Monday, 19 August 2013


Due to work commencing on the garden it was decided to move the chilli collection en-mass to a new location (namely my long-suffering parents' garden).

I've been frantically giving away as many plants as I could to reduce the number to relocate so by the time the exodus was upon us I was down to a mere(!) 50 or so plants.

They were duly crated up and loaded into the car for the short hop to pastures new.  Likewise, the various chilli houses were disassembled and, with the aid of a trailer, reunited with the plants.

One of the two Chilligrows L-R; Friar's Hat, Lemon Drop, Superchilli
The plants in the Chilligrows were the hardest to transport, the plants having grown massively (despite frequent and ruthless pruning) and were laden with fruit and flowers that I was keen to avoid damaging.

The roots of this Lemon Drop have escaped into the reservoir below

In the departure lounge - the first batch ready to be moved.

A Trinidad Scorpion with a perfectly formed 'stinger'

The mighty Scotch Bonnet plant is doing exceptionally well in the Root-Pouch.

Plenty of Habaneros in their temporary greenhouse home

These were supposed to be De Arbol seeds but I'm beginning to have my doubts.

The pretty (and bountiful) Black Pearl

Etna is laden with small glossy pods waiting to ripen

Capa Conic

The Chilligrows in their new home L to R: Paper Lantern, 2 x Scorpion, Lemon Drop, Superchilli & Friar's Hat

Plenty of hot fruit forming on the Paper Lantern Habanero

Joe's Long Chilli
As for the hydroponic experiment, well it got off to a slow start when I realised that I'd only mixed the nutrients to a third of the desired strength.  However, the plants have been busy catching up with their soil-based companions and have finally overtaken them.

Both plants now have plenty of flowers and the Orange Hab also has fruit forming.  The plants seem very healthy with plenty of foliage.  I'll probably have to provide them with some support before too long as the clay pellets don't support the stems and roots as well as the much denser soil does.

L to R: Peach Habanero, Orange Magnum Habanero

Friday, 9 August 2013

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain

So after the sun comes the rain.  Thankfully the chillies have been sheltered from the worst of it by the shanty-town of coldframes that now comprise the garden.  I had to build yet another one recently to cope with the rapidly growing plants.

The new chilli house is on the left with the two older ones in the background.
This one is an open-fronted house which keeps the worst of the rain off whilst still allowing the vital insects to get in and pollinate the plants. Speaking of insects, the garden has been buzzing with wasps, bees, butterflies and even our resident dragonfly.  It's reassuring that we've created a habitat that is so welcoming to insects, birds and frogs.  Now if we can just stop the neighbour's cats from killing any more of the aforementioned wildlife then we'll be on to a winner...

So the bees have been busy in the garden, pollinating lost of chilli flowers...

...and making the most of the luxury accommodation.

There are plenty of pods on the chillies now, a little more sunshine to enable them to ripen and we'll have plenty of fruit for making sauces and chutneys.

Chili de Arbol - Mexican Tree Chilli.

This Scotch Bonnet is laden with flowers, and plenty of fruit on the way.

Black Pearl, small ornamental plant with beautiful dark leaves.

Bit of an odd one here - Capa Conic chilli.  I can't find much information about this one.  This plant is one of a couple that's a couple of years old and has plenty of pale yellow pods.  Not sure on the heat as I've yet to test them.

The Golden Cayenne is throwing out plenty of large pods and is rapidly outgrowing the chilli-house.

It's getting very crowded in the big chilli-house. Trinidad Scorpions, Paper Lantern Hab, Lemon Drop, Friar's Hat and a small Super Chilli all competing for space. Not helped by the Arisaema (Cobra Lily) sneaking in at the front.
The Chilligrow planters are working superbly with all of the plants growing at a frightening rate.  Even with the large reservoir of water beneath them, I'm still having to top it up every fourth day.

The plants in the soft Root-Pouches are also growing very well with plenty of strong branches and flowers forming.

This year I haven't put support stakes or sticks in any of the pots, even for the tall varieties like Joe's Long and Friar's Hat.  The plants in the grow houses are so cramped now that they barely have room to move but even the ones with a bit more legroom are still very sturdy.  I suspect that a combination of giving them more moving fresh air, no support sticks and pinching out the tops has encouraged stronger stems and sturdier branches.

The Etna plant from last year is smothered in pods.

The small chilli-house holds many of last year's plants.

A wealth of flowers on the Paper Lantern Hab with a few small pops forming.

The Super Chilli has finally sprung to life and is throwing out flowers and pods.

Some of the Scotch Bonnets and Habs in their overnight shelter.