Feeling hot, hot, hot

Posted Sunday, 3 July 2011  /  Written by The Twig

As many of you will know, the Well Seasoned team are big fans of growing chillies. They are fairly easy to grow and, unless you're a real heat freak, you need a comparatively small crop each season to satisfy your needs.

Most chillies originate from the South America and so need hot, humid conditions to thrive. This does mean that, in the UK most chillies will need to be planted indoors and should only be put outside only when the Summer weather really takes off. Back in March we planted a selection of cayenne peppers, jalapenos, Dorset nagas and these Super Chillies.

Super Chillies

It's now July and all of our plants are outside, basking in the Summer sunshine. Most have been transplanted to polytunnels on the WS allotment but the Super Chillies, a Thai variety, love compact habits like window boxes, and so are ideal for small gardens, patios or balconies. Each plant will bear a large number of thin, pointed lime-green fruits which slowly turn red later in the Summer, intensifying in their heat as they do so. By the way, the photo is the right way up - these chillies grow pointing upwards! Rated 30,000 on the Schoville Heat Scale, they aren't the hottest we're growing (in contrast the Dorset Nagas can top 1 million SHUs!) but they are one of the easiest to grow and great for first timers.

If, like us, you plant in March, your chillies will be ready for picking at the end of the summer in August/September. Those that don't get used immediately can be dried in the airing cupboard until they are crisp, and they will then keep right through to next year.

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