Category Archives: Experimental Chillies and be;;s

Go, little greenhouse

Finally, the cover for the 4TB has arrived. A little bigger than expected, but that is a lot better than smaller. I had purchased one that did turn out to be smaller, and of no use. This may be bigger, but it is also made of the same reinforced material as the wendy house and the poly tunnel. I am hoping, therein, that it lasts a while. That said, the cover that was replaced is in fact five years old. Apparently, the shop that made the 4TB has changed the dimensions, so I couldn’t an appropriate replacement. That said, to their credit, the company was very good about making amends. In the poly tunnel yesterday, it was a rather balmy twenty degrees. The best thing, that it was still there, and hadn’t floated off. The wendy house was there also, for which we are also thankful. The lyon prizewinner leeks are still there and quite snug too.

Tomatoes aren’t doing too badly at the moment. The vast majority of the seeds that were modularised have come through. The module was sat on the not very warm window sill, and so they did take their time. The babies were also a little leggy, which resulted in them having to be demodularised and then potted up. No mean feat, as I am not very good at pricking out and potting up. Which is why, I only sank singular seeds to begin with. In essence, at the moment, we have the same number of tomato plants as we did last year. It remains to be seen, if these will all achieve maturity.

On the next window sill, we have the the aubergines. Dancer, diamond, tres hative de barbentane  and black beauty have all come through. I am still waiting for early long purple to germinate. There was a pleasant surprise in how quickly the aubergine seeds have come up.

Of the chillies and superhots, I have yet to see any of yellow scotch bonnet and orange habanero. Fire has been temporarily written off in failing to come off entirely. The dorset naga looked a bit precarious, having caught a cold; it looked as though it was going to keel over. I checked this afternoon, and it did appear to have rallied. I’m not hedging my bets. I would like it to survive, one has a dorset naga chilli challenge to try! Have resown some california wonder, as i had somewhat neglected to re-sow a sweet pepper. All those hot chillies, and no sweetness. One is thinking of all the possible chilli jam to be made.

I have kept all the babies in foodbag cloches. Mainly, as they are on window sills that don’t always stay warm. With some heat and light trapped, the cloche offers something of a security blanket. I am conscious that a sudden drop in temperature could wipe everything out. I would like to place the tomato babies in the 4TB, under a fleece. Just not sure if they would survive, would be a tragedy for them to be annihilated after being pampered for so long.

magic square project #1



Nothing to do with GYO or allotmenteering, but something similarly therapeutic. It’s still cold and damp outside, and there are puddles on the plot that could well come up to my ankles. Still keeping an eye on things, the experimental chillies are all mostly up. Three superhots have broken through the surface. So all is not lost with the horticulture. It was also a balmy 15 degrees in the poly today, I went for a walk to clear my head and retrieve some gravel trays. Still waiting for the replacment cover for the four tier blowaway. The experimental tomatos have been brought inside, yet to have anything germinate. No surprise there really.

Anyway, about those rectangles. I had found ma’s knitting needles and some of her oddments. And then didn’t look back. I was privileged to have been taught by my paternal grandmother how to knit as a child. I remember being knitting a great big pink magenta scarf. There were a lot of dropped stitches! Sadly, i was never taught how to cast on and off. Ma taught me to cast on, but I had to watch a video online how to cast off.

This was the simplest video I found and actually made sense to me.

I have also found a nice friendly wool shop, in trying to knit these rectangles. Other than cheap wool from a certain publishing outlet. Based in warwickshire The wool mountain was a really friendly shop where all crochet and knitting aficionados would be catered for. I am novice, I know all of two stiches and like stripes, but the lady there was really very helpful.

Each of the rectangles has seven stripes, and is approximately 10″ wide, so big enough. Shall see how this goes. The plan is to make some form of blanket.

Early sowing Experimental Chillies

Chillies and bell peppers are known to have a rather long time in growing and cropping. So there are those who believe that the earlier the seeds are sown, the greater the chance of a bigger bounty. That is if you can get the seedlings to germinate within the confines of  a heated propagator.  In the past, I have used my heated prop, and seeds have indeed cracked and germinated. However, these babies have soon keeled over with a lack of heat and light. Perhaps my own naivete too.

There has been far greater success not using a heated magic seed growing box. So I am taking this route, even for early experimental chillies.  This year, I made two sowings. The first was in January, and these did keel over for want of a warm hug. A A few of these were rescued, and sat next to a second sowing made in February. Without a heated prop. And nestled amongst white paper, as I thought this might act as a heat trap. When all it did was reflect the heat up through the bottom of the yoghurt pots. Useful, when chillies require bottom heat to crack the seed. At least that was my logic…that the heat would be trapped in the box and help keep them warm.

Anyway, post Christmas, early sowing of chillies. I have done this before, a boxing day sowing. If only I knew then, what I know now. Perhaps they would have survived.

Sown today:

  1. Nigel’s outdoor chilli
  2. California Wonder Sweet pepper
  3. Pretty Purple rainbow Chilli
  4. Hot Th^i chilli
  5. Hot patio Sizzle
  6. Cayenne
  7. Early Jalapeño

With the exception of the early jalapeño, six seeds of each have been sown into yoghurt pots. So each yoghurt pot, has been filled with dampish soil and three seeds each in a triangle. Each pot has then been encased within a foodbag, sealed and labelled with the name of the variety. Positioned then onto a warm window sill. There is a distinct lack of warm window sills in the absence of a classroom as used previously.

There is little guarantee that any of these actually germinate. Chilli seeds are notoriously stubborn, and will generally require a heated propogater. It could therefore be, that my previous good fortune has been nothing but fluke. I have deliberately chosen the varieties sown. In that this year, these were actually quite successful, and having an early jump on the growing could be potentially beneficial.

The Pretty purple rainbow chilli, early jalepeno would have to be the biggest surprises, and were the second sowing in Feb. A point to note, was the hot patio sizzle. This particular variety did take it’s time. A later fruiter, in that it was easily August before it fruited, and then it was fruiting abundantly September when many of it’s poly tunnel comrades were ready to give up the ghost. In addition, I  had plucked  some of the the fruits off in the their pale yellow phase, and on putting them in ma’s kitchen in a glass bowl; observed them starting to change colour. Though they had actually just started to turn on the plant.


Below, you have green nigel outdoor chilli and the lovely pretty purple rainbow chillies. It was only later, when these had been moved back into my classroom, that the rainbow bit actually happened.


And the jalepenos found themselves in a bit of a jam.

jalepenos and sweet pepers
jalepenos and sweet pepers

So there are high hopes for these seeds sown to day. And the slim possibility that they will then go on to reside in the poly tunnel. The next plan, is to sow superhots, namely the dorset naga and a few habeneros in late January early February.


Here’s hoping!