Tag Archives: Chilli

Taking stock of April #gdnbloggers

As we near the mid point of April during Holy Week, we also get to Vaisakhi.  This is a harvest festival within Hinduism and within Sikhism, the start of  new year. For me, I guess this triggers  a process of reflection as to what I might experience with the coming growing season as everything starts to bloom and blossom with a new cycle. Vaisakhi and Holy week therefore both carry a sense of renewal, potential and also progress. Perhaps universe is shifting and changing as seeds are sown and nurtured and this is slightly tapping into unconscious ESP of some kind.


The plot might look a bit stagnant, but there are plans. I have succumbed a little, and I am waiting for the green glass to wither away so that it might be taken up and away. There was just too much on the far side behind the grapevines to be dug out and by hand. We have had some sunshine and hopefully that will mean that grass killing stuff works. Once I have a canvas, I will be able to sow further seeds and plug them in eventually. I may even broadcast sow carrots and turnips, just to see what happens.

There are a few seedlings at home, the seed sowing mojo is still a bit sparse. Tomatoes, aubergine and chillies are being coddled on the window sill. On my list, there are squashes, runner beans and climbing french beans to be located and sown. I am mindful, that the beans and squashes-if they are quick off the mark-will grow like triffids, and will need to be looked after until the frost window closes in Birmingham at the end of May. Mum has already plugged in potatoes, and the weekly saag sowing will soon be underway. I should probably also look into sweetcorn!


It is only in the last few weeks that I have had a chance to stop, take a few moments and fully take stock of the tornadoes that have become the busy state of being that is life. Much of this has been self inflicted and working on writing projects whilst juggling work and training. Whilst the deadlines for writing have largely been self inflicted, there have been a few other things that were so far beyond my control there wasn’t an awful lot I could do but wait for the tornadoes to to settle. Now that there is a sense of calm and settling, I wanted to share the three affirmations that are above. I have no idea who wrote them, when or for what their motivations were; they are however three very powerful slips of paper.

The first-‘you are strong…’ I picked out of a box as I was getting to the end of prepping fragments for publication and the end of term was happening. Sheer grit and resolve were taking a battering, and this slip of paper put a spring into my step. The second-‘well done, beautiful’ I found just as  Fragments hit the air and term was changing and I was finding my feet, my plot and universe again. Number three, well that is from today. That heralds a great deal of movement in so many different spheres.

As I mentioned before, I have no idea who wrote them. But these have been powerful vibrations from the universe and whatever Powers That Be.

I am hoping that the third is relevant to every aspect of being, the plot included. The plot is after all, a huge part of me and brings more colour to my life than I could possibly say. I am looking forward to the roses blooming, the glads coming up. There will probably be a sunflower sowing at some point, I have rather missed those.  Then there is the preserving; it has been such a long time since I have made any preserves, I might have to revise the methods. With the plot very firmly back as part of my world after a lot of swirliness, I am looking forwards with lots of lessons learned.  I am also looking for a rest over the next couple of weeks.

Oh, and adventures.

I shall report back forthwith.

Hope is a chilli seedling #gdnbloggers


It is the very early days of January, and as I type snow is falling but landing as slush. In spite of this, seedcases are cracking and the unfurling of seed leaves is being observed as we have germination.

Possibly as I moved the heated prop from one side of the house to the other.

There had been some hand wringing as a week on from initial sowing, not a lot was happening. I double checked the prop, made wet those pellets that were drying out and moved the whole thing.

Expectantly, I have be checking the prop regularly to see results. It was only this morning that I saw the seedling above. I was aware that seedcases had cracked and in most cases; the heated prop is rather full. This is probably not helping things heat up quickly.

But there is a tiny, delicate looking cayenne seedling that has made it’s way into the world. What we do next, is to give it another day or so and then it will be fished out and kept somewhere warm and light. Else it will shrivel up and it really will be Goodnight, Vienna. In the absence of grow lights, I will be having a good think as to where this might be and hoping that I am able to protect this and any other seedling that might appear from cold temperatures. This occur even indoors, when seedlings are kept near a window. They get light and warmth during the day, but the windows still radiate cold when the night falls.

As delicate and dainty as this seedling might look, this seedling represents a new start. A new start on plot, with the hope that things will be productive this year with last year being something of a grey spell. I will keep an eye on the heated prop, hopefully there will be a few more to keep this one company.


#NaBloPoMo: Chilli reflections 2009 onwards



Given how this year has been a fairly dismal year for chillies,  I thought I should reflect on what went well in the past and see if there are lessons to be learned.

I’ve have not always had the polytunnel, and did rely heavily on the small wendy house. Before that, I had sown and planted chillies in pots in dad’s garden. These had little or no protection, except when they were cloaked with a transparent gardening bag.

The first success came in 2009, and it was more or less sheer fluke in my first year of growing. The variety that I grew was cayenne, I didn’t at that point give too much thought as to what variety. I even had a baby jalapeno plant from the local garden cafe. In that case, I had cheated, I really wanted a jalapeno plant. Seeds were planted very late, but we did have a very good summer that year.  I bit into one, and legged it, pops had the rest and wondered why I was flapping.

The plants were pampered, watered regularly. Kept in pots, as I had no where at that time to plant them. They soon got leafy, very leafy. Most plants were about a metre high and about that wide. Plus, they were cramped. Four plants to a pot. Watered and fed from the top, I didn’t faff with the drainage. They were watered and fed with normal every day tomato feed. A fairly bountiful crop, and I didn’t even tickle the flowers. More or less left them to it. It was only as Septemeber turned to October, that they were brought inside.

The came the allotment, and the small wendy house. Now I was putting more thought into it, and I even had different varieties. Sown on time, and these were really pampered from the cradle. When it came to potting, there were bigger pots, before they had a final destination of morrisons flower buckets (get them, 99 pence of a batch of 6. You’ll never buy huge pots again, and they are good for tomatoes too) . Dad had kindly drilled holes in the bottom for drainage. So once in their final pots, they were left to their own devices. Again, I only tickled when I remembered. I did at this point get the poly tunnel, and the plants were in there just as winter arrived. It is when you get to September October, you start to think. These plants are either going to die of their own accord, or you might have to put them out of their misery. It is nearly half way through November, I still have the plants in the poly for now. They are under a fleece, but who knows what might happen to them.

I have even tried to sow seeds on the day after boxing day. Both in a heated propogator, and on the window sil. To this day, I am convinced I have more success with germination on the window sill. Seedlings don’t grow thin and wiry, only to keel over with a lack of light. Seeds are sown into damp compost in a yogurt pot. This yogurt pot is in then put into a foodbag, knotted the top and into a gravel tray. I did try and line the tray with foil, and then put a lid on the whole thing. Checking from time to time, to see if a baby chilli had germinated. I have since delayed, and staggered the timings. Starting to sow in late January, onto late feb. But when you want to sow chillies, you want to sow chillies. That or tomatoes.

Sadly, I have never been able to replicate the success of 2009. I had hoped that the poly tunnel would have increased the the chances of having a successful crop. There are lots of different chilli seeds in the seed stasher that I would like to try, and I might just put them in pots next year, rather than in the ground of the poly. Scale back the experiment a little, rather than risking it into the poly.


Tri, tri, again: chilli jelly

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Along side 2 red sweet peppers, there are lots of purple rainbow chills, some frauzauber and another chilli in there. Have been meaning to have another go at the nigella chilli jam. So this is just a different set of hot chillies. Has a slightly different colour, and a different kick too.

Yours in anticipation,

Horticultural Hobbit