I’ve got a treat for you (most excellent) readers over the next few posts!
While you’re reading this I am away on holiday (probably battling sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow – who said this was a holiday?), and without any access to portable media (apart from my camera – in case anyone is wondering why I keep pasting random photo’s to social media).
I didn’t want to leave my blog sitting still and having a holiday too, so before I left I asked three fellow bloggers, whom I greatly admire, if they would write a guest post each on areas around their own blogs. I’m pleased to say all three said yes they’d do it (phew!), and publish a piece right here on Forget-me-Not Cultivation.
So without further a do… can I get a warm welcome to my first fellow blogger and guest writer – Iggy. A self confessed chilli head and chilli hero in growing, eating and cooking all things chilli.
He is even proficient in growing Bonchi (Bonsai chilli plants), which is something I really want to have a go at trying myself.
Iggy is the guy I go to for a lot of chilli advice because he’s spent so many years growing them. He’s experience is second to none.
Over to you Iggy…
Circles and Beginnings
When Sophie invited me to write an article on chilli’s…I was honoured to say the least.
I’ve never been the sort of person who “tells my granny how to suck eggs”, as the saying goes, which means I never tell people how they should go about growing their chilli’s.
I will give advice from my experience readily and eagerly when asked, but it is always taken from what I’ve done…right or wrong, and learnt from.
I have been growing chillis for around 15 years now, starting with Jalapeno’s and cayenne’s in my first year, and then moving on to the super hots….of which there are far too many too mention.
There is always excitement when the first seeds germinate, and a new seedling pops up into the world, and then the care and feeding regime that finally gives us lovely ripe pods.
Like many other growers, I became obsessed with growing the latest hottest chilli, I’ve always sown my seeds on Halloween night, and again around New Years day, and then grown the young plants on under lights, as these hot varieties need a long growing season, and got to a stage where I was growing over 100 plants, all of which were some of the hottest chillis in the world, and my growing season was all year round.
There are new hotter varieties being created all the time now, with growers crossing different chilli’s to try and create a new strain…and I have a lot of respect for these guys, because it takes a lot of time to do.
However, I’ve now had a huge change of heart…..and with so many new hotter varieties arriving, I feel as if I have lost a bit of the enthusiasm that has spurred me on over the years.
Although I will continue to grow these super-hot chillies, I have decided that I want to grow chilli plants for their looks, not just the heat….and take a step back from the Super-hot rat race… there are some stunning looking plants in the chilli world, and while nowhere near as hot as the mega hot chilli’s I’ve been growing all these years, the pods are hot enough and probably more usable.
I’ve also taken the leap to start growing some of the “wild” varieties of chillis, now these are a challenge to any chilli grower, as some of them can be difficult to germinate and nurture. It’s something I have been pondering for a couple of years, and have researched in depth, but kept putting off. But the flowers and pods on the wilds are some of the most beautiful within the chilli world.
The decision has given me that exciting tingle back again, and I’m really looking forward to the new challenges that the 2014 season will bring….I’ve sourced my seeds from a very reliable and competent grower, who I will be able to contact for advice, and while the Super hots are happily growing under the lights, I’m itching to get the wild varieties sown Sometime in January !!
I would like to wish everyone a happy& prosperous New Year…and good luck for the coming season, whatever you grow.
I shall be back on here sometime around the end of January and will no-doubt bore you endlessly with my travel adventure but until then I leave my blog in the very capable hands of you, my cool readers!
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