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End of Season Blues

Well the chillihouse doors are now firmly closed every night and most days to try and encourage all of the pods that have set to ripen. Winter seems to be quickly approaching so i though it’s about time for an update of this years crop.

Of all of the plants i’ve grown this year the Serrano’s that were grown from the free Wahacca seed have been the most disappointing. I guess I can’t complain as the seed was free and is probably not horticultural grade however the plants that did survive all suffered from stunted growth and very poor yields. Below are the two pods closest to being ripe…

serrano plant

Serrano Chilli Pod

The Speedball (a variety i’ve not grown before) is covered in pods which have just started to ripen so hopefully i’ll finally get a heavy harvest from them…..

Speedball Chilli

Unripe Speedball Chilli Pods

Unfortunately the poor early Spring weather and inconsistant summer weather here meant that growth rates have been slow and some of my super hot varieties have yet to produce any ripe pods. The Trinidad Scorpian Moruga (Capsicum Chinense) pictured below has got a few nice pods on but i’m worried that none of these will ripen this season. Either way i’ll definitly over winter this plant so hopefully will get a good yield next year.

Trinidad Scorpian Moruga Buds

Trinidad Scorpian Moruga Flower

Trinidad Scorpian Moruga Chilli

Trinidad Scorpian Moruga Chilli

Meanwhile the Aji Hot’s and Super Chilli F1’s keep giving…

Aji Hot Chilli

Super Chilli F1

I’m already starting to turn my thoughts to next year and try to decide which varieties to grow. Meanwhile I’m going to try to make a bonsai chilli out of my 3 year old scotch bonnet plant. Let’s hope for some slightly warmer weather over the next few weeks to help ripen some of these pods!

7 comments… add one
  • Charlotte November 26, 2012, 10:57 am

    Hi Chilli King, great site you have! Have found it really helpful!

    Wanted to share my experience so far and would be very grateful for your advice. I am not much of a gardener and was a novice chilli grower this year; I bought 3 little seedlings in early spring and grew them on my windowsill over the summer. To be honest, I am quite lucky with a nice sunny south-facing windowsill, as despite this shocking weather (in the North of England) I have had some success (and a lot of enjoyment) from growing these indoors – only ever watering, giving an occasional feed, and repotting once or twice over the summer as they grew big. I only recently found out about other stuff I should have been doing (like hand pollinating!) – which I will do in future years and which explains the fairly low yield (I had loads of flowers but so many shrivelled and fell off).

    My ‘long red chilli’ (that was the onlyl name given; I assume these are cayennes!) grew strong, large and delicious but it only ever had about 2 or 3 fruits at any given time. My jalapenos were more prolific though stayed pretty small and often never matured to red (they were still delicious green so I didn’t mind) and finally my habaneros, well they are my babies! They took forever but the over recent months the plant looks the strongest and sturdiest of all 3, and still produces lots of tiny, but beautiful, red and orange fruits which pack such a punch!

    I have been thinking for ages about overwintering (yes, I know, it’s now the end of November!) but to be honest except for my now rather sad-looking and fruitless cayenne plant, the other 2 look positively healthy and as time passes seem to have a more respectable amount of fruit than they did in the summer!

    The leaves are starting to yellow (and fall) a little on the hab though, and none are flowering like they used to, all of which makes me wonder whether I should just harvest everything now and overwinter the plants, or see how long I can keep them going! I have really been enjoying the pride that comes from never having to buy chillies in the supermarket and would be intrigued to see if I can keep getting them from my plants all year round. Am I just kidding myself…?! Thanks!

    • The Chilli King December 18, 2012, 10:57 am

      Charlotte – I doubt very much you’ll be able to keep fruit ripen all through the winter. Trying top achieve this may place undue stress ion your plants. In my opinion you’re better off over wintering and allowing the plants a rest over the winter so that come next spring when the light and heat returns the plants are fresh and ready to give you lots of ripe chilies nice and early in the season. Good luck!

      • Charlotte December 20, 2012, 4:49 pm

        Thanks – I’m now doing that as you suggested! Now to find something to do with all these Habaneros before they turn… 🙂

  • Mike November 17, 2012, 5:28 pm

    Hi there,

    First, you site is still a big help for me who don’t know too much about chilli cultivation.It is well structured and full of practical advice and possible pitfalls anyone can encounter.
    I had this year my first chilli plant(Scotch Bonnet).It had 15-20 chillies which was, i think a success.The size of fruits varied from 1 cm to 5 cm in length.They were in size far from those you can buy in supermarkets, but i was proud of them. 🙂
    I decided to overwinter my plant.I did it 2 weeks ago and I keep it indoor, in an unused spare room where the temperature not particularly high.
    I thought my plant would have some shoots in early spring, but it has already have 2 little buds. Isn’t it early?(Good news is I know the plant is still alive.)
    Thanks for your help.

    • The Chilli King December 18, 2012, 10:38 am

      Mike – Glad you’ve caught the bug! Don’t be worried about some early shoots…just be sure to keep it in a cool climate and keep watered (not too much though). Come next Spring repot it with fresh compost and you should be raring to go again!

  • Neil Maclaren November 12, 2012, 9:48 pm

    Howdy! We have tried to grow chillis this year from scratch (having bought some on sale from B&Q), but de to a delayed start in sowing the seeds in late April, mixed with some awful ‘summer’ weather, our little chillis have failed to ripen. We now have two plants (both about 15-18 inches high), both with five mixed sized chillis (between 1 to 4 inches long) – but all are still green! A couple are starting to darken, but not turning red yet. We have dropped a couple of browning banana skins in the plant pot, but don’t know if this will work. What can we do?

    Any help would be much appreciated!!

    • The Chilli King December 18, 2012, 10:47 am

      Neil – Well, you will be able to eat them green however depending on the variety this may not be best. Banana skins can speed up the process of ripening. Also try to get as much heat to the plant as possible. Good luck!

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