Inspired by the lovely not just jam, I have decided to carry out a chilli growing experiment. Chillies require a long season to get productive. This year, despite my best attempts, poly tunnel and all, I failed to get the crop that I wanted. In terms of learning experience, I have never had success with early sowing of chillies. I have tried the post boxing day sowing, the heated propogator sowing, the delayed till late february sowing. But I really did want to start sowing seeds as the frost descends and Britain has the coldest night yet. Plus I had compost in Dad’s shed for that exact reason.
For me, it is really important to reflect on lessons that I have learned previously. Those ‘oh, right, yes’ moments, that make it all worthwhile. Sowing the seeds, I was harking back to when I first started sowing. I have experienced more success germinating seeds on a window sill, compared to using a heated propogator. With the latter, the seedlings germinate, with all that bottom heat. Then they get tall, leggy,and keel over. With the window sill, this might take a little longer, but the germinated seeds send out a slightly more robust seedling.
There are four varieties chosen. These are Apricot, bellaforma, serrano, and cayenne. Cayenne were the first chillies I ever grew. Serrano, I am trying again with. This year, serrano grew well, Had lots of flowers, but not a single fruit.
The seeds have been sown four to a pot. I am not likely to prick them out. I have found that having chillies in cramped quarters is quite useful, and produces a good crop. I think I may have been too kind, in allowing generous space in the poly tunnel. The compost was moist to begin with. I have in past, struggled to maintain the moisture in the pots. These are then placed into labelled foodbags, into a gravel tray and positioned into a warm and light space.
Based upon previous experience, I don’t hold out much hope for such an early sowing. We shall see however! This is all very experimental.