Chilli Growing Guide FOLLOW THIS GUIDE FOR A BUMPER HARVEST OF CHILLIES
ILLIE H C T O
Ultim a Grow te Chilli ing K it:
Seed Tamp Sowing er:
1. Sow the chilli seeds ■
Fill a seed tray with compost and flatten the compost down using a Tamper. Place seeds on the surface of the compost, space the seeds evenly and sow a few more than you need. Cover the seeds with approx. 0.5cm to 1cm of compost. Water the compost so that it is damp but not saturated. If you have a propagator put the seed tray in the propagator and put the lid on. Put the seed tray or propagator in a warm place away from direct sunlight. The room needs to be a minimum of 18°C.
Sowing seeds is best done between March and late May, but if you have a heated propagator you can sow seeds as early as February. 3 Pa ck o f Chill i See ds:
2. Care for the seedlings ■
Day 7 -10: Seedlings should appear but some varieties can take up to 28 days to germinate – see your seed packet for details. Once the seedlings have appeared, move the propagator/seed trays to a bright, warm part of the house, a windowsill is ideal. Keep the compost moist, but not saturated. If you are using a propagator lid, remove the lid when all seedlings have appeared.
Goat Horn Chilli is used in Asian cooking, or use Nepali Orange if you like it hot!
ng in E land
3. Transfer to pots ■
Day 17 – 20: Seedlings of most varieties will be large enough to be moved into individual 3 inch pots. Fill a 3 inch pot with compost and use a dibber or pencil to make a hole large enough for the seedling. Hold the seedling by its leaves and gently lever up and out of the seed tray with a dibber or pencil and lower the seedling into its new pot. Gently firm the compost around the plant ensuring the roots are covered by adding compost to fill the pot. Water the compost so it is damp but not saturated. Place the pots in a warm and sunny spot: a heated greenhouse, conservatory or windowsill in a warm room are all ideal.
There are nearly 400 varieties of chilli in the world.
4. Transfer to the final pot Once the plants are 6 to 8 inches tall, plant them into your Chilligrow or other chosen pot between 6 and 12 inches (see seed instructions for ideal pot size). If using a Chilligrow follow the assembly instructions. ■ ■
Fill your pots with multi-purpose compost. Make a hole in the compost large enough for your plant. Tap or slide your plant out of the plant pot. You should see white roots on the outside of the compost, which hold the compost in the pot shape. If not, then your plant is not ready to transfer. Surround the plant with compost, firm compost around the plant and add more compost to fill the pot. Water so that the compost is damp but not saturated.
Chilli plants need to be kept above 17°c during the daytime.
Ther m Hygr ometer & ome ter:
Chill ig Plan row ter:
5. Caring for your plant Your chilli plants need to be kept at a daytime temperature of at least 17°C. They can be placed outside once all risk of frost has past, but they will do better if kept in a greenhouse or indoors overnight until the Summer. If you are using the Chilligrow keep the SmartReservoir topped-up as per the Chilligrow instructions. If you are growing your chillies in a standard pot take care not to let the plant dry out too much or to over-water.
“The Chilligrow produced the best most consistent results, all the plants in the Chilligrow look excellent” - David, Chile Foundry. 6. Harvesting Your plants will produce ripe fruit 2 - 4 months after sowing. Harvest chillies as and when they ripen to encourage the plant to produce more chillies. Cut chillies off the plant with scissors or a sharp knife. If you are growing your chillies in a standard pot take care not to overwater or to let the plant dry out. ■ ■ ■
Slug G Pelle one ts:
Pests and Diseases Slugs and Snails -The biggest problem for the Chilli grower. Usual signs of a slug or snail attack are the usual slime trails, the young branches near the base of the plant have been stripped away overnight or often the centre of the leaves have been munched away. These prefer dark damp places to live so basic housekeeping such as keep your plants free from any fallen leaves and manually remove any slugs or snails you find. Alternative methods to deter slug and snails include copper tape or rings, or sprinkling egg shells or used coffee grounds round the base of the plant. We always use Slug Gone Wool Pellets.
£7.95 or 2
Aphids - These can infest your chillies at any time of the season. They look like tiny white flecks usually gathered around the shoot tips, flower buds or young leaves. An easy solution to these pests is to spray your chillies with a very weak soap solution. Natural predators of the Aphid are lady birds and hover flies, attract these to your garden by planting marigolds and other bright flowers around your chillies. Mould and Rot - If you are growing in pots, do not over crowd the chillies, keep them well ventilated, and water regularly but not too much. Symptoms can include mould on the leaves, soft fruit, and fungus around the stems.
The usual causes of this is over watering or under watering, so if you are growing in any of our Grow Kits you will not suffer with any of these problems.
ng in E land
Overwintering your Chillies For bigger harvests of your favourite chilli you could overwinter your plant. Overwintering is the practice of providing a protective environment for a plant throughout the winter. The lack of light and the colder temperatures mean that plants don’t grow much at all between October and January, but an overwintered plant can get off to a head start when the light returns in February or March.
Stain l Stee ess l Sco op:
We overwinter our Trinidad Scorpion, this year is its 5th year. Overwintered plants will usually produce a better crop in their second year as the plants can get started more quickly in the spring and enjoy a longer growing season. Capsicum pubescens (such as our Rocoto Red chilli) tend to overwinter better than Capsicum annuum (such as Joe’s Long or Portugal). For bigger, earlier harvests follow our overwintering tips below: Preparation Only attempt to overwinter your strongest looking plants as weaker plants will have a much lower survival rate. Choose only the healthiest pest and disease free plants. Pick - Harvest all the fruit from your plants, including the immature ones. If the plant has unripe fruit then you can ripen them off the plant. Try placing them in a bag with a ripe banana as the ethylene given off the ripe fruit will encourage ripening. Prune - Once the leaves begin to drop, prune your plants leaving about 10-15cm of the main stem. Pot - If your chilli has been grown in the ground you can carefully dig it up and plant into a pot. Any loose old compost can be gently removed, pot up in fresh multipurpose compost. You can also trim back the roots slightly and pot into a smaller pot to help concentrate the energy.
Overwintering Care Watering - The temperatures are lower so the plants will use far less water. Water less frequently to avoid damp conditions and deter mould build up. Check them once a week and water only when the compost is getting dry, this could be as little as every 2 - 3 weeks.
The C Book hilli :
Warmth - Keep your plants frost free, aim for between 5˚C – 12˚C. Anything over 12˚C will encourage your plants to grow and you don’t want this to happen until spring. We put our Trinidad Scorpion in a Vitopod heated propagator and set the thermostat to 10˚C. You can add extra layers depending on the height of your plant. Allow plenty of airflow around your plants to avoid bacterial and viral disease build up. With the Vitopod we recommend opening the vents fully. New season In late February/early March, when the days start to get longer and the weather warms up your plants will start to grow. This is when you can turn the temperature up in your Vitopod heated electric propagator to about 22˚C. Re-plant - By mid to late May your plants won’t need any further protection.
About varieties Which to choose Chilli plants grow into small or medium sized plants from half a metre to two metres tall. How big they grow depends on the variety, so choose a size that is going to comfortably grow in your space. The colours and size of the fruit also vary. Although they all start off as green, they can ripen to red, yellow, orange, purple and even brown, again dependant on variety. Chilli varieties are bred from several different capsicum species. The most common include annuum, chinense, baccatum, frutescens and pubescens. Annuum are the most common species and include Cayenne and Jalapeno as well as bell peppers. Chinense chilli plants are quite delicate, and are best suited to growing inside. Habanero chillies are of the chinense species, along with the Trinidad Scorpion Baccatum chillies originate from South America and can grow up to 5 feet tall. They include the Aji variety. Frutescens are from Brazil and the Mexican city of Tabasco (giving its name to the popular variety). They are a bushy species growing up to 4 feet. Pubescens are also known as Rocoto and originate from Bolivia. These are hardy plants with a long growing season.
ng in E land
Some of our favourite varieties are described below along with their relevant species: All the varieties below are Annuum unless stated. Fresno Supreme - Excellent for stir fries. Thick, mild flesh. Pasilla Bajio - Part of the Mexican Holy Trinity, Dark and brown. Padron - Mild when small and green, and hot if left to mature. Hungarian Black - Short, brown/black fruit with good flavour.
Georgia Flame - Sweet and spicy, thick flesh. Krimson Lee - Excellent choice for pizza, thick sweet flesh. Portugal - Large cayenne fruit, one of the first to begin to fruit. Rocoto Red (pubescens) - Sometimes called ‘Gringo Killer’, slow to mature. Joes Long Cayenne - One of our favourites, good for paprika as it dries well.
Friars Hat - Brightly coloured, short, squat shaped fruits, slow to mature. Ring of Fire - Thin, cayenne type fruit are good for drying and very hot. Pusa Jwala - Popular in Indian curries, excellent knobbly feature. Trinidad Scorpion (chinense) - The curl at the end resembles a Scorpions tail, exceptionally hot. Chocolate Bhut Jolokia (chinense) - The Guinness Book of Record’s hottest chilli in the world. Bih Jolokia - Another name for the Bhut Jolokia
Tasty Grill Yellow Tasty Grill Red Corno Rosso or Corno del Torro
Apache Red Demon Twilight
Any Questions? Contact us
We are here to help, so if you have any questions feel free to contact one of our Gardening Angels:
Call: 0845 602 3774 Email: info@GreenhouseSensation.co.uk Watch our advice videos on our website and Facebook
Hints, tips and special offers search ‘Greenhouse Sensation’
Chilli Growing Guide - Grow your Own Chillies