2017 – The Year of the Unknown

So. This hasn’t been my greatest year when it comes to Blogging my Adventures with my Greenhouse(s). I’ve a fairly good excuse, to be fair. While my year started off fairly well, as always in my three years of growing, disaster struck.

Things where going well at first. Sure, I’d had leggy seedlings but they’d been buried neck deep and pretty much fixed. Things where looking well.

2017 Chilli Grow

Some nice strong looking plants. Notice the labels? All nice and neat. Letting me know what plants they where. As you kind of want to know.

I mean, look, nice strong, well labelled plants…

Aren’t they pretty?


On May 11th I came home to this…

And, that is the “My wife and kids and spared me from the worst” version. They’d tided up for the most part knowing I’d be more than a little annoyed. They where right to do so and I’m very grateful for it.

But, what you will notice in that pile of dirt that was left is a lot of plant labels.

Which means I’m left with this.

Plants with no labels

Plants with no labels. Yup, I’ve no clue what most of the plants there are.

And, honestly, it’s kind of depressing.

It’s not the first time I’ve had to deal with this kind of thing. It’s been a yearly event, all three years I’ve been growing I’ve had to deal with some kind of greenhouse disaster. In 2015 I had it, and again in 2016. I couldn’t bring myself to do a “Greenhouse Down, yet again” post to my blog.

Using these plastic greenhouses on concrete is far from ideal. I get that. Every year I think I’ve got it sussed and “it won’t happen again”, but. No. It always does and it seems I won’t learn.

But. One thing I do have is determination. I’ll admit, I was pretty much ready to give up, I might have even tried to convince myself that it “wasn’t worth it” and this “would be the last year”. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to give up.

So, I did what I know how to do and carried on regardless.

So, this is the year of the Unknown. For the most part. All my plants that are doing well, I’ve no clue what they are till they start producing pods. And, even then. I’m not really sure I’m going to know what they are.

And, no, I didn’t just rebuild the Greenhouse that failed, I took precautions.

Failed Greenhouse

I don’t know if it was the weight of the plants, or the strong winds we’ve had, or, a combination of both. But it seems to be that it simply pulled itself to pieces.

So I’ve introduced the “ties that bind”.

The shelves are now firmly attached to the structure.Tie wraps on plastic greenhouse

And I even tied the shelves to each other.

Which means that Chilli life is now, good, right?

Well. We’ll see. I guess.

It’s kind of hard to blog about Chillies when you don’t know what you’re talking about. I did briefly consider naming them things like “Eric” and “Jack” but I just knew I’d run out of names for them eventually.

So, it is, as the post name suggests, the year of the unknown.

It’s kind of exciting, in some ways. When they start to get flowers and then the flowers move onto pods it’ll be interesting to see what comes. Be even more interesting to see if  can identify them after that.

What am I going to blog about for the rest of the year then? Good question!

I think I’m going to devote my time to writing articles instead of blogs. Yes, yes, I know I called my site “Diaries” but it won’t hurt. Many of my “articles” seem to be fairly well received when I’ve done them in the past.

And then there are recipes I can do for you to try if you wish. I don’t consider myself any kind of chef but my food is generally well received when I make it. My Chilli 2.0 goes down especially well and I’ve given the link away quite a few times to people wanting to make their own.

Reviews are something else I want to start doing, I’ve a few books and a small army of hot sauces I can let you guys know my thoughts on, so, hopefully that will be something else to keep you and me interested!

So, watch this space for what comes next – Hopefully I won’t bore anyone too much with my meanderings, and complaints that I don’t know what my plants are! 😉

4 thoughts on “2017 – The Year of the Unknown

  1. Pandora Martin

    I feel for you! As a chilli grower myself I have been here…trying to be thoroughly organised, wonderful labels in every pot with dates sown, so as to work out and keep records of how long, fast and well the different varieties grow…so I know for the next year BUT then….the labels go missing or better still the writing fades so I can’t read it!! OR something completely different from the label appears!! But eh, that’s all the fun of it. You will have to burn your mouth tasting and testing like I did
    Love your chatter and photos all the same
    All the best x

    1. Paul Speight Post author

      Ahhhhhhhhh. Thanks for your kind words as always Pandora. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing that someone else can feel my pain or not though :-S

      I’m still half trying to convince myself it’s going to be some kind of fun when the pods start arriving. I swing from post to post on it at the moment. Some plants I half recognise, but, I’m not 100% sure.

      I’m sure I’ll see the funny side, eventually.

      Character building and all that eh? 😉

      Also, nice to know I’m not the only one that pays special attention to their labels, I’m the same! Date sown and if I know, where the seeds came from so I can keep an eye on that as well!

  2. Jon Gillett

    A collective shared grief over this event it would appear my good sir, I too was meticulous in labelling and caring for my beloved chilli plants through the sowing phase (Jan-Mar) and they looked so strong and healthy. Alas; like yourself I only had the same type of “pop-up” greenhouse that you do and the storm winds did exactly what they did to yours…in fact the WHOLE GREENHOUSE ended up 3 doors down and only the contents on the pots/shelves remained in an all-too-familiar pile on the floor (just like your picture!). I now have the solid construct seen on my Facebook “Chillimania” page, but am also playing “suck it and see” (quite literally I might add, no exaggeration) with the peppers they produce. Oh well; like you say..every days a school day…roll on next season, live and learn!

    1. Paul Speight Post author

      Bah. A true kindred spirit then! It’s sickening, but, I’ve gotten over it now for the most part. It’s been sort of fun trying to play guessing games – But, yes lessons learnt and waiting for the next season to try again!

      I don’t really have the option of getting a more permanent structure yet but I checked out your page and am very impressed with what you’ve got! Hopefully you’ll be sorted for next year with that!

      I gave your page a like as well so I’ll be able to keep an eye on your adventures 🙂

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, especially given the circumstance!


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