September 11, 2011

Growing chillies, tomatoes and peppers

My chillies have actually done quite well this year and I've had a few that have turned red despite the poor summer. The secret of my success? It's because these plants were grown last year and I overwintered them. Before I read about overwintering I had always assumed chilli plants had to be thrown away after the fruits were harvested. But following the advice on the Chilli King website shows that the plants can produce again after a sleep through the winter. I admit that I cut a few corners with my overwintering process, in that I didn't put the plants in new compost. I simply pruned the plant to 10-15cm of the main stem.

I will try overwintering these plants again this year, however I think I will give them some fresh compost as I think they need a boost of nutrients. The stems are starting to look quite woody and I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not. I'm looking at it as a positive sign that the plant is just becoming more mature and since there appears to be new growth I'm not going to worry too much.

you can read about my chilli growing from last year here

Now onto peppers. These are called Sweet Mohawk Peppers and they're supposed to be small and bright orange. I bought this as a small plant from the garden centre so I expected them to have enough time to grow and ripen, but there is absolutely no sign of even a slight orange tinge to them yet! I find it strange because these peppers have been in the same mini greenhouse (the plastic type) as my chillies and they have already started to turn colour. I'm really not that keen on green peppers, so I'm really hoping these will turn orange! I don't think I'll bother trying to grow peppers in the future as we just don't have enough sun in the UK!

Finally these are my tomatoes. This is the first time I've tried a bush variety - these are Tumbling Toms. I love that the bush variety needs very little attention in that you don't need to pinch out the sideshoots like you do with the cordon variety. My tomatoes in the past have grown out of control because I haven't been prudent enough in my pruning and they have needed lots of support with canes. This bush variety has grown quite happily in a large pot, but unfortunately a lot of the fruits have turned red before they have grown to a decent size. They are still rather tasty and I will definitely grow these again next year.


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