The interior of the poly tunnel looks a bit like Miss. Havisham’s boudoir at the moment. All of the chillies are still fleeced over. Good thing too as we had the first frost this week. Today was the first opportunity that I had to check that the chillies were all there, and yes they are. One or two leaves have gone a little black, but the rest remain green. May have to feed them, but they are all still very green, leafy and there are lots of flower buds.
As they look so leafy, and full of buds, I don’t really want to euthanise them. I would just like to have one chilli!
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:
bengle and Dorset naga
hot patio sizzle
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.
It’s been a wet and windy week in blighty, the nights are drawing in and the temperatures are dropping. With work, I’ve not been able to pop down to the plot during the week. I wandered down today in the vain hope that some of the superhots might have started to fruit, There is has been nothing in terms of habaneros yet, which is disappointing. What I do have, is quite a lot of foliage and white flowers dotted around. The number of flowers is certainly greater than during the summer, and to be frank, I have been ignoring the chilli plants.
What I have done, is walked into the poly, and done the shake shake. Shaken the plants from side, in the same way a breeze might. Hoping that this may help the self pollination. There are not many insects around, and touching the flowers risks them falling off. Even the serrano chilli plant is full of flowers now, Though these are slightly rusty looking, which doesn’t bode well.
Checked the aubergines, with their lilac floo’ers. There are quite a few now, so you never know if we are going to have more of those.
Did the hokey cokey with the hot thai chilli plant, and thought why is there a bit of red ribbon down there. It was not a red ribbon, it was a ripe fruit. There were exclamations of oh em gee. And it’s hot, as i had a rather itchy palm just from holding it.
There is varying levels of progress with the chillies in the poly tunnel.
The dorset nagas are in my view, still quite diminutive. I had expected them to be a little bigger by now. Especially as they are now starting to form flower buds. The bengle naga is also starting to flower.
The tabasco plant has the most daintiest of little flowers. I am rather scared to touch them! Early jalapeno has a cluster of little flowers, suggesting that it is moderately happy as is the hot thai pepper plant sat next to it. The tallest of the plants are definitely the orange habaneros, there are four of the things it that corner. As is the serrano pepper plant. This plant looks nothing like a chilli plant, the leaves are almost velveteen. But the tell tale white flowers are there. All in all, good to see the progress, especially after the trauma of getting them all to germinate, and then keeping them alive for transplanting.
The warm spell has somewhat spurred on the contents of the poly tunnel. With the one vent open, and a tray of water in the middle to help maintain the temperature; there are lots of little flower buds dotted around. A welcome sight, since many of the plants have suffered episodes of sun scorch. The poly tunnel gets extremely hot! The highest I have observed is 40 odd degrees when we have had very warm spells.
The Dorset nagas are the competition plants; the plants that we are willing on daily. The plants are still quite small, and I am wondering how to get some height onto them. They are sitting on clay soil, that may well be part of the problem. But they have heat, light, and regular feeding. It is a long way to October, granted, but these really need some. There is marked difference between the orange and chocolate habaneros. The orange habs, there are three of them, I think, there is luscious green foliage. The plants stand quite proudly, and for the moment, are flourishing. Stark contrast, to the waxy, bright green foliage of the chocolate habanero.
A vista of the polytunnel as a whole. There are sweet potatoes there and out of shot, there are some newly transplanted sweet peppers. These are two bell peppers, and a cone shaped one. The california wonder pepper has sadly died a death.
Bit of a panorama of the poly tunnel. We have assorted aubergines; black beauty, dancer,diamond and tres hative de barbentane. The THB is the most developed with at least two fuzzy flowers amongst the velveteen leaves.
Most of the chillies are flowering. Nigel has a lots of little buds. The California wonder sweet pepper has actually flowered. There are three of these and the plants are actually quite short.
At the back we have the two habanero varieties and then the nagas. All quite leafy; and slowly getting taller.
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.
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.
These are the nine other ones that’s remain. These are significantly smaller, with the two nagas, and two types of scotch bonnet.
There is growth in the four tier blowaway. The danver carrots are starting to break through and become seedlings. Have yet to see any autumn king carrots. I have never had any success in germinating and propogating parsnips, and as you can see we have a handful of babies making an appearance. In comparison to the carrots, these have taken quite a while to come through. Not uncommon to the experiences of other people. Golden self blanching celery is also coming through. I appreciate that there are lots of seedlings in the pots. Alas, sowing them seed by seed is somewhat fiddly.
The chillies, bells and superhots are taking great strides. There is of course a variation across all of these given when they were all sown. Nigel, Pretty Purple, seranno, patio sizzle and hot thai are reasonable stout. Whereas as others, the hots and superhots, are actually quite slow growing. Early Jalapeño, Nigel, hot patio sizzle are starting to flower, which could actually be a sign of stress. All of these, are very, very thirsty. I observed that last year with the pretty purple rainbow chilli. Need a litre every other day, otherwise it would shed its leaves and flowers.
Arise of the triffids, the first batch! These are of course the aubergines. Early long failed to make it. So we have tres hative de barbentane, diamond, dancer and black beauty. Very, very leaf, and velveteen. Suggests that they are quite delicate at the moment. The aim, is to have them planted into the poly tunnel with the chillies and bells at the end of May. Prior hardening off will be required.
In other news, marketmore, femspot and crystal lemon cucumbers are germinating both in the four tier blowaway and the window sill. Hoping to sow runner beans and sunfloo’ers at some point. There will have to be rotation amongst the wendy house and four tier blowaway.No cabbages and brassicas yet. Though we did harvest some purple sprouting broccoli.