Chillies, with their vibrant and diverse array of flavours ranging from the mild sweetness of bell peppers to the scorching intensity of Habaneros, have captivated and tantalized the world’s culinary senses for centuries. Whether you’re a seasoned horticulturist with years of experience or just embarking on the fascinating journey of pepper cultivation, the act of saving chilli seeds emerges as a profoundly eco-friendly and remarkably cost-effective method. It guarantees a steadfast and deeply satisfying harvest of your cherished pepper varieties with each passing growing season.
The practice of saving chilli seeds extends beyond mere horticultural pragmatism. It embodies sustainability at its core, cultivating a legacy that transcends generations. Not only is it a gratifying endeavour, but it also serves as a vital conduit for preserving the distinct and cherished characteristics of your beloved Chilli varieties Picture, for a moment, the delightful jalapeño that elevated your salsa to perfection or the heirloom chilli whose cultural significance resonated with you. By carefully and thoughtfully saving their seeds, you embark on a culinary journey that ensures the replication of those exceptional flavours, intoxicating aromas, and distinctive heat levels in your future harvests. Beyond the gastronomic realm, this act empowers you to actively participate in the preservation and perpetuation of heirloom and open-pollinated chilli varieties, safeguarding their survival and cultural heritage, a vital link between the past and the future.
In this extensive and informative guide, we are committed to immersing ourselves even further into the intricate art of saving chilli seeds, offering an abundance of detailed insights and invaluable tips that will empower you to cultivate exceptional Chill plants year after year. So, without further ado, let’s grab our secateurs, step into the garden, and commence the thrilling process of hand-picking your favourite chillies Read more
Spicy and nice
Embark on a gastronomic journey crafting a vegetarian masterpiece – the timeless classic, vegetarian pizza. With pre-purchased pizza bases as our canvas, we blend flavours harmoniously, orchestrating a medley of tastes that delight the palate.
At the heart of our culinary creation lies the rich tapestry of tomato sauce, providing the perfect foundation for this savoury delight. Melted mozzarella embraces the pizza, creating a comforting familiarity with each gooey bite.
But the adventure doesn’t end there; it flourishes as we adorn our pizza with an array of fresh vegetables. Juicy tomatoes, vibrant bell peppers, and hearty mushrooms offer a burst of colour and flavour, elevating the pizza’s texture to new heights. Tangy onions add a delightful sweetness, while sunny kernels of sweetcorn provide a contrast of natural goodness.
For those seeking an extra kick, dashes of fiery green chillies awaken the senses, turning up the excitement with every mouthful.
Join us on this delectable adventure as we unlock the secrets to creating a pizza that embodies the artful composition of vegetarian bounty. Let your culinary creativity soar and indulge in the joy of crafting the ultimate vegetarian pizza. So, don your aprons and let the symphony of flavours begin!
At this point in the season, some of my plants have started flowering. It is at this point that I change my fertilisation regime to help my plants make the transition from vegetative growth to the all-important fruit set stage.
An essential element for this stage is phosphorous. Phosphorus, along with nitrogen and potassium, constitutes one of the three primary nutrients that plants require for optimal growth. Its significance lies in its vital role in various plant processes, including energy transfer, photosynthesis, and the synthesis of DNA and RNA. However, when considering chilli plants and their flowering stage, phosphorus takes centre stage due to its specific importance.
During the flowering phase, chillies undergo a remarkable physiological transformation. They redirect their resources from leaf and stem development towards the production of captivating flowers, which ultimately give rise to the formation of delectable fruits. This transition necessitates an ample supply of phosphorus to support the intricate metabolic processes involved in flower initiation and development. Phosphorus acts as a key player in the biochemical reactions responsible for the formation of floral structures, including the differentiation of reproductive tissues and the generation of vibrant petals.
Furthermore, phosphorus plays a crucial role in regulating the timing and intensity of flowering in chilli plants. It influences the expression of flowering-related genes and the synthesis of floral hormones, thereby influencing the plant’s ability to undergo successful flowering.
With the warmer weather fast approaching, I have made sure that some of my bigger Chilli plants have been hardened off. Hardening off is a process in which Chilli plants are gradually introduced to outside conditions over a period of about ten days until they have become accustomed to being left outside permanently.
At this stage, these Chilli plants have typically reached a height of around 8-12 inches or more. The stems have thickened and become sturdier to support the weight of the foliage and fruit. The leaves have expanded in size, and the plants have developed a healthy canopy of green foliage.
The root system of the Chilli plants has also expanded and filled the space in the current containers. You may notice roots appearing through the drainage holes or circling around the bottom of the container. The roots are crucial for nutrient uptake and anchoring the plant.
The hardening-off process starts with taking the plants outside for initially an hour a day when outside overnight temperatures average 8 to 10 degrees Celsius and increasing their outside exposure by an hour a day until the plants have been left outdoors for at least ten hours. At this point, they become hardened to the rigours of direct sunlight, wind, etc. The temperatures in the early morning also tend to stay around 8 degrees Celsius at this time of the year in the UK, so there is no danger that the plants will be harmed by the cold.
With the hardening-off process completed, I will now be doing the final potting of these plants into the containers that they will spend the rest of the season in, as they have now reached the final stage of growth before flowering and bearing fruit.
I have a batch of chilli seedlings that are not thriving as well as the others I planted at the same time. They are small and exhibit stunted growth, showing signs of various nutrient deficiencies. These deficiencies include yellowing at the leaf edges (leaf margin chlorosis) and browning at the tips of the leaves. To address this issue, I have decided to conduct an experiment using a multi-pronged approach.
Considering that the stunted growth could be attributed to various factors such as seed viability, watering, lighting, pests (like aphids), and the mentioned nutrient deficiencies, I will systematically tackle each potential obstacle to promote healthier growth in these plants.
While there is not a lot I can do if the initial problem was seed viability I will do everything I can to see if it is possible to address the other potential causes
Firstly, I will ensure that the plants are free of aphids. I plan to wash them thoroughly and apply an aphid treatment to keep them aphid-free for a while.
Next, I will change the potting soil, making sure the pH falls between 5 and 6, as Chilli plants prefer slightly acidic soil. Alongside this, I will treat the seedlings’ roots with an inoculant of mycorrhizal fungi, which can enhance nutrient uptake by establishing a beneficial relationship with the plant roots. In this way, I hope that the plants will rapidly absorb the nutrients I will be feeding them and go on to recover and become healthy plants
Benefits of topping
Towards the end of May in the UK your Chilli plants should be between 8 and ten inches tall. If you want them to grow big and produce lots of Chillies, there’s a helpful technique called “topping.” It involves cutting off the main growing tip of the plant to encourage more side branches and more Chillies.
Topping means cutting off the very top of your Chilli plant. By doing this, you’re telling the plant to focus its energy on growing more branches and producing more Chillies. It helps make the plant bushier and more productive as upward growth is curtailed in favour of growth outwards.
In addition to the above, you may want to trim away some of the bigger leaves that prevent sunlight from reaching the inner leaves of your Chilli plant. This will stimulate growth and make the plant even more bushy. It is also advisable when doing this to cut away any unhealthy-looking leaves and thus place your plant in a position for steady and healthy growth.
Having performed topping all you need to do is continue with routine care, including proper watering, fertilization, and pest management and you are virtually guaranteed of a bumper crop
In this blog post, we’ll explain why topping is beneficial when to do it, and give you a step-by-step guide to try it yourself. It is essential that if you are going to perform topping off that you don’t leave it too late. That may even reduce your harvest! So let’s roll up our sleeves, get out the secateurs, put on our gardening gloves and let’s start topping Chillies.
The perfect recipe
Embarking on the exciting journey of growing Chillies allows us to delve into the art of horticulture and savour the delicious rewards of homegrown peppers. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just beginning to explore the world of plants, cultivating your own Chilli plants opens a gateway to a world of flavours, colours, and aromatic sensations.
However, to truly unlock the full potential of your Chilli plants and witness them thrive, one crucial aspect must not be overlooked: the perfect potting mix.
In this blog post, we’re thrilled to introduce you to an extraordinary potting mix recipe specifically formulated to provide your Chilli plants with the ultimate nurturing environment. By expertly combining the optimal proportions of coir, compost, vermiculite, and worm castings, this mix will propel your chilli plants towards explosive growth, abundant yields, and an unmatched flavour palette.
This potting mix aims to provide a growing medium for Chillies which is slightly on the acidic side (which Chillies love), but also one that is nutrient-rich and is able to provide good water retention and aeration properties. In total it aims to be the perfect potting mix that will provide healthy plants that will provide a bountiful harvest of Chillies
So roll up your sleeves, put on your gardening gloves and let’s make a perfect potting mix for Chillies.
A well rounded program
When growing Chillies from seed to fruit in one season, it’s important to establish a well-rounded fertilisation program to provide the necessary nutrients for healthy plant growth and fruit production.
In the initial stage, when planting chilli seeds, no additional fertilization is required. The seeds contain sufficient nutrients for successful germination. Plant them in seed starting pellets, such as coco coir or a fertilizer-free seed starting potting mix.
Sow your Chilli the seeds into your seed starting medium and add water. that is all that is required.Once the seedlings have germinated and developed their first true leaves (dicotyledons), they may require additional nutrients (albeit at very low levels). However, it is important to note that the seedlings can still sustain themselves from the stored nutrition in the seed endosperm. Fertilisation during this stage is not necessary, but if desired, use a diluted fertilizer solution at reduced concentrations to provide a gentle nutrient boost.
If you decide to go this route use a liquid fertiliser with an extremely low NPK. It should be in the region of 1-1-2. Fertilisers like this can be bought ready mixed or made by diluting products like Chilli Focus . Another alternative is to dilute liquid tomato feed.