Chili Pepper

Chili peppers can some spice to your life. These hot little fruits are exciting additions to a range of meals and can be grown. They will sometimes do okay in a sheltered spot outside but will generally do better in a polytunnel or greenhouse. They can be grown in the ground but are perfect for growing in pots. chili peppers come in a wide range of varieties – some are rather mild and some could blow your head off, so choose your variety carefully depending on the flavours you like and how much heat you can take.

Growing chili peppers:

Chili peppers are best sown indoors in February or March and they must be kept in a warm, sunny spot inside until all risk of frost is past in your area. chili peppers should be planted in pots around 5cm in diameter and then transplanted to a larger pots to give them plenty of space to grow, or placed in the ground around 45cm apart.

Water chili peppers frequently, especially in hot weather, to ensure that you get a bumper crop of chili peppers. chili peppers will also appreciate being fed every couple of weeks with an general purpose organic liquid fertiliser. Start to feed when the flowers first appear and continue until fruits have all been harvested.

chili peppers like full sun but do not like to be baked or to have drought conditions so shading from other plants like tomato plants and a ground cover crop, basil for example, to increase humidity and decrease water loss is a good idea.

Pinch out the tops of the chili pepper plants when they are around 30cm tall to encourage lots of branches to form. You may need to support and tie-in plants that are looking like they will be heavily laden with fruits.

chili peppers are usually ready to begin harvesting in July. The chili can be removed from the plant using a sharp knife or secateurs. Be sure to continue to pick the fruits regularly so the plant continues to produce more.

Allow at least some of your peppers to mature to red fruits as these are best for taste and colour and are also best for drying purposes. chili peppers can be made into preserves or dried for use over the cold winter months.

Why grow chili peppers in the garden?

chili peppers add spice and flavour to your cooking and are an exciting addition to your kitchen garden.

Some chili peppers can also be pleasingly ornamental and can provide beautiful fruiting displays in a pot on a sheltered patio or in a greenhouse or polytunnel.

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