Monday, March 1

Growing Chillies

Yesterday I came over all efficient and sowed my chilli seeds. Usually I am the sort of gardener who decides to grow cabbages three months after they should have been sowed. I'm a bit of a fair weather gardener and usually only start thinking about planting in April, when I also happen to be on holiday and therefore can think things other than 'sleep' 'cake' and 'do I have to go there again?' However I read somewhere the other day (I really wish I could remember where) that chilli seeds could be sown from the beginning of March, and by some fluke I actually remembered. I had to buy compost and everything. Why yes my compost heap *does* need turning, thanks.

I've had varying results with chillies, but last year I put three plants on my south-east facing front window sill and I harvested a small selection (see above). Better than the previous year when I had them on the warmer but less sunny inside kitchen window sill. Given the terrible weather last summer I was not surprised that they didn't fully ripen (they should have been red), but I'm hoping that starting this year's off earlier will solve that. I'm also on the look out for some scotch bonnet seeds so we can have a go at those, too.

Now, if I can only get some potatoes in (last year's went in in MAY fer chrissakes) I shall feel really pleased with myself.


Plummy Mummy said...

Wow. They look really great. I think if you leave them, they turn red don't they?
Also re the scotch bonnet seeds, can't you just buy some chillies and use the insides?

Emma said...

Yeah they should turn red, but It got to September and I thought it would get cold (wrongly, as it turned out)so I harvested them.

I did consider buying a scotch bonnet and harvesting seeds (might still) but other chillies I've grown from harvested seeds haven't done as well as ones from bought seeds.

One day I'll get enough to make a string of dried chillies! (we are a bit chilli obsessed here....).

Plummy Mummy said...

Sounds good. Fineways sell really hot hot chillies. I like them as they seem to stay fresh for ages. Great for a quick chutney - take a handful of shelled groundnuts, a bunch of coriander, chillies (amount depends on how hot you want it), sugar, salt and lemon juice. Whizz it all in a blender. Delicious. Lasts a week or so. Great with chappatis or puris.
I tried a variation with dessicated cocunut last week but wasn't as impressed as it was a tad dry.
Oh one day, I'll let you try the chilli powder/garlic mix mum used to make. But it half makes the hands stink when you make it so that will have to wait!