Saturday, 25 January 2014

Spring has sprung (sort of)

Things have been somewhat quiet on the growing front recently.  The chilli house is performing as expected, keeping most of the plants alive.  I've lost a couple due to die-back (expected) and a few have been ravaged by aphids (not expected).

To counter the green, munching pests I've lowered the temperature in the room slightly and given the affected plants a hosing-down to remove the tenacious critters.  A couple of yellow, sticky fly traps have helped remove their flying cousins as well.

Soon I'll up the temperature and light in the room and kickstart the plants back into life - doubtless the aphids will return then so I'll need to find a suitable solution to them, perhaps this is the year to invest in some Ladybirds.

The seeds that I planted recently have been doing well. The germination rate has been superb for the seeds purchased from Simpson Seeds with a hit-rate over 90%, however the Padron seeds I collected from the family's plants in Spain have so far failed to produce a single seedling. This is a little disappointing but I had to collect the seeds from unripe fruit (Padrons are picked and eaten green), we'll just have to have another holiday in Galicia soon to collect some more...

Seedlings coming up - clockwise from bottom left: Chocolate Hab, 7 Pot Hab, Black Tongued Scorpion, Joe's Long, Ancho 
Chocolate Habanero
Due to a lack of space under the growlights I thought I'd risk the south-facing bedroom window. The weather's been a bit erratic and consequently some of the seedlings have grown a bit leggy.  When I transplant them I'll make sure the stems are buried nice and deep so they shouldn't keel over too easily and they should be ok.

The larger varieties, such as Ancho and Joe's Long, are looking quite leggy, compared to the slower growing habaneros in the background
In the meantime I've kept myself amused with some photography.  I've been drying out last year's crop of chillies in the oven and was taken with their translucent quality. A lightbox and macro lens later and I had some chilli portraits to show for my efforts.