Tag Archives: chocolate habanero

The very busy poly tunnel

This evening, I have had a chance to pause and reflect whilst in the poly tunnel. I had noticed that the tomato plants had started to stretch out their leafy limbs and were in need of tying in to canes. I am quite surprised really as to how quickly they have taken off in the last few weeks. Especially as we had something of a drama before they were all plugged in. I do believe that all of the them are inderminate cordon, so this means pinching out arm pits from time to time. Where I have missed them, and there are trusses; I have left them. If the arm pit sprout is tiny, I am rubbing them out. Though I don’t mind if we get a fair few tomatoes, I am being kind to the tomato and to my mum who would rather tomatoes didn’t feel her kitchen worktops.

It is all very busy inside. We have tomatoes, aubergines, chillies and a single solitary cucumber. The latter having been donated by a kind allotment neighbour, and being grown undercover. There was  an aphid attack on one of the chillies, so I’ve had to squish and zap a few little green monsters.

There are flurries of yellow and white flowers. I don’t see any purple flowers on the aubergines yet, these are still a little small and need to do some additional growing. What you see in the picture above are the flowers on the cream sausage tomato, and the fruit of the cayenne chilli. I shall leave the chillies in situ to get red and ripen. On the other hand, we have had already had a number of unripe purple ones from the purple haze plant.

We have an assortment of chillies, from the cayenne, to hotter habaneros. I am glad to see that the orange and chocolate habaneros are forming the tiniest of flower buds. A reflection of the size in comparison to the cayenne, that is usually echoed in their punch.

Finally: Poly tunnel plugged in and potted up

Today is something of a red-letter day. The polytunnel on the plot now has everything tucked into it. The Growing season is officially ready to rock and roll. Unless the weather or the world has a huge great big episode. If you have a look at the tags, you will see just how much is plugged in or potted up.

With exception of two plants-the Dorset Naga and Purple haze chillies-everything in that polytunnel has been sown and grown from seed. That tomatoes, chillies and aubergines. All of which have had some form of drama attached to it. The tomatoes got dehydrated, the chillies had aphids, the aubergines were and are somewhat developmentally delayed.

The chillies are now starting to flower, even the tiniest of the pots that contain the chocolate and orange habaneros have flower buds on. The Cayenne’s have a clutch of white flowers, and the purple haze is a spot purple.

The last of the chillies was potted up today, pettie belle, as were the four aubergine babies. The aubergines are a little smaller than I would have expected, but I did sow them later than I could have and on a whim.

Our challenge now, is to keep everything happy. Watered, fed, happy and not too hot. There is one vent open to help cool and offer some form of ventilation. Valuable lessons are incorporated into all of this. The chillies are in pots, and will stay that way, as will the aubergines. Previously both of these have been in the ground, and not a lot has happened. Tomatoes are plugged in, they have worked well outside in the ground. The added bonus of being under cover might help them this year. Copper tape is around most of the pots, as well as little blue pellets of doom.

Tomatoes are now looking happy, and they are sending out little yellow flowers. So this with the white chilli flowers is a sign of some positive things. I am not too sure about the Aubergines, they might catch up, they might not.

With everything plugged in, let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Polytunnel Plug in Post @Maroon5 concert

poly

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.

Tomatoes:

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

Chillies:

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

purplehazechilli

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.

Re-homing the habaneros

Whilst the larger chillies are now in the poly tunnel, there were still eight habanero plants loitering on the window sill. Of these, three are now of an appropriate size to be transferred to the polytunnel. We have today taken pumpkin, chocolate and orange habanero down to the poly tunnel. These have been potted up into larger pots with some multipurpose compost. Pots have had some slug tape stuck around the edges, and the plants watered in. They are draped with fleece, as there is still a chance of frost until the end of May. That said, the poly tunnel was at 30 degrees today, but there is still going to be a dip at night time that could nip them.

#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.

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