This could be a winner!
In a previous post I mentioned that my Chilli plants didn’t seem as big as I would have expected them to be right now. In view of this I decided to up the ante in the fertilisation stakes. I changed from my normal fertilizer (Chilli Focus) to one higher in nitrogen. (Vitax V4) The idea behind this was to encourage the plants to grow more quickly. I wanted to accelerate growth.
Guess what? It worked
When I first decided to accelerate growth my tallest plants were in the region of 12 inches (300 mm high). They are now between 16 and 18 inches (400 to 450 mm) tall. That’s not bad for about a month!
While I believe this new fertilization has contributed massively to this new growth, I also must acknowledge that we also had more sunshine during this period. The two together have resulted in these impressive results.
When you are feeding Chilli plants more nitrogen and phosphorus you must be careful. Feed them too much, and you will get big green plants with lots of leaves. Don’t expect many Chillies though. There is a delicate balance. When the plants have reached a reasonable size, the nitrogen needs to be reduced, and the plants should start getting extra potassium to encourage flower formation and fruit set.
Potash (the commonly used term for potassium) also toughens Chilli plants to resist pets and disease. It does this by promoting strong growth. In essence, making the plant stronger so it can fight off these threats to its health.
Based on my experience so far, it seems we could be on to a winner. Using a fertilizer like Vitax Q4 (which has high nitrogen and phosphorous) during final potting on certainly seems to work well. The results are impressive
I am fortunate this year on the flower formation front. Many of my Chilli plants now either have buds or are blooming. In fact, two of my plants already have Chillies. A Barak Chilli plant (that I started from seed) has two Chillies and lots of flowers. The other plant to produce its first Chillies is a Scotch bonnet that I overwintered from last year’s season. This is the second plant I overwintered from last year to produce Chillies.
I believe the flower formation was the result of the higher Potash content of the Vitax 4 fertilizer that I switched to accelerate growth. Vitex 4, not only has a higher nitrogen and phosphorous content than my normal Chilli Focus, but also has a higher potassium level. So, where I would normally only switch to my high potassium fertilizer at this point, these plants already have flowers. They didn’t need the switch over to form flowers and produce Chillies. To further encourage flower formation and fruit set, they will however start getting Champak 4. This is the fertilizer with the potassium levels
Besides my bigger Chili plants (which were potted on for the final time about a month ago) I also have plants that need to be repotted . These plants are now about eight inches tall and will be potted on the for the final time this year. It will be interesting to see if I have the same rapid growth from these plants when they are introduced to Vitax Q4 for the first time. If it does, it will get my unreserved thumbs up (see note).
This is my own personal unsolicited assessment. It has not been sponsored by the manufacturer in any way at all.