Tag Archives: Hot patio sizzle

Chillies 2016: Phase one

The festivities are over, the vast majority of people are going back to work. I have had an extra week, and some of it has been spent reflecting upon the start of the new growing season. In all honesty, I have been feeling a little behind and the allotment mojo has taken something of a nose dive. I usually have chillies sown after Boxing day, and this wasn’t the case.

Given last years rather disappointing crop, I am reviewing the seeds that I will  be sowing. This has resulted in more than one sowing of seeds. Today I have found some jiffy pellets, and sown the first batch of seeds. Cayennes are the notable absentee from the list, but these will hopefully be sown in the second phase.

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If you can’t access the video above the you tube video cane be view here.


In the first phase we have:

  • Orange habanero
  • Devils rib
  • Trinity
  • Coffee bean
  • Scotch bonnet yellow
  • Hot patio Sizzle
  • Hungarian Hot Wax
  • Jalapeño

Some of these have been sown before, others are new experiments. Chillies are not entirely easy to grow. I have found that the hotter the chilli, the lower the chance of germination. Also, serious chilli heads will also use heat and light lamps to germinate. I don’t tend to use the heated propagator any more, as the seedlings that I ended up with were rather spindly and inclined to fall over. I have had greater levels of success with a cold propagator being placed upon a warm window sill.

Seeds were sown into moistened jiffy pellets which were sat in a gravel tray. I used warmish water, rather than cold; as this just make the for cold damp conditions that are not the best of seeds that are hard to crack open anyway. The gravel trays were then placed into a large foodbag, I would have done the same with pots, and then a transparent lid was placed firmly on top.

Hopefully there will be another sowing in a few weeks, and purple haze will feature.

#NaBloPoMO: Chilli check-in

chillies chilliflower


These are the chillies plants earlier this week. We have since had a frost, but these were all fleeced. This in the vain hope that they wouldn’t be hurt, but you never know. They might look a bit robust, but so far, they’ve been very leafy but not provided any fruit.

There are a number of chillies in the poly tunnel:

  • serrano
  • chocolate habanero
  • orange habanero
  • jamaican jerk
  • bengle and Dorset naga
  • hot thai
  • hot patio sizzle
  • tobasco

The tobasco is actually nearly five foot tall, and only just starting to send out tiny little white flowers. The others are still leafy. As you can see , I have been finding some of the white flowers and tickling them. it’s too cold to keep the poly open, and there are not many flying insects around to help pollinate.

I didn’t plan to over winter these plants, but I am now debating as to how long I can keep them. I do need to check, actually, if they are still alive. It may well be that Mother Nature has already given me an answer to that question. Would be disappointing if they have all ceased to exist. This year we have had the grand sum of three chillies.

Superhots potting up and the poly crop

The second round of super hots also need potting up. Simply because, they had started to pick up a little pace with the sun light and being fed. Jamaican jerk and serrano have certainly got leafier and taller. The two scotch bonnets don’t seem to be enthusiastic yet.

In poly, the aubergines are just as sloth like. They are still there, and looking more like growing aubergines. Just doing it very, very slowly. There could any number of reasons. They probably don’t like the clay, it’s not hot enough, they like being divas, I don’t know.

The california sweet pepper is starting to flower. Small in stature, but flowering. Nigel seems to be okay, sat where he is. Third from the right of the door. He is a chilli and not the leader of the political part, okay?

It may well be, that some of the super hots don’t end up in the poly. I still have to also squeeze in a watermelon.The sweet crimson has all of one true leaf at the moment, and is being carefully monitored.

Transfer window: chillies and aubergines

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Have taken an epic risk.

The tomatoes are already out in the 4TB, nestled in fleece but at the moment uncovered. Have gone a bit purple stemmed; but have not keeled over.

Since they look greens and leafy; I have transferred some of the chillies and aubergines to the Wendy house. These are sat in tented fleece as it is all a bit precarious still. They look reasonably robust; and will all be going into the polytunnel anyway in about a month to six weeks.


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These are the nine other ones that’s remain. These are significantly smaller, with the two nagas, and two types of scotch bonnet.


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A heaving gallery of pictures for you today. Today’s session started with mama h and I sinking corden trees. These Victoria plum, conference pear and falstaff apple had been in pots for nearly two years. However these were proving to be too small. So these are now sunk into open ground. Hopefully this will contribute to them doing better. Also tidied up the inside of the poly tunnel. It has been up to
30 degrees Celsius in there, with my glasses steaming up as I go in.

The next task was to pot up tomatoes. These were starting to become tall and gangly beyond their baby leaves. Some of their foliage is now quite frilly.

Taking a quick look at the peppers and aubergines. Had to some emergency potting up these week, with both of them as they have an accelerated growth spurt with the spring sunshine. There are quite a few aubergines, I know. Mama h quite likes them, so it will be interesting to see if they fruit. All being well, chillies and bells will be in the poly tunnel. Dorset and bengle nagas are small, but growing. Pretty purple rainbow chilli is romping ahead with its purple tinged leaves, with early jalepeno hot on its heels.

The Superhots are coming along. The challenging Jamaican jerk has made an appearance, as well as orange habanero. Hot scotch is also present. We are still waiting on yellow scotch bonnet, but I am not holding my breath for that one. The California sweet pepper isn’t doing too badly either. >

Chilli check in

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The last few days has seen mild spring like weather. Weather that window sill babies have been basking in; least of all the chillies. I am growing the chillies from cold, I am not using grow lights or heated mats. This means that the chillies are perhaps a little smaller, and their growth rate is little below than those with grown with sophisticated equipment. So one has a bit of capsicum envy.

See I know full well that at this time of the year, chillies will be diminutive. A couple more weeks, and they will start to pick up and plume. That does feel a little like a distant memory, and it’s quite a leap to fully fledged, foliaged plants ready to be transplanted to the poly.

Whilst the sun is out, the chilies are loosely lidded with a prop cover. They are sat on reflective aluminium foil to help absorb some heat and light to keep the plants from getting too cold at night and then keel over. With the second Superhots are sunk, I would like to be optimistic. However I’ve been told that Jamaican jerk is very difficult!

Potting up progress

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Have realised that the windowsill babies are getting on a bit. Some of the seedlings have started to grow past their baby leaves, albeit a little slowly. The aubergines have been growing quite quickly compared to the chillies. Thought I might as well pot everything on.

Seedlings are still a little small; but it is still very early. Perhaps won’t have more accelerated growth til later. I have for the moment removed the foodbag cloches. Just hope things don’t got pair shaped!

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.

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!