This is the second year for our online growing diary, still no significant appearance of UK chilli seeds suppliers, which shows with the limited amount of hot chillis we are growing. Most of the seeds this year were sourced from America.
This Years Varieties
Apache: (Capsicum annuum) An attractive dwarf chilli pepper, good yield of 7 cm long pointed fruit, makes a good pot or patio plant. Bangalore Torpedo: (Capsicum frutescens) Hot Pepper. Long thin twisted fruits approx 12.5 cm long, mature from a light green through to red. Bulgarian Carrot:(Capsicum annuum) Bright orange glossy fruits produced on a compact, thick branched plant. Could be grown as a patio pot plant. Fruits are very attractive medium hot pungency, conical in shape similar to a carrot and approx 9cm long. Caribbean Red:(Capsicum baccatum) A variety of Habanero and Hotter too. Wrinkled fruits. Matures from green to red. Friars Hat: Mild. Unusual shaped fruit on tall plant. Fruit ripens from pale green to deep red. Fruit is bell shaped and is medium in size. Garden Salsa:(Capsicum annuum) Sweet red pepper, great for the Mexican sauces and fresh salsa with just the right amount of heat, glossy green skin which turns red if left on the plant. Jaloro:(Capsicum annuum) Similar to a Jalapeno, early good crop of 7 cm golden yellow fruit. Medusa:(Capsicum annuum) Upright small ornamental, 5 cm tapered fruits ripening yellow, orange to red. Peter Pepper Yellow:(Capsicum annuum) Named for its similarity in appearance to an anatomical part. Medium hot and good tasting (great for spicing up salsa). The plants can reach two feet and produce good amounts of fruit. Poinsettia: (Capsicum annuum) Plant produces very hot clusters of upright fruit, 5-6 cm long by 1cm wide. Matures from light green to bright red. Plant height 20 inches by 18 inches wide. Ring of Fire:(Capsicum annuum) Hot 8cm long tapered chillis, ripening green to red. Serrano:(Capsicum annuum) The hot, pungent fruit grow from 5-7 cm long by 1cm in diameter. Slim, club shaped green peppers with medium thin walls maturing to a bright red colour. Super Chilli:(Capsicum annuum) Good early cropping bush, plenty of 6cm fruit ripening green to red. Super Shepherd: (Capsicum annuum) Italian Sweet pepper, produces an early yield of peppers, flesh is thick and juicy and is good fresh, fried or pickled. Heavy foliage cover protects fruit from sunscald, 4 cm wide at the shoulder to 10 cm long. Tri colour:(Capsicum annuum) Ornamental pot plant, variegated leaves, with 2 cm purple chillis on about, 30 cm high in a pot. Thai Hot: (Capsicum frutescens) Small pepper well known for its extremely hot spiciness. Upright plant with red peppers makes a good pot or patio plant.
This Years Equipment
All plants were grown straight in the ground or 3-5 litre pots, so no significant equipment was used this year, apart from some tomato food when the fruits were setting and growing.
February - March 2001
24-February: All seeds in above list are now sown, which always means a change in the weather - Overnight snowfalls and cold weather again! Watch this page for the oncoming season. All seeds germinated within 2 weeks except the Garden Salsa and the Super Shepherd.
24-March: About 95% of the seeds have now germinated and some are now reaching 2 inches tall with their first true leaves beginning to show. Soon be time to pot on.
20-April: All plants potted on and are about 3 inches tall now, last week was the first warm week of sunshine this year and the small plants looked as if they were going to grow in the greenhouse, if this weather doesn't hold I may as well try growing them on the North Pole as its probably warmer than the UK. Some of the larger growing bushes are now planted straight into the ground in the greenhouse, Jaloro, Serrano, jalapeño etc while the windowsill ornamentals are in 3 inch pots.
Ring of Fire
6-June: The 4 ornamentals are now about 6 inches high and have had their tips pinched out to make the plants bushier, all have been potted on into 4-6 inch pots. The Ring of Fire is starting to flower as can be seen below. All of the other plants have now been planted straight into the ground in the greenhouse, except Peter Pepper Yellow which is supposed to be UK acclimatized and the two larger peppers Garden Salsa and Super Shepherd these are outdoors under glass for the moment.
June 26: The 4 ornamentals are now about 6-10 inches high and are now coming in to flower. The Medusa and Thai Hot are a much sturdier and compact plant than the Ring of Fire and the Tri Colour. I have one of each variety on my kitchen windowsill. The greenhouse plants are now growing well, all tips have been pinched out and some are coming into flower and are up to about 12 inches high. Outside varieties are not doing too bad but are in need of plenty of sun and warmth now to keep up and produce chillis in time. I also have 2 varieties of tomatillo for Mexican cuisine growing in the greenhouse again and will show photos when they fruit.
06-Sept: Weather now cooling down for Autumn, here is a quick summary of the season.
Apache is about 1 foot high in a pot with red chillis on. Didn't do too well outside.
Jaloro is about 1.5 feet high with plenty of early ripening fat 2 inch chillis.
Tri colour has plenty of 1 inch purple chillis on about 1 foot high in a pot.
Thai Hot covered in ripening 1 inch chillis and is about 1 foot high in a pot.
Friars Hat has now some 2 inch hat shaped chillis on but was a bit slow to mature, about 1.5 feet high.
Medusa full of red/orange chillis ready for picking.
Ring of Fire about 1.5 feet high with red 2 inch chillis ready for picking, ground version done a lot better than the pot plant.
Super Chilli has loads of ripening chillis on early to mature and full of fruit, 2 foot high bush.
Bangalore Torpedo full of twisted thin chillis, 2 foot high
Garden Salsa and Super Shepherd have about 6 large peppers on each plant, grown outside, leaving to try and ripen for now.
Caribbean Red too slow to mature as the chillis are still green at the moment, slow to flower and fruit.
Bulgarian Carrot, 2 foot high full of good size chillis now starting to ripen to orange from green.
Poinsettia, 2 foot high, full of clumps of upright chillis still green at the moment.
Peter Pepper Yellow slow to mature outside very small chillis at the present, have now potted for the greenhouse.
Serrano, tallest bush about 3 foot high, slow to flower and develop chillis but now full of 1-2 inch fruit.
Most of the greenhouse plants have all done well but the outside plants are all smaller and weaker although they did produce fruit, the Super Shepherd and the Garden Salsa have produced large peppers outside as I ran out of greenhouse space, but the plants are only about 1.5 feet high so they probably would have done a lot better inside.
13 Oct: All the chillis are now ripening and are being picked for cooking, pickling, drying and freezing. Greenhouse will now be cleared before the cold damp days causes mildew, all pots cleaned and tidied up for next year.