A little chilli update for the month of August:
This whole post once a week blog idea of mine is really testing me. So many times in the past couple of weeks I’ve had thoughts I’ve wanted to share but no, I’m sticking to it.
I’m getting ‘other’ things done – on a plan of action. I’ve just got to limit myself from my over zealous enthusiasm for posting! Not least because you don’t want to hear me gabble on all the time (well not unless it’s good gabble)
This week is the turn of my chilli plants
The month of August, while not the hottest or indeed driest month we’ve had this summer, hasn’t dampened the chilli plants which aren’t doing too badly at all. In fact I’m really rather proud of them all stood out their in their little grow house.
At one point they all got flooded out when we got caught in a flash flood in Grimsby one Sunday afternoon, and along with the harsh wind one plant – a paper lantern, pretty much shriveled up and looked like it had been beaten about with a brush. It’s only now starting to unfurl and producing buds again.
All other plants have been producing a fair amount of pods. In fact it’s fair to say it’s been a very good chilli year. The best I’ve had in about the last four yrs. Not sure why either because other plants – like the tomatoes are all growth, with some tomatoes, none of which are turning red. Which just goes to show that you can treat your plants as well or as harsh as you like there are many more influences over the plants that are completely out of your control. Nature rules as they say. And I kinda like it that way too because it means it keeps me on my gardening toes and I’m always looking at growing plants in different ways. Nothing stays the same.
As the nights begin to draw in and the evenings are much cooler (I have been more than tempted to turn the heating on a few evenings but have managed to resist), most of the chilli plants will now concentrate on ripening their pods they have produced, rather than creating new ones.
Harvesting has already started.
I’m planning on drying out the cayenne pods to make powder with. Some of the Prairie fire pods will be dried and kept whole for cooking with. The rest will be pickled in vinegar and used for snacking with. I’d also like to hold a few pods back for making some naga jolokia source with.
I was surprised last year when I was still harvesting into October.
Looking back at my chilli trials this year it’s fair to say that the majority of hard work growing chillies definitely takes place in the early months. Sowing and germinating at the right times, making sure the seedlings don’t get too wet or neither get too dry are day by day jobs and yet in July and August the most I’ve really done is a careful inspection of each plant once a week with thorough watering. The plants have been left to their own devices and have been (as far as a plant can tell me) quite happy.
So I guess what I’m saying is, for the return in pods I’m able to cook and enjoy they have been easy to cultivate this year.
I’ve been lucky that the plants haven’t attracted any greenfly. It’s the first year I’ve not had a problem with that pest and yet other plants in the garden have been swarmed. Snails have been bothersome as have the ants but I think they at least got washed away for the time being!
If you have been growing chilli plants, what has surprised you most about them this year?