants, and for incredible production on everything. Recommended.
Fish and Kelp is fish emulsion, best for baby plants, and soaking prior to transplanting.
Kelp and Fish #3 is kelp (seaweed) and is best especially for tomatoes, and ALL plants, to keep healthy.

For the first 3 weeks, fertilize every week to promote good root growth, and then once/month with liquids; and once every 6-8 weeks with granular. Fish emulsion is high in nitrogen and promotes strong growth and good deep green leaf color. Seaweed is high in potassium, and promotes good root growth. As well, seaweed is full of many micronutrients, a sort of "multivitamin" for plants, and helps combat the stresses that plants are subjected to, such as heat, drought, and insect attack. We always use organic granular fertilizer, which offers longer-term nutrition. This is especially necessary for container-grown plants, and for those growing in northern latitudes. We find that the Granular Organic fertilizer increases our yields tremendously.

The key factor for an abundant harvest is proper fertilization.

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