Well. It’s been a while since I did an update post. Unfortunately, there is a good reason for that. Not really a lot to update on. The season is coming to a close and while I see an almost endless stream of posts on Facebook and Twitter from fellow growers I just seem to be standing around with my hands on my hips looking a bit bewildered.
While there is an argument to be had that I did better than last year; I can’t help but feel I’ve failed a bit as well. Not that I blame myself, more the British Summer that wasn’t. At least not around these parts.
The good news is that I’ve a ton of plants I can probably make a good start on with next year.
Now that the Tomato plants have gone I’ve added an extra shelf to my Greenhouse by ways of a growbag tray. It was either going to work, or it wasn’t fortunately it has held up. If not becoming a little buckled in the process. It’s given me a little more room though to hold off the colder nights for a bit longer.
It’s not been a completely fruitless year for me, I’ve had some success with my plants which are now starting to come true!
The Purple Jalapeno plant(s) have without doubt been my favourites to grow this year. Simply put, they’re GORGEOUS to look at. This picture doesn’t do them justice. They sort of shimmer purple and ripen off to a shimmering red. Absolutely amazing little fruits.
Other firm favourites, again, have been Chenzo. Love these little things. They’re in their black stage here, they do eventually ripen off to red but they’re far better looking as black. I think.
My Bulgarian Carrot chillies did well for me this year, not an abundance of pods but quite a few in the end. I love the look of these as well, really nice shade of Orange!
Lemon Drop, or, Aji Limon. These didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. Mainly because I’d heard so much about them being so tasty. I did mange to get a few in the end though and can confirm that they’re everything everyone says about them. Nice citrusy flavour to them. They have a bit of bite but nothing too extreme.
My Cherry Bombs have been somewhat prolific, perhaps not all they could have been but I’ve had quite a few of these fantastic little things. I’ll be growing these again next year for sure!
Orange Wonder, these chillies haven’t exactly set the world on fire either, but but the few I have got are pretty. Love these and definitely a contender for next year as well.
My Golden Cayenne chillies are the same old story. Just a couple of pods off each plant. I do like these, however it remains to be seen if they get on the grow list for next year.
My Apache Chilli plant seemed to do OK – Lots of little pods all over it. I didn’t grow these from seed but like a good little Chilli head I’ve saved seeds for next time. If there is one. Again, a nice enjoyable change to the norm but nothing to write home about.
The Thai Hot was another plant I bought in. Lots of Chillies off this and probably the most seeds I’ve ever seen come out of pods! The picture on the label showed these as being red though, which is a bit confusing. But. Nice chillies all the same. Despite their name they weren’t actually that hot either. Nice for a salad!
That’s one of the very few Caloro Chillies that I got ripe. They took that long to ripen I thought there natural colour was a pale yellow and used most of them in that stage. Whoops! So, yeah. Another one that can take ages to ripen. If I ever grow these again I’ll know. It’s all learning this growing lark!
Another Orange variety, Cheyenne. Another bought in plant that seemed to do OK. Although these aren’t as bright as the Bulgarian Carrot or Orange Wonder, I do like how they have kind of a pastel shading to them.
Likewise, the Fresno Chilli I bought in also did well for itself. Lots of little pods on this fella. Again, not sure if I’m growing again next year but definitely one for a come back tour at some point.
Purple Cayenne chillies, these also seemed to do really well. Lots of little fruits on them. Not actually sure if they’re supposed to be little but as both the plants did the same thing I’m guessing so. I say the same thing, but some of these grew dropping down. The other plant they grew facing up. Odd, but, that’s chillies for you – Always something with them.
My Jamaican Red Chilli. I think. Again, not a massive amount of these but enough to keep me happy. Nice heat from these and really nice tasting. A strong contender for next year for sure.
Admittedly, this one has raised a couple of eyebrows as it isn’t the typical shape associated with Jamaican Red. BUT, it does have a slightly Apple taste to it. So I didn’t question it. Much.
The typical shape is more mushroom shaped, but, I’ve seen with my “Cheryl Chilli” plant that the pods can be both shapes on the same plant…
My Komodo Dragon plant that started off life so well before being devastated by Aphid Scum managed to get round to producing some normal sized pods. For most if it’s early life these were all quite small. Now this size is more common, quite a prolific plant on the quiet, just kept on churning them out.
A couple of plants have been very late in producing any pods at all, and I sincerely doubt that I’m going to get much from them at this point. It’s a shame because they are some of the ones I was looking forward to the most.
My Pink Tiger Chilli plant. It just started to produce pods, and, lets be honest. It’s not looking great for them. This plant is numero uno in contention for being overwintered. It’s a good looking plant (love the leaves) and these are some of the chillies I wanted the most from the year.
Likewise, Fidalga Roxa, has just started to produce pods. Encouragingly these do seem to grow at quite a fast rate. Just last week these were the same size as the Pink Tiger ones above. Probably another one that I’m going to over winter. Again, this is a great looking plant that I want to have an early start next year.
A lone Trinidad Scorpion Chilli sits upon one of my plants. This managed to remain hidden till this morning, but I found it!
Of course, there have been many disappointments as well. The most obvious being, the fake seeds I seem to have bought from eBay last year. I don’t know what’s most disappointing actually, the fact they were fake or the fact that they did so well!
My “White Bhut Jolokia” and “Yellow Devils Tongue” all looked exactly like this as well. I wasn’t overly surprised, I bought the seeds from the same place on eBay. Unfortunately, while the plants did produce lots of Chillies. There were horrible. They barely had any taste, my wife remarked they tasted like a bitter leaf.
The next disappointment, and possibly the one that weighs heavier than even the Carolina Reaper seeds… My Scotch Bonnets. Or Scotch Nottets.
Yup. Also “fake”. They turned out to be Bishops Crown in the end. It’s hard to put across how much I was looking forward to these. Scotch Bonnets are my favourite kind of chilli. They are my “go to” chilli. They’re what I like to use the most. The taste is superb and the heat is manageable. I use them for everything. They’re probably one of the very reasons I got into growing Chillies in the first place to be honest.
I’ve three of these plants, all huge and all loaded with pods – Probably my most successful grow of the season. But they’re not what they’re supposed to be.
It’s actually kind of bittersweet. Bishops Crown were on my “to grow” list for next year. I’ve had the seeds in my basket while shopping for next year more than once. Little did I know at the time I already had them.
I’ve yet to decide properly which ones I’m going to over winter (apart the ones mentioned above), I know I can’t do them all. If for nothing else, space reasons. Some of these did produce some Chillies this year, just not very many of them. I’ve still got seeds so I can always try again.
I’m going to try and keep some of the bigger ones, I’m going to try and keep them alive in the little greenhouse. Last Autumn after I’d pretty much written the plants off some of them managed to keep themselves going for quite some time even though I’d stopped looking after them. It actually made me feel quite bad when I saw how well some had looked after themselves, if I’d made a little more effort with them I might still have had them even now.
People have been asking me at work if I’ll be taking another plant in this year, I think some of them quite enjoy that the one I took in last year is there really and it’s always mildly amusing to see new people in the office ask about the plant and it often sparks conversations. Albeit somewhat strange ones. One recent newcomer to the office attempted to make conversation by saying they enjoyed spicy food but didn’t make it anymore because his wife didn’t like it. Which, is fair enough. I simply make two separate versions when it’s Chilli night. I do my Slow Cooked one and make a Vegetarian version of my original Chilli recipe for my wife.
All in all, I guess it’s time to start thinking about next year now. I’ve already ordered, and received some seeds. But that’s a post for another week 😉