Friday, 21 February 2014

Growing pains

Still snug and safe from the winter storms, the seedlings are rapidly growing in the Chilli Room.  The heated propagator is so efficient that the Joe's Long and Ancho have shot up to tower over the habs and are in danger of keeling over.  They'll be potted on within the next few days and the lid removed from the propagator to harden them off.

The seedlings are growing rapidly, if somewhat leggy.  Tine to pot on.
Not all of the overwintered plants have survived with a few dying in the last few weeks.  There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason why, with identical plants sitting next to each other where one thrives and one doesn't.  I've potted on a few into Root Pouches with fresh compost to kick-start them back into life and also extended the lighting time to convince them that spring is on the way.

Some of the overwintered 'sticks' have been potted on to fresh compost in Root Pouches
The plants from the Chilligrows have been overwintered with varying degrees of sucess.
Not all have made it through the winter.
Sadly the aphids have been attacking everything in sight and with the soapy water and fly traps failing to make a dent in them I've had to resort to an organic bug spray.  I'm not a fan of sprays but it's too early in the year for their natural predators to thrive and the artificially warm environment of the chilli room has has given the the aphids the perfect conditions to multiply.

The traditional Hallmark festival of valentines has just been and gone and suffice to say that this year Cupid must have had spicy tastes.  Not only did I receive chilli chocolate but a great looking Chilli Cheese bomb from Shorrocks Cheese. I've yet to taste it but any present that combines two of my favourite foods is bound to be worth waiting for.

Nothing says 'I love you' like a Chilli Cheese Bomb...  
Also in Cupid's quiver this year were these two sauces from Pip's Hot Sauces -  Nagatropolis and La Boca Del Diabolo.  I've not come across Pip's sauces before but looking at their website they seem to have a superb range of flavours and their presentation is second to none with their brown-paper and string wrapped bottles and the great looking white stencilled labels. Their Nagatropolis label has more than a passing resemblance to a certain sci-fi epic. Could this be a new line in cult-film and chilli crossovers?

...Unless it's Nagatropolis Chilli Sauce!
I'll report back on these sauces and cheese when I get a chance. Meantime, I've finished my bottle of Upton Chilli Hot Habanero Sauce (delicious as expected) and am now working through a bottle of Walkerswood Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce.  I love Scotch bonnets and this is a really tasty sauce with lots of spice and flavour as well as the heat of the fruity Bonnets.

Meanwhile, we've demolished several blocks of the Tesco Scotch Bonnet Cheddar.  This has to be one of the best chilli cheeses ever, with a fruity tingling heat and great texture.  Even non-chillihead friends love this cheese (although possibly not in the same quantities as we do...)