To get the optimum results, you have to start harvesting chillies as early as possible. The chilli plants do well, in fact the best, in hot climate and in temperate regions like where I’ve been staying, higher the degree of heat provided more the plant develops. So a greenhouse comes handy for growing the plant in case of mine, but off course I’d usually start as early as possible.
Snow has covered the land, up to six inches, but still I’ll be starting with some chilli seeds this morning. What I think is to use little plug trays with different cells so that a single seed can be put into each individual cell. The tray needs to be stiffed with some compost in the top and the next big concern is to place the seeds keeping them warm. The chilli seeds normally require 20C -30C temperature for proper germination, still 15C is the minimum temperature. Habanero are a type of chilli takes a complete month to germinate, however the time is lesser with some other types. Kitchen selves are the place where I would germinate my seeds, but for chillies- I’ve been using a heating pad to maintain the high temperature for proper germination.
After germination is over, it is advised to remove the heating pad and shift them onto the kitchen selves (near windows). You can start watching the plant on regular basis and as the roots grow till bottom of cell, the seedling can be shifted to a pot. Using older pots for the new plants in greenhouse would invite serious diseases that the new plant would suffer, so have new pots, every time you add a new plant and the olden pots can be used outside the green house tough. Be careful in handling the new chilli plant; use the seed leaves and not the developing stem because the later would make them die. The compost used to keep the seeds in must be compatible with chilly seedlings. When the root grows fully to the bottom in the tray cells, the entire root ball can be removed and ported to the composts in new pots hence not hampering the growth of the plant.
You should not bring the plants outside to ground or greenhouse too early in the morning as the prevailing cold weather and frost would destroy them. Also you can continue growing them in the kitchen window selves, when it’s cold outside.