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Archive for the ‘growing chillies’ Category

Easiest Chillies to Grow Indoors

(1)Daemon Red chili or Thai Chili is very suitable for growing indoors. These peppers are quite small, approximately five to six centimeters long. They are usually red and thin. You can grow them at your home, greenhouse or anywhere else inside. The time of maturity is four to five months. After that, they can be served together with a meal. Daemon Red peppers are very hot but delicious chilies. Consumers have an interesting and pleasant experience while eating them.

(2)The Bhut Jolokia is an extremely hot pepper that grows very well indoors. This chili is great for those who love dangerous pepper varieties. It is definitely one of the hottest chilis in the world, so the consumers should be highly careful while eating it. The Bhut Jolokia originates from Assam in Northeast India and can be found in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Furthermore, this pepper is even used by the Indian army, and it is an interesting fact worth mentioning. The Indian Ministry of Defense replaced controversial pellet bullets with pepper grenades. And the Bhut Jolokia is the main component. We have previously posted guides on how to grow the Bhut Jolokia, to read click here.

(3)The Inferno chili is a moderately hot pepper, and it is not as dangerous as these chilies above. Its country of origin is Hungary, and because of that the Inferno is also called “Hungarian Hot Wax.” The pods can be yellow, light green, orange and red. Home breeding is an ideal condition for the variety, however, it should be totally exposed to Sun. The Inferno has a quite usual look with a normal shape and an average size.

The best place for growth is definitely somewhere near a window because they need a daylight and Sun rays. You can even make a small plant on the balcony, and the peppers will grow during summer. To start, you will need the seeds. Fortunately, you can BUY CHILLI SEEDS HERE and the price is pretty affordable. After that, you should also prepare potting soil, water, and a seed tray. If you do not have them, both can be bought online or in a specialized shop.

Their prices vary, so pay attention while buying. When you have all this, the seeds are ready to be planted. Firstly, put potting soil into the seed tray, and then place the seeds an inch down into the soil. Now, they are ready to be watered, so you should do that. Pay attention to your chili plants, watch them every day, and repeat watering when the soil becomes dry.

 

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Serrano Chili and How to Grow Serrano Chili

Serrano chili peppers, also known as Capsicum annuum longum, was originally grown in the mountains of Mexico. The name serrano, is derived from the term sierras which refers to the mountains in that region. Serrano chili pepper is several times hotter than the Japapeno pepper, scoring a Scoville Scale rating in between 10,000 – 25,000. Because of the spicy taste it gives, it is often used in hot dishes like Pico de Gallo. The serrano pepper size is about 1-2 inches and they come in dark green and red colours.

 

The first step is to let the serrano chili pepper seeds sprout and it is done by sowing the seeds ¼ inch deep in a seedling tray. It needs some warmth and sunshine in order to germinate properly. Since you have to put it indoor, you can place a heat mat under the tray and put the tray near a window with lots of sun exposure. Artificial lighting is a good substitute if not enough sun is entering through the window.

 

After 2 – 3 weeks, you can transplant the young plant into the garden. There should be a distance of about 12 – 48 inches apart each young plant. Each row should be at least 24 – 36 inches apart. Peppers like warm temperature so you should plant them in places that get lots of sun. The area of the garden where you plant the peppers should have a fertile soil with a PH between 6.2 – 7. The soil must be well drained otherwise it will cause disease like leaf spot.

 

If you want it to yield heavy fruit, your soil must be rich in potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. In addition, you must regularly water the plant and make sure the soil is moist all the time. If your soil don’t have enough nutrients, you can put 3 – 5 inches of compost above the soil. Organic fertilizer is best used to fertilize the plant.

 

When growing them early in spring, you can use a row cover to keep them warm and protect them from the cold. If a surprise spring frost is in the forecast, it is advised that you use a frost blanket to cover and protect the young plants. The plant tend to do poorly and the leaves may turn yellowish when the temperature falls below 55º F or 12º C.

 

The chili is ready for harvesting in 2.5 months starting from the day you transplant them. It will yield a lot of small waxy green fruits in 60 days. After 80 – 100 days, the green peppers will be big and ripe in red, yellow or orange color. When harvesting, you simply use a pruning shear or sharp knife to nip off the chili pepper. The fruit can last longer if you keep the stem attached. After harvesting the peppers, you can keep them in a air tight plastic bag or plastic container in the refrigerator.

 

 


 

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Banana Peppers and How to Grow

Banana pepper is a yellow pepper with waxy skin from the chili pepper family. It is thus named because its color and shape looks like the tropical fruit banana. Most of the time, the fruits it yield are deep yellow color when fully mature but they can also be red or orange color sometimes.

There are many varieties of banana peppers including mild and hot varieties. Mild banana pepper varieties can be harvested faster than the hot banana pepper varieties. Regardless of whether it has a mild or hot flavor, it tastes delicious when used in salad, sandwiches or other recipes.

You can germinate banana pepper plants indoor during the spring or summer when the temperature is warm. The young plant is ready for transplant when it has outgrown the seedling tray. It should be spaced about 18cm – 24 cm apart and each row should be about 24 cm apart.

The temperature should be above 60 degree Fahrenheit when you transplant them. It should be transplanted to an area of your garden that is not exposed to too much wind and receives full sun. In order for it to grow healthily, it needs a minimum of 6 hours of sunshine daily.

If your soil is not fertile, you can mix in compost and manure fertilizer to increase the nutrients. Nitrogen fertilizer should not be used as it only cause more leaves to grow without the increase yielding of fruits. If your soil lack of magnesium, you can spray some Epsom salt on it. It is encouraged to use mulch to reduce weeds and maintain the soil moisture level.

The banana pepper plant will become thirsty quickly so you must regularly water it. When watering, just water enough to keep the soil slightly moist. Lack of watering can cause the fruit to taste bitter. Heavy watering can cause the soil to become waterlogged which can eventually destroy the roots. Watering the plant is during the evening can prevent diseases.

If the plant grows too tall and become lanky, you can set up a trellis or wooden sticks to provide support for it. Peppers do best when the temperature is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature reaches beyond 90 degree Fahrenheit, the blossoms can wither away. To protect your plant from the scorching sun, you can set up a shelter to provide some shade.

You can harvest the banana peppers when they reach full size and the skin is thick and firm. As soon as they become yellow color, you can harvest them. You can also wait for it to turn red or orange color to harvest them. When harvesting, use a pair of scissor to nip it off rather than pulling it off the plant with hand. Banana peppers is best used to make pickles when they you are not able to use them within a week.

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Anaheim Chili Peppers and How to Grow

 

Anaheim chili peppers, also known as New Mexican chile, was first grown in Hatch Valley in New Mexico, California. It is a mild type of chili pepper that scores in between 500 – 2,500 in the Scoville heat rating. The thick walled pepper can add both sweet and spicy taste to your dishes. It is a tradition for the New

Mexicans to string together dried anaheim peppers to make chili ornaments.

Growing Anaheim pepper starts with sowing the seeds indoor in a seedling tray with shallow potting medium. Each seed is to be sown ¼ inch deep in the potting medium. To create an ideal condition, you can place the tray near the window where there is some sunlight and use a heat mat to keep it warm.

After 2 – 3 weeks, you can transplant the pepper plant to a sunny area in the garden. During transplanting, the soil temperature must be above 55 degree Fahrenheit and the day time temperature must be above 65 degree Fahrenheit. Anaheim pepper requires light and well drained soil. If your soil is heavy like clay soil, you can add compost or sand to make it lighter. Compost can also be added to fertilize the soil.

Prior to transplanting, you can perform a soil test to check the soil pH. The ideal soil pH for growing Anaheim pepper is in between 5.5 – 7. If the soil has low pH, you can raise it by adding limestone. Adding sulfur can reduce the pH of the soil. If you live in a cool region, it is recommended that you use black plastic to mulch the soil so as to keep the young plants warm. Mulching also helps to prevent weeds from growing.

The seed should be planted in rows that are at least 1 feet apart and each seed should be spaced at least 2 feet apart. If you are growing in a raised bed, the seeds should be planted about 14 inches apart. It is important to water the plant consistently. You must take care not to water it too much as it can cause the plant and fruit to rot.

Healthy Anaheim pepper plant can reach up to 18 – 24 inches tall. You must wait for at least 74 – 80 days to harvest the fruits. When the first fruit appear, you can fertilizer it with a 5-10-10 fertilizer. As a rule of thumb, you should avoid using too much nitrogen as it can reduce the fruit growth.

Each pepper can grow up to 7.5 inches long. When unripe, it is light green in color but it will turn into deep red color when fully mature. It will be laden with heavy fruit in the summer if the temperature at night is not higher than 90 degrees.

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Red Chilli Pepper Hummus and Recipe

Red pepper hummus chili is a healthy snack that can effectively fill your hunger cravings in between your meals. Making your own red pepper hummus is the healthiest option as store bought versions are often salty and have a lot of additives. Not only is it healthier to make your own hummus but it is also cheaper and you can make more for your family. It is incredibly easy to make your own red chili pepper hummus.

The main ingredients used in making this recipe are roasted red peppers, chickpeas, and jalapeno pepper. All these ingredients are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. Chickpeas is beneficial for your health in many ways. Scientific research has proven that it can reduce cholesterol level and colon cancer risk. Hummus is a rich source of fiber and eating it regularly can improve your digestive system. Fiber rich food can also help to control the blood sugar level.

Ingredients
2 medium red pepper (cut into strips)
1 large jalapeno pepper (deseeded and chopped to small pieces)
2 ½ cup chickpeas (soaked overnight)
½ tsp cumin
3 tsp paprika
3 tsp red pepper flakes
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp sea salt

Instructions
1. The first step is to roast the red pepper in the oven. You must first cut the red peppers into medium strips and then put them on a baking tray. The seeds and majority of the white pith should be removed prior to baking. Bake at 450 degree celsius for about 10 minutes until the edges are slightly brown in color.
2. While it is baking, you can add the jalapeno pepper, chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, and cumin in a food processor. When the red bell pepper is baked, take it out and wrap it with a sheet of aluminum foil. You can place it under the cover to cool for at least 30 minutes. When it is cooled down, you can easily peel the skin.
3. After peeling the pepper, chop it into small pieces and add it into the food processor. At this point, you can add the 2 tbsp olive oil. You can add more olive oil to obtain a smoother texture. Pulse for 1 minute and then stop to add 1 tbsp water. If you want the hummus to be thinner, you can pulse for longer time and add more water.
4. The hummus is now ready to serve. There are many ways to garnish the hummus. Some people like to sprinkle red diced peppers or red pepper flakes on top. You can garnish with fresh herbs like parsley sprigs. You can eat it directly with a spoon. It is best served with crackers, vegetable sticks, or pita bread. If you want to save for tomorrow, make sure you keep it in an airtight container in a refrigerator.

 

 

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Easy to Grow Trinidad Scorpion Hottest Pepper

Trinidad Scorpion Hottest Pepper


We are often asked, what is the hottest pepper in the world? When it comes to the world’s hottest pepper that can give you goose bumps and turn you red, nothing can beat Trinidad Scorpion Chilli. This exceptionally hot chilli pepper is especially grown in Australia and is a Capsicum Chinese cultivar. Trinidad scorpion Chili is one of the hottest peppers in the world. As is evident from the name, this species is indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago, hence sometimes referred to as the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chili. Being one of the world’s hottest peppers, it finds its use in a number of chili sauce companies. The pointed ends of the pepper apparently resemble a scorpion’s stinger and hence the name scorpion.

This chilli is so hot on the pepper scale that you might have to wear protective gear while using this in your food. Without wearing gloves, you might have to endure pumping heat for a couple of days. Also, if you eat this spicy pepper, you can feel your mouth going numb.

Hottest Chili Pepper Uses

  • Trinidad Scorpion contains capsaicin that is of immense use for people suffering from skin disease like psoriasis to inflammation and itching.
  • This ingredient also helps in suppressing appetite, according to some research.
  • Capsaicin also helps in preventing the growth of prostate cancer cells.
  • This is also used to cure arthritis pain as well as neuropathic pain.
  • This red hot chilli can also be beneficial for curing and treating ear infections. According to a study, this also helps in treating heartburn.

Easy to Grow Chili Trinidad Scorpion

If you are ready to grow some of the reasonably spiciest and hottest peppers in your backyard, then you should definitely go for Trinidad Scorpion chilli. Also, you can easily grow this chilli in your garden and take up this exciting project. The process is not at all complicated and mainly involves planting, watering and harvesting. All the more, growing Trinidad Scorpion chili is an easy and inexpensive project.

  1. So, as an initial step, you need to fill up a tray with Trinidad Scorpion seeds. Plant the hot chili pepper seeds carefully at a depth of ¼ inch in the tray. You have to plant them almost 10 weeks prior to the last expected cold frost. Following this, water the pepper seeds properly with hot or lukewarm water right after planting the seeds.
  2. Your next step would be to place this tray somewhere with a temperature of 85 degrees F or 30 degrees C and with sound air circulation. The tray should be uncovered. At this chili sprouting stage, temperature becomes more important than light. Hence, place the tray in a dark area. Maintain moisture around the young plants and seeds. The chili pepper soil should not be soggy or wet.
  3. After the Trinidad scorpion seeds have sprouted, move the seedlings to somewhere where they can get access to 10 hours of sunlight. Here, maintain a temperature of 70 degrees F or 22 degrees C.
  4. Now, plant the chili seedlings in your backyard 2 weeks following the last cold weather. By now, the plants must have grown to 12 inches high. The planting bed should get complete sunlight and the temperature should be between 60 to 95 degrees F or 15-35 C. If there are hotter areas in garden, put the growing chili peppers in shade. Maintain a space of 2 feet between the pepper plants in the planting bed.
  5. Now it’s time to fertilize the chili peppers sprinkle granular fertiliser (5-10-10) alongside the rows of chilli plants after they have blossomed. Fertiliser will provide the essential nutrition for the pepper plants to grow fully.
  6. To water your chili plants do so in the early evening or in morning, water your pepper plants well with sprinkler or watering can to simulate rainfall. Maintain dampness in the soil without getting them soggy.
  7. The final stage is to harvest your chili peppers which can occur approximately 40-100 days following the planting of the chili seeds. By now, the young peppers will grow green, yellow and then red. So, now they are ready to be picked.

For best results, provide rainwater or non-chlorinated water to your chili pepper plants. However, care needs to be taken while planting the hot pepper seeds. It’s highly necessary to wear latex gloves and wash hands with soap after planting them.

 

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Where to Buy Willy Peppers Chili Pepper

Our site has had so much traffic from the Peter Pepper chilli, that we must do another post with some links to help you purchase some!

Laugh away, it’s totally ok. It’s not hard to understand why, this unique chili is rude, crude and outright fantastic.

 

Chilli Willy Peter Pepper Appearance

Willy Peppers Chili PepperWhen you see it, you can’t ignore its shape. The chilly willy or peter pepper is accurately named. When fully grown and ripened, the chilli pod has a long conical shape and a bulbous end that shares an uncanny resemblance to… well we all know!

It doesn’t only look good but also taste spicy (excuse the pun…)

Attending a dinner or BBQ with this chili is a good conversation starter between your family and friends. The chilli pods go from green to red over time.

 

Chilli Willy Penis Pepper Taste and Heat

Medium-hot to pretty darn fiery (reportedly in the 10,000 to 23,000 scoville scale Units range) and are good tasting (great for spicing up salsa as well as conversation).

Once you get past the laughs, there’s a pretty significant hot pepper here – hotter than a jalapeño.

 

 

Where to Buy Willy Peppers & Chilli Willy Penis Pepper Availability

You might be able to find them at farmer’s markets if you are lucky, but if you really want chili willy peter peppers, you’re going to need to invest time into growing them. Peter pepper seeds are widely available online, and that’s how this chili has survived and grown its cult following over the years.

This is the trickiest part. These chilies are, in fact, pretty rare to find. Many people grow peter peppers, but, for obvious reasons, they aren’t typically carried in big-box supermarkets. These chilies are too likely to cause an uproar.

Seeds are hard to obtain around the world and are limited. but we have them here!

Buy Willy Peppers & Buy Chili Willy Penis Pepper HERE!

 

 

 

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This is one naughty pepper, that’s for sure. In fact, it gives the popular term “food porn” a whole new meaning. If you want your own peck of peter peppers, you’ll need to be on the look-out (or get ready to grow them). But, when you do find them, enjoy the laugh along with the good taste.

Growing Chillies – Pettie Belle

Pettie Belle, as it is called in Africa or Bell Pepper in various other parts of the world, is a necessary addition to various types of cuisine is across the world. It is a great addition to any kind of sauces, main courses as well as salads. There are various types of new varieties that can be found from the various types of seeds and nurseries, which can include mini-bells and colored bells that you might be hardPettie Belle Chilis pressed to find in your grocery store. Even the farmers market would not help you to find such wonderful bell peppers. However, you can easily grow such papers in your backyard, particularly in very little space. For example, you could grow them in your small container, and start harvesting them in order to create the best Pepper for your meals.

 

Starting the cultivation:

In case you would like to grow bell pepper of an exotic variety like the Pettie Belle, you have to secure the seed from nurseries of your choice. If it is late winter, then start the seeds indoors. You should choose an area that contains plenty of light and warmth, or you could set up halogen lights and add a heat mat under the seeding tray so as to create a small greenhouse.

 

You can then choose a large pea pot, or large coir which can be planted directly into the ground. The peppers can then be transplanted from the pots made out of plastic to that secure location without having the roots disturbed.

 

After that, fill up your pot with good and lose potting soil. Plant your seeds according to the depth recommended in the Internet or given in the plastic packet containing the seeds. Always keep the soil moist, but not filled with water.

 

Pettie Belle

Pettie Belle Chilis

After the seedlings emerge, always make sure that you can turn them regularly, do not allow the plant to get bent; keep changing the direction of the light.

 

When the time comes for you to plant the pepper outdoors, always make sure that you take them outside for an hour or so in order to harden them. After a few days, keep increasing the time of keeping the plant outside in the sun, until you feel that the plant has been acclimatized, and there is no chance of any sunburn happening to the plant.

 

Make sure that the place is watered uniformly, do not allow the soil to dry out, and make sure that there is no sitting water. If the soil is excessively dry, particularly in the hot and windy days, then there would be no fruits, and the flowers will not bloom.

 

After the first batch of flower blooms, release some fertilizer. This will help you to get the best possible outcome from the Pettie Belle plant.

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Bell Peppers – Growing and Uses

Grow Bell Peppers in your kitchen garden and enjoy its amazing uses

If you are passionate about growing chillies, then you would be definitely aware of the fact that it is indeed a very challenging process, demanding a chunk of your time, patience and effort. Nevertheless, at the end, it is also a very rewarding one. Nurturing chilli plants is an extremely delicate process. Certainly, you need to bring it up with care, attention and details. You would find the process to be simple with no iota of complications.

 

About bell peppers

Bell Peppers

Multiple Colorful Fresh Bell Peppers in Baskets

Bell peppers are tender crops especially grown in warm seasons. So, once you crave for the sweet, spicy and hot touch to your meals, think of growing bell peppers. They come in a range of sizes, shapes and colours. To grow this seed, you have to start your garden for summer. Once you grow them in summers, you can freeze them throughout the winter to add them to soups and sizzlers.

 

Bell peppers are usually red, green orange and yellow. However, you can also try growing the rarely coloured ones like white, brown, dark purple, lavender, etc. They are most versatile veggies making place in your kitchen and garden, no matter where you are in the world.

 

Also known as sweet pepper, capsicum or pepper in various corners of the world, bell pepper is a cultivator group of Capsicum annuum species. Besides being a veggie, it is a botanical fruit that has a plethora of culinary and health benefits.

Germinating your chilli seeds
Let’s look into how you can grow bell peppers, a common and spicy chilly variety.

You can start seeding it indoors almost 10 weeks prior to previous spring frost date.
For germination, maintain temperature of 70 degrees F and keep in warm place for quicker and better results.
Start with 3 seeds to one pot and thin out the most fragile seedling. Meanwhile, the remaining two will grow as single plant.
Commence hardening off almost 10 days prior to transplanting.
Introduce aged compost and fertiliser to the soil a week ahead of transplanting.
Now, transplant the seeds outdoors with 24 inches in between.
Maintain 65 degrees F within the soil

Caution
Carefully place match sticks (2-3) in the hole with the plants along with spoonful of fertilisers.
Drain the soil well and maintain sufficient moisture.
Fertilise following the initial fruit set.
Weed carefully.
Water two inches every week, depending on your regional climate.

 

Uses of bell pepper
You can spice up your daily and boring meals with such bell peppers grown in your garden. More so, they also add perky crunch and zest to pizzas, wraps, tacos, etc. When roasted, they taste peppy. So, are you already craving to have them? Well, then it’s time to grow them in your garden. Here are some amazing uses of bell pepper.

Bell peppers are known to contain ample of vitamin C that fortifies your immunity and brings glow to your skin. You would find concentration of vitamin C in red bells.
They are known to be low in calories and hence bring good news to the health conscious ones. No wonder, it is a great addition to the platter of obese. On gulping down a full cup of bells, you will gain just 45calories.
Red bell peppers are a jackpot of carotenoids and phytochemicals. The beta-carotene can furnish you with anti-inflammatory benefits and antioxidants.
The sulphur content protects certain kinds of cancer.
These chillies also contain enzymes like lutein that works wonder in protecting macular degeneration and cataracts.
They are rich in vitamin B6 that lavishes you with a healthy nervous system and renewed cells.
The capsaicin content in bell peppers can reduce diabetes, bad cholesterol, inflammation and pain.

Bell peppers make great salads and addition to casseroles and soups. Also, they can be grilled, stuffed and placed on sandwiches for crunchy snacks.

 

Pop some bright coloured bell peppers into your veggie basket and start reaping the amazing benefits.

bell peppers, growing chili, stuffed peppers

bell peppers, growing chili, stuffed peppers

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Expert Guide to Growing Chillies

Growing chillies is a very rewarding process, but often it’s the simplest things that get in the way of a great chili harvest, follow the advice below, and with a little care and attention you could be enjoying juicy, great tasting chillies in no time.

Germinating your chilli seeds

Many of us struggle with germinating chilli seeds and getting them out of the ground! First of all, make sure that you select a good compost or seed mix, and gently work out any hard lumps from the soil. Then place your chili seeds on top of the soil, planting them roughly 1-2 inches apart if planting multiple chile seeds. Then loosely sprinkle some soil over the seeds, but do not compact.

There are 2 main points that you will need to keep in mind to maximise your chances of germination. The first one is moisture – you can soak your pot(s) from the bottom using a tray filled with water the first time you water them to saturate the soil and activate your chilli seeds. For maintaining the moisture in the soil it is best to use a fine mist plant sprayer to water from the top. Aim to keep the soil moist but not soggy as this may cause your seeds to rot before them come up – just use your finger to test the surface of the soil. Watering your seed trays or pots with a plant sprayer causes less disturbance to your germinating seeds.

The second important point to note is temperature. Chilli seeds require a constant temperature range of between 27-32 degrees C (80-90 degrees F). This is easily achieved using a heated propagator, however an airing cupboard works extremely well for this purpose also.

Remember to keep checking your pots to see if any seedlings have emerged, as you will then need to move them to a well lit area such as a sunny window sill, otherwise you will end up with thin and wispy plants.

Re-potting your chilli plants into larger pots

When your seedlings get 3 sets of leaves and are strong enough to handle, now is the time to pot them on into a bigger pot. Chillies need to be potted on as they grow, otherwise their growth will slow and you may well miss the fruiting season because of this. Be careful not to damage the delicate roots when moving your seedlings and make sure you take as much soil as you can from the original pot to protect the root ball.

When potting on your chilli plant seedlings, it is better to increase the pot size gradually to allow the plant to adapt to the increased space and grow strong roots.

A good way to tell if your chilli plant needs replanting into a larger pot is by checking the drainage holes on the bottom of your pot – if you can see any root tips emerging from these holes, then now is a good time to transplant to a bigger pot. In addition, if your chilli plant suddenly droops for no reason and it has enough water, then this could also be a sign that it requires more space.

You can also plant your chilli plant outdoors once the danger of last frost has gone, although chilli plants usually grow quicker in warmer areas such as a sunny window sill or greenhouse.

When to water your chilli plants and how much

Often overlooked is the importance of watering. One of the most common situations is over-watering. Chilli plants like their soil to dry out before watering them again – they don’t like wet feet!

You can tell if your chilli plant needs water by its leaves – if they are drooping, give it a drink. The best way is to use your finger to test the top of the soil. Again, moist but not soggy is the goal here and if your plant looks well, then it probably is.

What to do when your chilli plant flowers

Once your chilli plant starts to produce flowers, you are doing well! Soon you will be enjoying the fruits of your labour, but now is a good time to highlight the importance of plant nutrition.

A lot is going when your chilli plant is in the flowering and fruiting stage and you will need to make sure that your plant has the correct nutrients it requires in order to produce big juicy chillies. You can feed your chilli plant with a general tomato fertiliser as chilli and tomato plants are very similar, however it is much better to feed your chili plants with a special chilli fertiliser, as they do have specific nutritional requirements – Chilli Focus fertiliser produces very tasty and juicy chillies and is organic based.

Remember to feed your chilli plant twice a week when it is fruiting and once a week at all other times to make sure it has all the nutrients it needs throughout the different stages of growth. This also makes your plants strong when it comes to “overwinter” them for next season.

Pollinating the flowers on your chilli plant

Unless your plants are outside where they are naturally pollinated by insects and the wind, then you will need to pollinate the flowers yourself as they open on your plant. You can do this with a small soft brush by gently dusting each flower. You will then notice over the next week or so that the flowers start to fall off and the fruits will begin to grow.

Chilli plants can also easily cross-pollinate with one another by insects or by air if the plants are close to each other, so if you are growing several different varieties, you may want to keep them apart as you will probably end up with some hybrids chillies.

Finally, make sure your plant gets lots of sunlight during this period and you will have some great tasting chillies at the end of the season!

Overwintering your chilli plants for next season’s crop

A common misconception is that chillies are annuals, but they can and will come back year after year, producing more and more chillies each season. Overwintering, as it is called, is the process of making sure your plant is ready to “sleep” for the winter. Feeding your plant well throughout the year can help make it’s roots and stem strong enough for the cold months ahead.

With a little care, a properly over-wintered chilli plant can bring a larger harvest, which will also arrive a little earlier in the season compared to growing again from seed. This is because when your plant “wakes up” in the spring, it already has an established root ball, so has a head start in the growing cycle.

The first thing to do when overwintering your chile plants is to pick all of the chillies from the plant when the growing season is over – this tells the plant to produce more in future.

Next you can prune back the plant to approximately 1/3 of its original height. This may sound harsh, but it allows the plant to conserve its energy for the next growing season by not having to maintain all that extra foliage, a bit like when you prune back a rose.

You will also need to keep your plants somewhere with a warm average temperature, where it doesn’t get too chilly in the night. Remember that you plant will also require a lot less water while it is dormant – once every 2 weeks is enough. Again, you can use your finger to test this.

Your plant will slow its growth as it goes into hibernation, so don’t worry if you don’t see any new shoots for a while. Come spring time, give it a few weeks and your plant will start to shoot and burst into life, read for the new years growing season with more chillies than you ever imagined! So, what are you waiting for, plant your chili seeds now and soon you could be enjoying plentiful fresh chillies that you can cook and entertain with.

 

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