I’ve three fiery chilli varieties on the go this year: Maya Pimento, Peach Bhut Jolokia and Pink Tiger. Having germinated the seeds and started the seedlings in a heated propagator way back in January, I hoped to see fruit by now, mid-August. But there aren’t even any flowers yet, just lots of lush leaf growth, with new leaves sprouting in the stem/branch elbows.
The plants are clearly healthy but something needs adjusting. I think it may be that I’ve been giving them a light feed. I wouldn’t normally do so until they’re in flower but the specialist Chilli Focus feed suggests a weak feed at this stage and a strong one when they’re fruiting. I think this has left the plants too ‘comfortable’ and they need stressing, so today they had just plain water. And that’s all I’ll give them for a while. Close up, there are a few tiny flower buds on the Maya and Bhut so there’s hope yet.
There are flowers appearing on what was a late (July) sowing of Prizewinner runner beans. These are in a pot with a decorative obelisk for them to climb. Perhaps too late for decent sized beans but worth a shot while there are still bees about to pollinate them.
Separately – and I’m not going to tempt fate by going on about it – I’ve a few plants of Yard Long Red Noodle beans snaking their way around the inside of one of the mini greenhouses. No flowers here either as yet but if those come off it’ll be spectacular and a real thrill.
Elsewhere the main tomato bed is now fully populated. It contains several each of Tigerella, Red Cherry and Principe Borghese. The latter is a bush/determinate variety, so while I’m busy snipping out side shoots from the other varieties I need to leave the Italian plants to grow in all directions. All are fruiting, still green for now, but doing well. But the first to ripen to red are the Tomatoberry plants which are in a separate smaller bed. The hot, sunny days which we’re promised in the coming week should see more rapid ripening.
Nearby it was nice to lift the first decent carrots of the season. These are Early Nantes and having been under a mesh tunnel seem to have escaped the dreaded carrot root fly. Other varieties – Sugarsnax and a rainbow mix – are still small so they had some Growmore watered in around them today to try and bring them on.
And up came the Maris Piper potatoes this weekend too. A very versatile maincrop, today’s haul were a good size and, considering they were confined to a two-foot square, were reasonable enough in number.
With all these areas of soil being freed up, I plan to sow Pak Choi, quick-growing radishes and some oriental / cold tolerant leaves like Mizuna and Red Mustard shortly. Meanwhile isn’t it a joy to have another week of reaping what we sow.