Chilli changes

This is an overwintered chilli plant.  It’s the Portugal variety, which normally fruits earlier than other varieties, but with the head start of already being established it should be producing hot red peppers sooner than ever.  They’re beautiful when maturing, individual fruits often showing patches of vivid red and lime green at the same time, as in this photo from last year.

Overwintered Portugal chilli plant

Overwintered Portugal chilli plant

That’s a very deliberate layer of sand covering the soil.  This plant has suffered from fungus gnats in the soil but the sand should see them off by preventing them getting in or out.  With the old foliage previously trimmed off, the increasing daylight has encouraged some new shoots.  Bushing out like this will hopefully lead to a healthy and prolific plant later in the year.

New growth at the top of the plant

New growth at the top of the plant

Earlier today I potted on some of the very young chilli plants that I’d sowed five weeks ago.  They were getting close to touching the lid of the propagator, which can be problematic in terms of leaves getting too damp and wilting.

Various seedlings getting bigger

Various seedlings getting bigger

So I potted them in some nice lidded pots which i picked up at a discount store.  They came with quite roomy clear domes with a small vent in the top.

Jalapeños newly potted out

Jalapeños newly potted out

I’ve put a layer of vermiculite on top of the soil to keep moisture in.  Like tomatoes, chillies can be planted deep, with much of the stem buried in the soil, which leads to extra lateral roots, strengthening the plant.  I did so as much as possible, but worry that the plants will outgrow these pots very quickly.

Hungarian Hot Wax and Jalapeños

Hungarian Hot Wax and Jalapeños

Therefore I’ll keep these well away from direct sources of heat like the propagators, to let them slow down a little.  But that’s offset by needing to give them as much light as possible so that they don’t get too leggy and stressed hunting for light.  It’s a fine balance, one which makes a dining table next to some large windows a very useful indoor greenhouse!

Dining table greenhouse!

Dining table greenhouse!

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4 responses to “Chilli changes

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