Saturday, 28 September 2013

Pruning time.

The chillies are doing well but there's a lot of unripe fruit and the plants are still putting on lots of new foliage.

The ornamental varieties have lots of colourful fruit already as they tend to mature faster than the hotter varieties.

Loco, a very reliable shrubby plant with lots of fruit

Black Pearl
The golden Cayenne has been a real success story with plenty of large ripe pods.  I've yet to try it for heat but I expect it to be quite feisty.

In an effort to encourage the plants to put all their efforts into the fruit and to help the fruit ripen I cut back a lot of the branches that didn't hold fruit and any tips that were putting on new growth.

Hopefully this will let more sunlight to the fruit and ripen them before the end of the summer.

Superchilli, living up to its name

The Scorpions are beginning to ripen.

The Paper Lantern Habanero has been sensational
More pods than you can count!


Scotch Bonnets 

Peach Habanero in the hydroponic 'Gurgler'
A bit of light pruning

The casualties of the pruning. Big Jim, Lemon Drop, Paper Lantern & Friar's Hat

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Home Again...

Well I deserted the chilli plants for two weeks and fled to the sunnier climes of Spain. More specifically the Northwest region of Galicia, home to the town of Padron.

Pimientos de Padron can be found in most tapas bars in the area, a plate full of these small green chillies is fried in olive oil and generously seasoned with salt.  Although predominantly sweet, a percentage of these peppers are hot enough to cause alarm.  The percentage tends to vary from batch to batch and although some claim it's about 10%, I must admit that in my (fairly extensive) investigations it was more like 5%.
Pimientos de Padron
However, one batch prepared by an aunt, contained a red one that literally took my breath away and left me gasping and nearly speechless for a good five minutes.  That'll teach me to be complacent! 

I made sure to collect some seed from her chillies and will be growing them on next year.

Upon my return I visited the chillies that I'd relocated to my parents' garden to see how they had fared in my absence.

Red Scotch Bonnet
Yellow Scotch Bonnet

Squat Frog
Most of the plants are dripping with fruit although we'll need some more sunshine to get the fruit to ripen. Somewhat disappointingly, both Dorset Nagas are devoid of large fruit although there are a few small ones forming. Whether they'll get to a decent size and ripen in this somewhat dismal weather is open to debate.


Black Pearl
The Chilligrows are proving their worth with the plants within growing to impressive sizes, their branches bending under the weight of the fruit.

The Chilligrows in the greenhouse

Paper Lantern Hab

Paper Lantern Hab

Trinidad Scorpion


Friar's Hat

The hydroponic unit is working overtime

And there's plenty of fruit to show for all the growth. This is the Orange Magnum Habanero

L to R: Joe's Long & Friar's Hat

Joe's Long

Naga Jolokia

Fruit Brust Habanero
I suspect that I'll need to come up with some new recipes to use up what promises to be a bumper crop of chillies.  All we need is a week or so of sunshine to get the fruit ripening before the growing season comes to an end.