Archive for the ‘Grow Your Own’ Category

Hello everybody. I hope that your chillies are growing well. I thought that it was about time that I let you all know how mine are coming along.

Bhut Jolokia.

These are coming along nicely; I just hope that we have a long enough summer for them to ripen. There are so many flowers too.


I’ve been eating these little beauties for a few weeks now. Not as fruity as they look but nicely hot.


Lots of these. Fleshy and mild; been eating these for weeks too.


Lots of these too. They look fantastic but so far have been dissapointing with tough skins and little heat.

The Sprite (Piri Piri?)

Hundreds of these on only 3 plants. They are starting to ripen but remain untested this year. The fruit from which the seeds were taken was fierce though.

I have Habanero (the Pot Noodle Chiilies) and Scotch Bonnets too. Next year I’m growing more Scotch Bonnets; grown from a seed taken from a shop-bought pepper it is such a prolific fruiter, although none have ripened yet.

Also, I harvested my first mature Hot Lemon and guess what? Yes, it is indeed very lemony and very hot too! These plants are amazing, about five feet tall and heavy with peppers.

Top Tip. To properly taste a pepper leave it in your mouth until most of the capsaicin has burnt off ; when your eyes stop watering or when your other half stops looking at you and wondering if you’re having a stroke.  At this point munch away; you’ll be suprised at just how flavoursome even the hottest chillies can be.


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A sight that gets me reaching for a paintbrush!

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Is That a Flower?

Natalie, I suggest that you look away now.

I really don’t want to show off but I really can’t help myself. I do believe that my plants are approaching puberty.

Look . . . .

Is that a little flower bud coming there? I like to think that it is! And to think that I knew it when it was just a seed.

By way of an update, my crèche now consists of;

8 Bhut Jolokia, 6 Cayenne, 6 Hot Lemon (thanks Elin), 5 Jalapeno, 4 Cheyanne, 3 Piri Piri (?), 3 Habanero (from the ‘Pot Noodle’ style purchase) and 1 Scotch Bonnet. I plan to add others as I find them at nurseries and I will be also giving plants away as there’s no way we have space for this lot when they have all grown up!

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I really don’t know what all the professional horticulturists are playing about at. It’s that simple.

This is grow-your-own food for the Pot-Noodle generation. Our local ‘discount’ store are selling these for £1 each, and surely no Chilli aficionado could resist such an offer (well, I couldn’t). For your pound you get a nifty looking pot, some powdery compost and 15 Habanero seeds. The instructions recommend that you pour in 100ml of water, add the seeds and up will pop ‘unusual fruit with fierce heat’, which sounds just wonderful.

However, no-where on the pot does it give any indication of when this might happen. After a week of mounting excitement all I have so far is a little condensation. Knowing a little about these things I know that a week isn’t long enough but the whole concept is making me impatient; this is convenience marketing and packaging design where it really doesn’t belong.

Open, Pour, Water, Grow  . . . Where’s my Chillies?

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I have been fussing over my seedlings for some weeks now and the time has come to share this obsession.

I started before Christmas but I now realise that was too early. I have a heated windowsill propagator and managed to germinate a few reluctant-to-get-moving seeds, but subsequent attempts have overtaken them, and looking far healthier into the bargain too. Twice a day I coo at them, clean their clear plastic lids and carefully water them. Indeed, today the largest of the Jalapenos have been potted on in order to make space and are to spend their first night on the kitchen windowsill, their first night out of the nursery. I hope they don’t catch a chill.

Already  germinated I have Jalapenos of course, my ‘mystery chilli’ that I call Sprites (both from seeds obtained form last years peppers), Hot Lemon (gifted to me by the very charming Elin of Stockholm) and Bhut Jolokias which were mentioned in an earlier post; they are coming on fine despite living in a world far removed from their native Assam. Today I started some Cayenne seeds off, and no doubt next week I will start something else.

Jalapeno, planted as a seed on January 3rd. Good hey?

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After only nine days in the propagator I have my first Bhut Jolokia seedling.  I placed the seed in some John Innes Seed Potting compost in a  mini coir pot and onto a heated windowsill propagator, with a view of (far from) tropical Thurmaston out of the window. This was on January the 9th and I wasn’t expecting to see anything until well into February.

I must have unwittingly created the perfect conditions. All I can say is that Assam is nothing like I’d imagined it to be.

Further along the windowsill I have some others which have been languishing in this sub-tropical environment since before Christmas, so I think that I might have a bit of ‘recycling’ to look forward to.

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