Showing posts from February, 2024

The 2024 Chilli Growing Season Has Begun

And we have lift-off! Yesterday evening, I sowed all of the chilli seeds and the 2024 chilli growing season is now officially underway. This year, I'm not growing as many plants as I have done in the last few years because I'm struggling to get through all of the chillies, which is something I never thought I'd hear myself saying. I still have chillies in the freezer from 2022 and I intend to get those used up first before starting on last year's crop.

Chilli Seeds in the Heated Propagator - 19th February 2024
Chilli Seeds in the Heated Propagator - 19th February 2024

Yesterday afternoon, I sorted through my chilli seed box and got rid of seeds for varieties that I'm never likely to grow again. You know how it is, you purchase seeds for given chilli varieties and because you don't sow the whole packet you still have some of the originals left years later. This year, I'm growing some of my trusty favourites and one new variety called Charapon Amarillo, the seeds for which were purchased in late 2022 but I didn't get around to sowing any last year because there was no room left at the inn. It doesn't come across as a very exciting variety to me, but because I have seeds for it I thought I'd give it a try.

On Sunday evening, I made up a small batch of seed starting potting mixture, which is more or less the same potting mixture that I'll be using throughout the growing season, except that the soil portion of the seed starting mix is sieved to remove any large unwanted lumps, such as twigs, stones and even glass! This year I'm going all peat-free. I used to use peat-free compost many years ago and always had very good results with it, but that was at a time when peat-free potting mixtures contained green waste, something which has all but been removed from many of the peat-free mixtures being sold nowadays.

As usual, the potting mixture for sowing the seeds was sterilised in the oven at 150C for one hour to kill off any nasties that may be lurking, and all of the growing equipment, such as seed trays and plastic plant labels, was sterilised using a mild bleach solution.

Here's a list of all the varieties that were sown yesterday evening:
  • Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
  • Chocolate Habanero
  • Mako Akokosrade
  • Papa Joe’s Scotch Bonnet
  • Peruvian White Habanero
  • Orange Habanero
  • Bell Pepper
  • Charapon Amarillo
  • Bangalore Torpedo
  • Aji Largo
  • San Isidro Rocoto
  • Fatalii

I'm keeping two Moruga Scorpion, Chocolate Habanero, Papa Joe's Scotch Bonnet and Bell Pepper plants, but the rest of the varieties I'm only be keeping one of each. I also have an over-wintered Aji Largo plant growing in a 5-litre pot and an over-wintered Malawi Bird's Eye plant growing in a 3-litre pot. Both dropped all of their leaves during the winter but have now started producing new growth. In a couple of weeks, I'll trim the roots on both plants and re-pot them into some fresh potting mixture. Both are indoor plants. The Aji Largo plant will be staying in a 5-litre pot because I don't want it growing too large, but the Malawi Bird's Eye plant will be upsized into a 5-litre pot.

All hail the Chilli Gods! 😛