Tag Archives: bellaforma

Polytunnel Plug in Post @Maroon5 concert


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of seeing Maroon5 again. Prior to this, I spent time in the poly tunnel by way of a warm up. Singing,rather loudly, I might add. This involved putting manure into the poly tunnel and refreshing the soil. I also plugged in the vast majority of tomato plants bar one. Bar one, as the plants are still only two inches high.

The concert was epic, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Have now seen Maroon5 four times in ten years, and I was twice the age of their current fans. Maroon5 on shuffle tends to be what I have playing on the plot, all the time. Many slugs, have been slain, to the sound of Maroon5. Something about the vocals and guitar.

Anyway. the poly tunnel. This morning, I went to water the contents. We have vast variety of plants in there as listed below.


  • moneymaker
  • marmande
  • yellow stuffer
  • cherokee purple
  • true black brandy wine
  • cream sausage


  • cayenne
  • orange habanero
  • orange and chocolate habanero
  • pumpkin
  • raindrop
  • bellaforma
  • aji limo
  • serrano
  • apricot
  • purple haze


Above is the purple haze. This along with the Dorset Naga was purchased from sea spring seeds when they had a stall at the edible garden show. I bought plug plants of these two as the time had passed to sow from seed. Otherwise, I have sown and grown all the plants from seed. As you can see, there are two tiny purple chillies on the plant. So far, this is the most productive chilli plant, those are chillies number two and three! making this year already more successful than last year. We have had a spot of drama though, in having an aphid attack. The poor plants are only just starting to recover and send out new leaves. Lessons have been learned from last year. The chillies are in pots, and not in open ground. The result being, that the plants look happier, are more productive and don’t send out lots of bushy foliage with no flowers. Even the small plants in the brown pots are sending out flower buds. The additional benefit is that the pots can be moved around as things-fingers crossed-grow. I have one absent chilli-pettie belle-that is still to move on, plus four aubergine plants that are still being nursed at home.

#NABLOPOMO: Chillies in the sunshine

This week, it has been attack of the aphids. The plants that had so far been coddled, have suffered an infestation. The horrible little green creatures have been hanging around the habaneros, and it’s not very nice having to squish the little critters who leave your plants sticky.

The plants in the poly seem to be okay, getting used to being in there. For now, they like the spuds  in there, are fleeced for their own protection. With there still a possible frost til the end of May, I am taking no chances. Purple Haze now has two flowers, and the other standard cayenne has also got singular chilli white flower that has just opened up.

All of the pots, were decorated with the oh so pretty looking slug tape. yet one, brighter than expected slug has managed to take a chunk out of a bellaforma chilli leaf.I hope that slug dies a horrible death.

I am hoping that the habaneros that remain at home get a spot taller and bigger. Then, like the others, they will move into the poly.

#NABLOPOMO: Another chilli post

Yet another chilli post, yes. Today, I made the decision to pot up some of the taller chillies.The purple haze and cayenne peppers have even started to develop flowers, suggesting that they are actually quite happy. However, there was a spot of drama with the cayennes, when I left them in a very warm conservatory, and they nearly keeled over and died. I had to promptly re-hydrate them and pray to the chilli Gods.

When I say taller chillies, this means the likes of aji limo and hungarian hot wax. These are also the earlier sown chillies, compared to the smaller, slower growing habaneros. Given how comfortable these are, I need to consider how and when the next pot up stage will be.   Today, the plants were moved from 7cm pots to 12 cm pots, and are easily 5 inches tall. Suggesting, that there might be one final pot up or they will go straight into tall morrison flower buckets and into the poly tunnel. The smaller habaneros, are still in 7cm pots, and I am loath to transfer them straight into the the large flower buckets. These I think, will need a larger pot soon, but not yet the big roomy ones.Just need to work what I am going to do next with them. I don’t want them to become too rootbound, and to be fair, they aren’t go upward as much as I would like.

#NABLOPOMO: Chillies chugging along

NABLOPOMO would be fairly replete if I didn’t mention the chillies. Let’s face it, they have had a lot of blog space dedicated to them as we experienced inclement elements out doors.

We have a number of chillies this year, largely habaneros. These were sown very late December and very early january. All in yogurt pots, sat on a warm window sill, covered with a food bag. These were then eagerly,slowly, observed, and have been pampered ever since. For now, we have a number of leafy specimens. There have been tantrums, when the odd one has crinkled up dehydrated.

The list:

  • Dorset Naga
  • Purple Haze
  • orange habanero
  • chocolate habanero
  • aji limo
  • hungarian hot wax
  • serrrano
  • pettie belle
  • apricot
  • pumpkin
  • bellaforma

The one thing that I was surprised by, flowers. The cayennes and the purple haze have already started to produce little flower buds, with the plant’s themselves being quite diminutive. Suggesting, that they are a bit happy. None of the plants are in the final pot yet, and it’s still a little cold at night for them to be in the poly tunnel where they are eventually going to reside.

Potting them up,will cause them discomfort, and slow down their growth. Not really a problem, as it would be useful if they were bigger and a tad more robust before they are put into their final position. At least if they are bigger leafier, more robust, they have more of a chance in being able to defend themselves. I would say that they are probably one pot away from the final pot. The final pot, is likely to be one of those black morrison’s flower buckets. Dad has already been kind enough to have drilled drainage holes through the bottom. Those I believe are big enough for the root system to be developed and constrained enough at the same time. Though I might think about the plants getting a little taller, having them acclimatise gradually to night time temps in the poly, pot them into the black buckets and watch the plants grow into the buckets that way.

The habaneros are still quite small, in comparison to the hungarian hot wax and cayennes. The hungarian hot wax and cayenne are comparatively faster growing, so that accounts for some of the difference. This, I suspect, also translates to flavour.

the Chilli Menagerie 2015: Window sill Shuffle

With the tomatoes thrown to their possible impending doom into the 4TB, there has been a window sill shuffle with the chllies. The larger chilli plants are serrano, cayenne, aji limo and hungarian hot wax. The habaneros bring up the rear in the second smaller batch. I have left the habaneros where they are, but others have moved to a cooler spot. Mainly because they are trying to escape their pots and I don’t really want to pot on too quickly. They get comfortable, and things start to go  a bit awry. I have found, through observation, that the cramped drier conditions foster a more positive outcome. Plus it is only nearly the end of March. I don’t want to plant these out into the Poly tunnel in bigger pots just yet.

The wendy house also needs tidying before I do that too. That is the wendy house blow, when the one side did actually do up. Ah yes, I need to repair the door. I am not buying another cover. Why is it, that I always take the one door of it’s hinges? I have done the same with the 4TB….meh.


potting up the plants: Chillies and toms

After what has been an intense week, things are getting back to normal. I have found myself some compost, and got around to potting things up.  The tomatoes were looking as though they were ready to bend and break, so needed to be potted up as matter of urgency. So putting down some newspaper-i did it before my mum instructed me to, and I even hoovered up after-I set about potting up.

I’m not very good at potting up, as you may have garnered. I even managed to decapitate one of the true black brandywine seedlings. To be fair it had already started to keel over a the soil point in having grown leggy. There was no hope for it anyway. Therefore, potting up is something of a delicate operation. I had to concentrate, so pops got a bit worried when I was walking around wearing a scowl and looking rather unhappy. That would be my concentration face.

The tomatoes were planted deep into new pots, right up to or close to their baby leaves. There are still another dozen or so baby tomatoes that are still at their baby leaf stage. But these were starting to send out their second or third set of proper leaves. They still have some time yet before they are move. I daresay that they will probably be potted up once more before they get planted into the poly.

Then, then we have the chillies. You  have heard a fair bit of them lately. But they too needed potting up to varying levels. They are all incredibly leafy, and healthy looking. I did have a mild panic when earlier this week, a couple of the specimens were a bit wrinkly and dehydrated. So had to have a lot of water poured into their gravel tray. I rather like my chilli babies, and will be heartbroken if they keel over. Most of them now look a little more respectable having graduated from their yogurt pots and into the 7 cm pots. The habaneros were also potted up, they are sending out leaf pairs three and four, even though they are smaller in size compared to the rest of their cohort. I think that is trend for habaneros, as the other varieties are growing at a much speedier rate. I also had not realised quite how many Hungarian Hot wax chillies I had sown. There a number of Aji Limo, together with few cayenne babies.

Another chilli post 15/02/15

In that lull, where you want to sow stuff, and probably shouldn’t, let’s have another look at the chillies. So far so good, close attention is being paid to the chillies. The danger being, that they get cold, dry up and keel over. Whilst chillies benefit from a spot of meanness, being overly mean results in a lack of baby chillies.

Some of the chillies are growing rapidly. Most have got their first pair of true leaves, and are now getting onto their second true leaves. Some of the smaller ones, the slower growing ones, such as pettie belle, raindrop and pumpkin are only just getting their first proper leaves.

I have discovered that if you water with cold water, they all tend to go a bit ‘ouch’. Just like we do, when we step our toes into the cold sea. So water with warm stuff, and they go a but ‘ooh’ and it’s not all a bit of a shock. I have done this about once a week so far. The compost is kept moist, and they really shouldn’t dry out. To trap heat, both trays are still covered. I am taking no chances. The slightest cold breeze and the things start sulking.

Aji limo and hungarian hot wax are doing well, growing strongly. The others are still on the smaller side. Not dainty, necessarily, just comparatively smaller. The fruits are smaller, so that is not really a big surprise. I am going to try and keep them all in the current pots for a while. At least until the roots start to creep out the bottom in a threadlike fashion. If the move up pot is too big, i have observed that the plants relax and get too cosy. I haven’t fed the plants yet. This will be held off for a bit. This year, I want to make a reflective more informed decision. Traditionally, if you use tomato food this will give you lovely leafy plants. Like the triffids that we had in the poly tunnel last year. What I want to consider is, will planting in pots make a significant difference as well as the food. So we have two hypotheses to test. The constraint of pots and the feed. I was recommended this product last year, a specific chilli plant food. I am not going to be mean, and have one batch as an experimental group and another a control group. The experimental group would be the ones fed, pampered, hugged and loved. The control group would be getting just tomato food. I would like all the plants to do well.I think the premise is that first of all you get the plant leafy, and then once that has established, you tackle the fruit development. I don’t think I have ever got so technical over a chilli plant. Will reflect on that though, and do some more research.

chillies chugging along feb 2015

The tiny tiddler chillies are making slow but steady progress. All of the varieties sown have now germinated, and are showing their baby leaves. A few of them, are now progressing onto their first true leaves.They might look a little leggy,but they are pampered, and in light and heat all the time. I don’t have grow lights, so all the heat and light is from the sunny bay window. Still covered partially with a prop lid to trap in warmth. Hopefully, as the days get longer and there is more light, the seedlings will become a little more robust. That said, many of the varieties sown are suitable for pot growing rather than the ground.

My one concern about these is now keeping the soil moist, but not killing them. All the seedlings are very delicate looking. I won’t pot them up yet either. Will be as mean as I practically can be with them. With the exception of the cayenne, chocolate and orange habaneros, all the varieties are new this year. Orange and chocolate were sown and grown last year, but all they produced was lots of leaves.

The full list of varieties:

  • Cayenne
  • Serrano
  • hungarian hot wax
  • pettie belle
  • apricot
  • raindrop
  • pumpkin
  • aji limo
  • bellaforma
  • chocolate habanero
  • orange habanero

Potted up tomatoes and chillies

The first of the tomatoes have germinated and come through. I think I have six surviving germinators, with one keeling over with the cold. These have been transplanted into yogurt pots from their modular compartments. I have to say, that the trick by Allotment Lena works. Where you use a spoon to transplant from one place to another. There appears to be less root disturbance. There are not many that have come through, yet money maker tomato seems at this stage to be the quickest out of the blocks. There were 24 sections in the modules, and so far seven have come through. I think I may have made the compost a little too damp. Going to see how many more come through, and then I will look at sowing some more. Was thinking about where to put these when they grow larger, and the poly tunnel seems to be the best place. I have always grown tomatoes outside, and never had them ripen. Putting them into the polytunnel is probably going to be more useful.

The chillies are starting to get a wriggle on, and these have also been transferred from modules to other pots. I did have a panic as some of them looked a little shrivelled. I had thought thought that I had lost most them. Much hand wringing ensued. However, covering them with a propogater lid, these were a little revived with the heat and light being trapped to warm them up again. The cayenne chillies were the quickest to come through, and with the Aji Limo chillies are the more robust looking. Pumpkin and raindrop chillies are by far the daintiest of the lot.  Debating, as to whether I sow some more. Unlike last year, I don’t plan to plant them directly into the ground in the poly. The plan is to plant into pots, based upon previous experience.

There are eight varieties in all, I am still waiting for orange and chocolate habaneros to germinate. In previous experience, these do take a while. I don’t particularly want to pop them into a heated prop, as they end up leggy and wiry.

Chillies 2015: Progress so far

A couple of weeks ago, I set about sowing chillies seeds. You can see the one post here

Positioned in front of a warm window, there have been daily checks as to what might have germinated. Remember, this is unheated propogator. To date, I have had more success germinating this way, rather than using a heated propogator.

I had bought some more fresh cayenne seeds, and these have germinated. The older ones are clearly not viable, as the early experiment hasn’t come through. I intend to sow a couple more fresh ones, that is the unopened pot in the picture above, Was always something of a risk, using older seeds. The second sowings are coming through. Most have cracked through their seed cases. I am just waiting on the orange and chocolate habaneros. Might actually resow those too, but they are probably just taking their time. The danger is, that these are going to become leggy and gangly as they reach for the sunlight. Going to wait a few days, to see if there is few more germinators before I take the lid off. There is a cold snap due, and I don’t them to get a fright and keel over.