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Showing posts from September, 2022

Chilli Plant Update - 5th September 2022

The chillies are now slowly starting to ripen, albeit very sporadically. I've been picking and freezing ripe Fatalii, Orange Habanero, Aji Lemon, Peruvian White Habanero, Mako Akokosrade, Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet and Bangalore Torpedo chillies for the past several weeks. There is still no sign of the Rocoto peppers ripening up just yet, but that comes as no big surprise. The weather has been very chilli plant friendly in the UK this season, and hopefully it will continue for a while longer yet. The only downside is that we've had very little rain. It rained briefly last night, which was a welcomed treat, but it didn't last long enough to give the garden a good soaking. Earlier on, I had to get the hose pipe out and soak the outdoor tomato plants because most were in dire need of water. However, as of writing this post we're currently experiencing a thunderstorm with very heavy rain, which is just what the Rocoto plants and the rest of the garden needs.

Chilli Plants in the Porch - 28th August 2022
Chilli Plants in the Porch - 28th August 2022

Putting all four of the porch plants into larger pots this year was a bit of a mistake, as I thought it would be. They've done okay, but I won't be doing it again because I normally like to take them out once a week and check to make sure they don't have aphids. However, this year I've only been able to take them out once because of how big they've grown. Taking them out is the easy part; it's putting them back in that's the problem. I took them out three weeks ago so I could tie them up and remove some of the lower growth to allow for better airflow and light, and when putting them back in I managed to knock four good-sized Chocolate Habanero chillies off the plant! šŸ˜Ø

In this post I will introduce you to two of this year's new chilli varieties now that I know they're both true to type. There are several more varieties that I know are also true to type, but I haven't had chance to put the pages together for those ones just yet. I have over 300 photos to add to the website, so it might take me a while. Anyway, here are some photos that were taken over the last four weeks showing some of the tribe members that you're already acquainted with, plus two of the newcomers.

Aji Largo is doing okay considering it's growing in poor quality compost. It's produced some good-sized peppers and is still in the process of producing more.

Aji Largo - 28th August 2022
Aji Largo - 28th August 2022

Aji Largo - 28th August 2022
Aji Largo - 28th August 2022

Aji Largo - 27th August 2022
Aji Largo - 27th August 2022

Aji Largo - 28th August 2022
Aji Largo - 28th August 2022

Aji Lemon has done very well this year and has spent most of its time living outside in the garden. I've picked a few ripe chillies from the plant already and there are some more that are now ready for picking. A few years ago I planted some surplus C. baccatum varieties in the garden, Aji Lemon being one variety, and the weather that year was similar to what we've had this year — hot and dry. Although the plants remained small, the amount of chillies they produced was very surprising for such small plants.

Aji Lemon - 10th August 2022
Aji Lemon - 10th August 2022

Aji Lemon - 27th August 2022
Aji Lemon - 27th August 2022

Aji Lemon - 28th August 2022
Aji Lemon - 28th August 2022

Aji Lemon - 28th August 2022
Aji Lemon - 28th August 2022

Aji Lemon - 28th August 2022
Aji Lemon - 28th August 2022

Aji Lemon - 28th August 2022
Aji Lemon - 28th August 2022

Aji Lemon - 28th August 2022
Aji Lemon - 28th August 2022

Aji Lemon - 28th August 2022
Aji Lemon - 28th August 2022

Aji Lemon - 5th September 2022
Aji Lemon - 5th September 2022

Antillais Caribbean is another variety that has done very well for me this year. It lives in the glasshouse with Bangalore Torpedo, Dorset Naga and the tomato plants. You'll always get much better results growing chilli plants in a good quality greenhouse than you will growing them indoors. Yeah, you can successfully grow some chilli varieties indoors, and with a bit of TLC you can get respectable results, but nothing compares to growing them in a good quality greenhouse, where they get better light, better airflow and more humidity.

Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022
Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022

Antillais Caribbean - 16th August 2022
Antillais Caribbean - 16th August 2022

Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022
Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022

Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022
Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022

Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022
Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022

Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022
Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022

Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022
Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022

Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022
Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022

Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022
Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022

Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022
Antillais Caribbean - 28th August 2022

Bangalore Torpedo is a newcomer to this year's tribe. It's a productive variety and the chillies pass through some attractive colour changes when they start ripening. They're fairly hot too, but not as hot as Ring of Fire. Bangalore Torpedo chillies make a nice addition to any Indian curry.

Bangalore Torpedo - 24th August 2022
Bangalore Torpedo - 24th August 2022

Bangalore Torpedo - 24th August 2022
Bangalore Torpedo - 24th August 2022

Bangalore Torpedo - 24th August 2022
Bangalore Torpedo - 24th August 2022

Bangalore Torpedo - 24th August 2022
Bangalore Torpedo - 24th August 2022

Bangalore Torpedo - 16th August 2022
Bangalore Torpedo - 16th August 2022

Chocolate Habanero and Orange Habanero have both done very well and the plants have produced some nice big chillies. For the reason mentioned above, I've not taken many photos of these two varieties because it really is like a jungle in the porch. The postman must think I'm an eccentric witch.

Chocolate Habanero - 31st August 2022
Chocolate Habanero - 31st August 2022

Orange Habanero - 31st August 2022
Orange Habanero - 31st August 2022

I picked the first ripe JalapeƱo M chillies recently and I've saved seeds from one large fruit because my seed stock for this variety needs replenishing. This variety always seems to do well for me no matter where I grow it, and windowsills are no exception. This is one of my favourite varieties to use in chili con carne.

JalapeƱo M - 28th August 2022
JalapeƱo M - 28th August 2022

JalapeƱo M - 28th August 2022
JalapeƱo M - 28th August 2022

Mako Akokosrade is growing in a bedroom window in a 7-litre pot and has done very well as usual. I've cross-pollinated this variety with a Peruvian White Habanero, and depending on how I feel next season I may grow it out and see what I get. I think these two varieties could make for an interesting cross.

Mako Akokosrade - 21st August 2022
Mako Akokosrade - 21st August 2022

Mako Akokosrade - 21st August 2022
Mako Akokosrade - 21st August 2022

Mako Akokosrade - 21st August 2022
Mako Akokosrade - 21st August 2022

Mako Akokosrade - 21st August 2022
Mako Akokosrade - 21st August 2022

Mako Akokosrade - 21st August 2022
Mako Akokosrade - 21st August 2022

Mako Akokosrade - 21st August 2022
Mako Akokosrade - 21st August 2022

Mako Akokosrade - 21st August 2022
Mako Akokosrade - 21st August 2022

Malawi Bird's Eye is a fantastic little producer and is now in the process of producing its second flush of chillies. All of the ripe chillies I've picked from this plant have been dried on windowsills, and what you see in the photo below is most of them. There are still some more that are not quite fully dried just yet. I also like using these whole at the green stage in Indian curries and pasta dishes, and conveniently enough the plant lives in a kitchen window.

Malawi Bird's Eye - 3rd September 2022
Malawi Bird's Eye - 3rd September 2022

Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet is another newcomer to this year's tribe, and is without doubt one of the nicest tasting varieties I've ever tried. The plant is growing in a 7-litre pot in a bedroom window and has done very well. I've picked two lots of ripe chillies from it and there are still more yet to ripen. When I get around to it I'll be adding this variety to the Chilli Pepper Hall of Flame!

Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 28th August 2022
Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 28th August 2022

Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 21st August 2022
Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 21st August 2022

Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 21st August 2022
Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 21st August 2022

Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 21st August 2022
Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 21st August 2022

Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 21st August 2022
Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 21st August 2022

Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 21st August 2022
Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 21st August 2022

Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 28th August 2022
Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 28th August 2022

Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 28th August 2022
Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 28th August 2022

Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 28th August 2022
Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet - 28th August 2022

Peruvian White Habanero has done great this year and I've been picking and freezing ripe chillies from the plant for several weeks. Everyone needs a chilli pepper factory in their lives!

Peruvian White Habanero - 28th August 2022
Peruvian White Habanero - 28th August 2022

Peruvian White Habanero - 28th August 2022
Peruvian White Habanero - 28th August 2022

Peruvian White Habanero - 28th August 2022
Peruvian White Habanero - 28th August 2022

Peruvian White Habanero - 28th August 2022
Peruvian White Habanero - 28th August 2022

Peruvian White Habanero - 28th August 2022
Peruvian White Habanero - 28th August 2022

Peruvian White Habanero - 28th August 2022
Peruvian White Habanero - 28th August 2022

Peruvian White Habanero - 28th August 2022
Peruvian White Habanero - 28th August 2022

Peruvian White Habanero - 3rd September 2022
Peruvian White Habanero - 3rd September 2022

Ring of Fire is growing in a 5-litre pot on the lounge windowsill and has been producing very well all season. I've been picking some of the green chillies to use in curries and I've been placing the ripe ones on windowsills to dry. The dried ones shown in the photo below are the bulk of them, but there are still some more that are not quite fully dried. I'll use the dried ones whole in Indian curries over the coming months.

Ring of Fire - 3rd September 2022
Ring of Fire - 3rd September 2022

This next photo shows the chilli plants that live outside in the garden. In no particular order the varieties shown here are Aji Largo, Criolla Sella, Guampinha de Veado, Cumari Pollux, Aji Lemon, Costa Rican Red Rocoto, San Isidro Rocoto and Guatemalan Orange Rocoto. As of writing this, all except for Cumari Pollux and Aji Lemon (both of which live in the greenhouse at night) are getting showered with rain.

Chilli Plants in the Garden - 30th August 2022
Chilli Plants in the Garden - 30th August 2022

These next four photos show the three most recent chilli harvests. Two of them were taken on the 16th August, one on the 28th August and the other on the 3rd September. All of the chillies you see in these photos have now been frozen.

Chilli Harvest - 16th August 2022
Chilli Harvest - 16th August 2022

Chilli Harvest - 16th August 2022
Chilli Harvest - 16th August 2022

Chilli Harvest - 16th August 2022
Chilli Harvest - 28th August 2022

Chilli Harvest - 3rd September 2022
Chilli Harvest - 3rd September 2022

The Bell Pepper plant has now finished and was taken down last week. All of the Dorset Naga chillies ripened up about three weeks ago and have now been picked and frozen. I now have a good-sized bag of them and they'll be used to spice up my chicken phall curries over the coming months. The plant has since produced a few more chillies, so I've kept it for now. The Fatalii plant is doing well and has produced some very large chillies. It lives at the back of the jungle, and for that reason I've not taken many photos of it. In order to take it out I'd have to remove the other three plants, and I'm not going to do that unless it's absolutely necessary. Last year's Fatalii plant was grown in a 7-litre pot in the porch and it didn't really start fruiting properly until September. I remember picking the remaining ripe chillies in mid-October.

The reverse osmosis unit has had a lot of use this season. I'm always surprised by how much crap it pulls out of the mains water. I changed the pre-filters on this RO/DI unit on the 27th January and I embedded a short video clip in the first post of the season showing them being flushed. I've embedded that same video clip below. Notice how white the new sediment filter was (the one on the right) and then compare it to the photo below showing how dirty it now is. Nice, eh?  


Dirty Sediment Filter - 1st September 2022
Dirty Sediment Filter - 1st September 2022

My next job is to tidy out the freezer and make a couple of batches of hot sauce so that I can use up the remainder of last year's chillies. Hopefully, I'll get around to doing that in the next week. I made several batches of hot sauce at the beginning of the year, and most batches were made using Capsicum chinense varieties. However, I made one batch using Capsicum baccatum varieties, and as much as I love C. baccatum varieties, what I've noticed is that when faced with the choice of a hot sauce containing either C. baccatum varieties or C. chinense varieties, I nearly always pick the one that contains C. chinense varieties. In the future, I think I'll just stick to using C. chinense varieties in my hot sauces. What can I say? I'm just a Habanero addict! šŸ˜›