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Grow Your Own Chillies (Ireland) Everything You Need To Know


 
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:46 pm    Post subject: Grow Your Own Chillies (Ireland) Everything You Need To Know Reply with quote

Grow Your Own Chillies - (Ireland) Everything You Need To Know
By Nigel Laubsch

. Potted chili plant, photo / pic / image.[/size]

Introduction
There are, of course, two options for you should you decide to grow your own chillies; start from seed or obtain seedlings and take it from there. In this article we will begin at the very start - selecting the seeds to grow your chillies from. If it is your intention to purchase seedlings and plant those out then simply skip down to later in this piece to Acclimatising & Transplanting Your Seedlings.

Obtaining Your Chilli Seeds
There are two sources for you to obtain your seeds, I'll discuss both of these below and give you my recommendations.

(1) Home-Grown
The first source of seeds that comes to mind are obviously one that you have grown yourself, or from a chilli fanatic friend or neighbour. This is a perfectly acceptable way to obtain your seeds as long as you set your expectations at the right level, meaning that, you're not too fussy about what chillies you are going to grow, as long as you get some.
Why is this? The reason for this is that chillies are rampant cross-pollinators. This means that even if you brought commercial seeds or seedlings and keep the plants near each other, they will fruit true to variety for the first year but after that, what will be produced will be a cocktail of the nearby varieties.
The home gardener who fully isolates his or her chilli varieties to prevent cross-pollination is a rare person indeed. Having said that however, do not suddenly form the opinion that home grown seeds are not for you. If you obtain some seeds from your own plants or those of a friend, plant a few of them anyway - you may end up with a hybrid variety that you really like!

(2) Commercially Produced
Seed produced by the large seed companies is much more likely to grow true to variety as they have a vested interest in maintaining the genetic purity of the cultivar. For the non-botanists a cultivar is cultivated plant that has been selected and given a unique name because it has desirable characteristics that distinguish it from otherwise similar plants of the same species. When propagated it retains those characteristics.
The common term for a cultivar is variety. The seed companies employ a number of systematic crop improvement and seed growing processes which involve the variety producing consistently over a number of generations until certified. Once certified there are strict internal processes used to ensure that the purity is not endangered by cross-pollination or contamination with other seed types prior to packaging.
You may experience some variation in seed quality and reliability when purchasing seeds from small producers as it is possible that they are unable or unwilling to introduce strict processes to guarantee cultivar purity. If you do wish to purchase from the smaller producers that is fine, just approach the purchase with the knowledge and perspective that you now have. Make a small purchase and test the quality before spending too much of your hard earned cash.

Selecting The Seeds
OK, you've got your seeds home and you're eager to plant them out. Just step back for a few moments and listen as there is a test that can significantly improve your results at this stage. Get a bowl of water and pour all the seeds you're intending to plant, into the water. Give it a good swirl with your finger to break the surface tension of the water and ensure that it is not preventing any of the seeds sinking.
Now, any seeds that are still floating are highly unlikely to germinate, due to a variety of factors including malformation and a lack of embryo or kernel. Discard the floaters and then pour the remainders into a sieve to get rid of the water. Now inspect the seeds, with a magnifying glass if you're really keen, and discard any that look undersized, deformed or damaged.

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Factors Affecting Seed Germination
Even with ideal conditions, getting chilli seeds to germinate can be a slow, irregular business. Talking to both small and large growers you can expect germination to take from one to six weeks. The warning here is; don't give up too early on your seeds.
Just the same as the majority of other plants, chilli seeds need warmth, oxygen, and moisture before germination will occur. Below, I discuss some other factors that may help you increase your success rate planting from seeds.

Ambient Temperature
The ideal temperature for germinating chilli seeds is 22oC to 28oC .

Moisture
While trying to induce seed germination, the medium that the seeds are in needs to be kept moist. Ideally this would occur with water that is not too different in temperature to the seed medium, but don't get too hung up on this point.

Fruit Ripeness
In the fascinating but heavily scientific Capsicum and Eggplant Newsletter that used to be published by the University of Turin (Italy) I found reference to a study carried out in 1986 in Texas on seed from tabasco chillies harvested 150, 195, and 240 days after transplanting. What the scientists R.L. Edwards and F.J. Sundstrom, observed, as expected, was that the seeds from the ripe fruit had a better germination percentage than the seeds from the immature fruit.
What surprised a little more was that the germination percentage decreased as the fruit got older; after achieving 81% germination from the 150 day old plants, the percentage dropped to 63% for the 240 day old plants. To summarise these results, the study suggests that seeds from newly ripened chillies will have the highest percentage of successful seed germination.
If harvested too far either side of the becoming ripe, you risk decreased seed germination performance. Several other studies have shown drying of the seeds for 2-4 months after harvesting significantly increases germination percentages, whether dried within the chilli or separately.

Dormancy
Another factor that affects chilli seed germination is a mechanism called dormancy which is common in many plant types. This is an obvious self defense mechanism that prevents the seed germinating in Autumn only to be exposed to the risks of winter and possible seedling death. All chillies are perennials however, unless you live in the tropics, they will behave as annuals and the inherent dormancy in both the seeds and the plants will vary between the varieties.

Chili sedlings, photo / pic / image.

Growing Your Seedlings
OK, you've got your best seeds selected and you're ready to start planting. What comes next?

What To Grow Them In?
I'll state up front that I don't know anything about hydroponics, nor do I know anyone growing chillies using that technique. As a result it will not be covered here. Now that we've got that out of the way, there are two main points to be covered under this topic and they are; the medium to plant the seeds in and the container to hold the medium. With regard to the medium I absolutely recommend using a premium potting mix or seed raising mix.

This is because these products are specifically designed with the following features; large particles to avoid compacting of the media which in turn inhibits both root penetration and drainage and, a nutrient profile that promotes vigorous root expansion and foliage growth.

You will inevitably come across people that tell you that the seedling needs to start off in the soil that it will eventually grow. That's absolute rubbish, and if it was true would mean that there would be no plant nursery industry as no one would buy anything in pots to take home. Your garden soil is suitable for chillies that are well on the way to growing up, but is normally of a density, or contains diseases, that can inhibit root growth, damage, or even kill your new seedlings.

Now, as to containers, there is an enormous range and what is best for you is going to depend a little bit on how many plants you intend to grow and a whole lot on personal choice. Containers range from the individual Jiffy pots or blocks through the plastic 6 cells to large clay or plastic pots. We'll examine each of these in more detail.

Jiffy pots and blocks are made from compressed sphagnum peat moss and wood pulp and uncompress and swell up once they are immersed in water. The seed can then be pressed into this swollen mass and, if kept moist, will germinate into a perfectly acceptable medium.

A big advantage of these is that when the seedlings are hardy enough to be planted outside, you simply plant the pot into the garden soil. There's no need top remove the seedling from one medium to the other thereby reducing the stress on the young plant. The downside is that they can be pricey, if your going to be planting a lot of seeds, the cost will start to add up, and, of course, they are not re-useable.

Now, the plastic six-pack cells are another option. You simply fill them with your seed propagation or potting mix, moisten, and put your seeds in each one using a dibble stick. Alternatively, three-quarter fill them then put a seed on top of each one and then put more mix to fill the cells. Either way is fine.
The advantages of these are that they are cheap and re-useable which helps keep your costs down. On the downside however, because they are small it is likely that you will need to transplant the seedlings into a larger pot before they are ready to go outside.
The reason they need to be transferred is that the seedlings will rapidly become root-bound in the small cells and if they do, this affects the later performance and heath of the plant. It also stresses the seedling twice going from cell to pot to garden. If you are able to plant from cell to garden (as you may in the tropics) or if the plant is going to stay in the pot it gets transferred to, then these negative factors are not an issue for you. Congrats. Now I'll quickly look at pots.

I'm not going to explore cost here as it obviously depends on your personal choice and there is an enormous range available. If you are intending to plant into cheap plastic pots and then transfer to the garden at a suitable age that's a perfectly acceptable process. The only downside here is that if you live in the colder parts of the country, you will not be able to fit many pots on a heating mat as discussed below. However if you are able to keep the pots warm some other way (e.g. heated greenhouse, or keep them inside the house) then this is not an issue for you.

If you plant the seeds directly into the pot that you intend to grow them in that's fine too - the negative issues are only those discussed in the previous two sentences. On the plus side, the seedling does not experience any of the stress of transplanting.

Finally, just for your information I'll quickly go over the basics of what the commercial nurseries do. They use a more involved process where the seeds are germinated in large flat trays with no medium other than some water. After a couple of days, the delicate seedlings are transplanted into the six-pack cells that you are familiar with.
This maximizes the usage and saleability of the six-packs as there are no empty cells as a result of seeds not germinating. You've all seen the six-packs at the nursery where one of the seedlings has died and they just do not sell. So for the nursery to be able to avoid non-germination is worth the hassle.

Where Do I Grow Them?
You've got your seeds, raising mix and your pots. So, we now need to discuss where you intend to grow and subsequently acclimatise your seedlings. I will quickly cover what I do first and then go over a number of possibilities for you to be able to choose the approach that best suits you.

Mini-greenhouse, photo / pic / image.

When I do grow from seeds, which is not that often these days, I start off using a simple mini-greenhouse, with a premium grade potting mix, to germinate the seeds in, making sure it's kept moist. This sits outside during the day where it will get sufficient sunlight and comes in at night to avoid temperatures dropping to detrimental levels. As the seedlings begin to reach about 5cm high, I transfer them to larger pots and place the outdoors against a galvanised iron shed, facing north.
In this location they get plenty of spring sunlight and warmth, which is also reflected back onto the plants by the shed. Very occasionally I will experience a cold night or two during this time in which case I will either move the plants inside for the night or to a sheltered area where the temperature drop will not be as extreme.

Once I am happy that the plants are acclimatised and ready to go out on their own, I transfer then to the raised garden beds up at the back of my garden. The time frame for this varies and is as much about the future likelihood of damaging cold spells as it is about the readiness of the plant. This is usually around 3-6 weeks.

OK. First thing to consider is that you will most likely need some form of heating to provide the temperatures your seeds need to germinate. There are several options here that I will discuss. First option is an electric heat mat which come in both pre-set and adjustable temperature models. You can get these at good nurseries and garden centres.
Friends that have these mats thoroughly recommend them. They have asked me to remind you though that once the seeds have germinated the heating mat needs to be placed somewhere that the seedlings will receive sunlight.

Another option is one that is quite popular with keen gardeners and that is the coldframe. The are an endless number of variations on the above example and they all work on the principle of solar heating of the medium in which you are germinating your seeds. Depending on how cold the climate is you may choose to open the up during the day and close them at night to retain the heat, or simply leave them closed most of the time to provide maximum warmth.

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If your climate is extremely cold there are further steps you can take to heat the contents of your cold frame. One is to dig below the base of the frame and pack this with moist manure and straw and then cover this with a layer of loam and then place your potting mix/raising mix/cells/pots on top of this. Extra heat will then be provided by the decomposition of the underlying manure and you may be surprised by just how much heat this generates.
I recommend you keep a thermometer in the frame to make sure temperatures do not get too much above 35oC. Cooling can be achieved by opening the sashes, of course.

In extremely cold climates you may wish to heat your coldframe electrically with a setup involving heating cables embedded below the base of the coldframe. I do recommend you get a qualified electrician to set this up as the consequences of a faulty DIY job could be fatal. Once a coldframe is modified in this way it is commonly called a hotbox.

The third and final option I'll cover quickly is for those lucky enough to have a greenhouse. There is not a lot more to say regarding these that has not been covered in the previous three paragraphs. They are solar heated and this can be augmented electrically or by having some compost breaking down either under the floor or simply in a tub in one corner.
There are a couple of points to be make sure of with regard to a greenhouse and they are; that the greenhouse is in a position to get sufficient sunlight through the winter months and, that it does not get too hot in the warmer months. Many greenhouses have panels that open to all the latter issue to be addressed.

Lets Grow Them
This is it. Everything is ready now to plant your seeds. The best time to do this is approximately two months before you believe you will able to put your chilli plants outside to fend for themselves, i.e. after they are acclimatised.

For Ireland that is sow seeds in late April-May and plant out in June.

Fill up your six-pack cells or pots with your preferred seed raising medium, remembering not to pack the medium down as this will inhibit root growth. If you are using a premium potting mix this will already have sufficient nutrients to support the initial growth of the seedling. However, if you are using any other medium there is a high probability that it does not have the nutrient profile to support your young seedlings.

So you will need to apply a liquid fertilizer, of your choice, diluted for seedlings as the directions on the packet instructions. I use a hand operated spray bottle to apply the fertilizer however some people prefer to soak the filled containers in the liquid for a few minutes. It's up to you really. Either way the germinating medium may compact a little here because of the liquid and this is not a problem however, if you need to top up the medium in some containers, do so.

Now with the blunt end of a pencil, or something of that size, push a hole into the medium in each cell, approximately ½ cm deep. Drop 2 or 3 seeds into each hole and then push a little of the germinating medium over them to cover. Depending on how many varieties you are planting you may want to label the cells or pots in some way so that you don't need to try and remember which is which.
If you keep a garden journal or almanac then you will no doubt be recording a number of data items regarding the planting. It is a good habit to have as the information you pick up over time can be significant for growing chillies in your particular area.

Use a scissors to remove weak seedlings, photo / pic / image.

Now ensure that you keep the seeds moist and warm. Moist does not mean soggy, it means moist. Eventually you will see the seeds beginning to sprout. Let them grow for a week, keeping moist and warm and then, with a pair of scissors, cull all but the strongest seedling in each cell by cutting them off at the base. You want to do this to ensure that each generation of your chilli seeds is stronger and hardier than the last.

Ensure that wherever you have the seedlings growing gets sufficient light, heat and ventilation to ensure healthy growth. Fertilise your seedlings as per the directions on the packet/bottle - this is usually once a week.

It is incredibly important that you do not let the seedlings dry out. Seedlings that get stressed by dehydration early in their life seldom fully recover - you will end up with plants that have significantly decreased vigour and disease resistance.

Any electrical heating that you may be using can be turned off after about the third week provided the seedlings will not be exposed to the risk of frost.

After around six weeks your chilli plants should be of good size and looking healthy, and ready for planting.

Acclimatising and Transplanting Your Seedlings
If you have ever had an aquarium you will know that if you purchase new fish from the pet shop and take them home you do not simply tip them from the bag into you tank and assume that everything will be alright. The temperature shock and the pH shock would compound the stress of travel and most likely result in dead fish with in 24 hours.

Your seedlings are the same. They are accustomed to the warm, lightly ventilated, constantly watered nirvana that you have raised them in. Basically they are complete wimps and need to be toughened up before they can be transplanted out into the big bad world.

In more technical terms they have grown rapidly, producing large cells with thin walls due to a lack of stress and environmental demand affecting the plant. They need to become accustomed to day-long exposure to UV light, strong winds, heavy rain, larger temperature variations and sporadic dry conditions.

Many gardeners call this process of toughening, or acclimatising, hardening off.

Acclimatising
This is a process that takes place over two weeks once your seedlings reach an age of about six weeks. The first step is to slow down the growth of your plant by watering and feeding less, and if possible, keeping the seedlings at a slightly cooler temperature. This will begin the adjustment stage by preserving the plants' energy for adjusting to the new outdoor conditions.

Filtered sun beneath a tree, photo / pic / image.

Begin acclimatising your seedlings to the garden by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions. First expose them to filtered sun in the shade of a tree or in a sheltered spot protected from the wind and direct sun.Leave them for 3-4 hours and gradually increase the time spent outside by 1-2 hours per day until, bringing them back into shelter at night.

After a week or so, they should be able to withstand a full day of sun. While acclimatising the seedlings, watch them closely for signs of stress (the leaves may start turning yellow and drying out if exposed to too much sun). They should now also be able to stay out at night providing the temperature is not going to drop much below 10oC (50oF).

The science behind the process of acclimatizing your plants is a physiological one that adds carbohydrate reserves to the plant and produces additional cuticle on the leaves, reducing water loss. Practically, the process slows plant growth while acclimating the seedling to harsher conditions.

Transplanting
Your seedlings are now ready to transplant and if you bought your seedlings from a nursery then this is the place for you to begin reading this article.

Before I get into the process of putting your plants in the ground I'd like to go over a couple of points about seedlings purchased from a nursery. The first is that these are frequently root-bound and if so, it will take longer for them to extend their roots into the garden soil, so they too are subject to wilting until they are established.
Tease the roots our a little, being careful not to damage them, otherwise they will continue to circle around rather than spread out. Also, give them a little extra attention once they're in the ground

The next point is that most nurseries indicate that their seedlings are acclimatised and ready for immediate transplanting. Instead of gambling and being disappointed (it was your money after all), harden them off yourself for at least a week first.

One more point to consider that, as a general rule of thumb, planting the same type of plant in the same spot year after year is asking for problems. The reason of this is that pests, because like their solanum cousins, tomatoes and eggplants, chillies are prone to root knot nematode. These are microscopic roundworms which attack the roots of the plant and cause it to wilt.

The two best practices for minimising this risk is to practice crop rotation or by adding significant amounts of organic matter to the soil at least annually.

The spacing between your plants depends on a number of factors, including the size of the varieties being grown. Smaller varieties, such as ornamentals, can be planted closer together and the there's usually less sunburn (light brown burnt areas) of the fruit because they're better shaded by the leaves. Some commercial chilli growers space their plants as closely as 10-15cm apart. Close spacing also helps minimize evaporation due to the thick canopy of leaves.

Now, to planting - generously water the plants to be transplanted the day before . This insures that the whole plant will be hydrated, leaves and all, when it's time to transplant, thereby helping it to cope with stress.

Plan to do your transplanting when it is overcast or during the cooler evening hours. Water the plant immediately before digging or removing from its pot. Soak the root ball so that the soil will adhere to the roots, when it is dug from the garden.

Never leave the roots exposed to sun, heat or wind. This is a risk if you remove all plants from their pots and simply lay them down, planting one after the other. It's much better to remove them from the pots/cells just prior to planting.

Water the hole before you place the transplant into it. Place the transplant into the hole and fill it halfway with water. Allow the water to settle the soil around the roots and then finish filling the hole. Lightly firm the soil around the transplant and again, water the whole plant, leaves and all.
If possible, shield the new transplant from direct sunlight for 1-2 weeks, by cutting the bottom out of an old plastic pot roughly the same height as the seedling and place this over it. This will help the plant get over the shock by cutting down the direct light and also reducing evaporation. An extra plus is that it protects the plant from getting snapped off in strong winds.

Check the plant daily for the first couple of weeks. Transplants will need watering every day, if not more. If it is wilting, water the plant. Depending on the weather and the plant, you may need to water twice a day until it becomes established. The larger the plant and/or the less roots to top growth ratio, the more water will be needed.

All of this may seem extreme, but the shock of being uprooted is stressful to plants anytime of year. In the heat of summer, this extra precaution can make the difference between keeping and losing your transplants.

Problems, Pests and Diseases

A mealy bug infestation, photo / pic / image.

Sucking Pests
The most common sucking pests that can attack your chillies are aphids, mealy bugs, scales and mites. These pests appear on the leaves, stems and fruit in clusters and feed on the sweet sap by inserting a needle-like sucking tube into the plant and drawing out the juice.
After the sap has been used by the insects, it is excreted as honeydew, which forms the base on which a black fungus grows. This fungus is known as sooty mould and its presence reduces photosynthesis and discolours affected fruit.

Honeydew is used as a food source by ants, which will actively transport the insects (aphids, mealybugs and scales) to position them on the plant ('farm' them). Ants may spread sapsucker infestations between plants via underground tunnels. As aphids, mealybugs, scales and mites congregate in hidden places or on the lower leaf surface, they may initially not be obvious. Affected plants appear water-stressed, and leaves turn yellow and fall. In some cases leaves and flowers curl up and wilt.

There are a number of chemicals that you can use to get rid of these parasites however, I am not going to go into these as they are a specialized field and fairly toxic. I don't like them.
What I use is a mixture called White Oil which is basically a petroleum based oil emulsion and works on all three pests by covering them in oil and suffocating them. You can buy it from nurseries and garden centres and is simply mixed with water and sprayed on. The below is a recipe for making your own at home.

Home Made White Oil.
It is simple to make your own white oil from vegetable oil and liquid soap. Prepare the concentrate using the proportions below. Store in a suitably labelled container, making sure to include the dilution instructions on the label for quick reference.

Ingredients:

½ cup washing up liquid
½ litre of vegetable oil


In your food processor, blend the vegetable oil with the dishwashing detergent they're until well mixed. This is your concentrate and can be stored in any sort of container, though be sure to label it and include the dilution rate. This concentrate will separate over time, however all you need to do is give it a good shake just before you use it.

To prepare the concentrate for use, dilute 1 tablespoon in a litre of water, mix it well and spray the pest as well as both sides of the foliage thoroughly.

It's important that you stick to this dilution rate, because you can burn the foliage if it's too strong. Also, don't apply it in hot weather and avoid using it on plants with hairy/furry foliage as well as ferns, palms and cycads as this can also cause leaf burn.

Regular applications of this easy to make oil based spray will help protect your plants from many common pests found in the garden. Simply spray thoroughly over both sides of the foliage and onto the offending pest. The contents of Spray as often as required.

Chewing Pests
In this category I am basically talking about caterpillars, snails, and slugs. These pests are relentless and are not something that you can ignore. I have had 24 seedlings wiped out in one night by snails because I neglected to put out any pellets on the day I planted them.
The next day there were only a few 1cm high stems sticking out of the ground - I'd wasted my time because I forgot to do a 1 minute task and when I thought of it that night, decided that it could wait until tomorrow. Dumb.

Close up of a slug (note breathing hole), photo / pic / image.

OK, for snails and slugs I recommend scattering a few snail pellets around, once a week until the plants are large enough not to be wiped out easily. I am usually against using toxic, non-natural chemicals on or around things I intend to eat however, I am also a realist - use the pellets, just use them sparingly. It doesn't take many.

You can go totally safe if you want and use traps that use beer or some other bait, I think they're great, I just don't have the time to maintain them.

The caterpillars are not so easy. What I find is the best technique for me is to check the plants on the weekend and once during the week. If there are any caterpillars to be see I spray the plants with a pyrethrum spray.

For those that aren't familiar with it, pyrethrum is a natural insecticide derived from a variety of daisy and is, I believe, the ideal solution. It kill insects through contact or ingestion, has low toxicity to mammals and has a short residual life, i.e. it biodegrades over several days.

Fungal Pests
The main fungus problem that affects chillies is black sooty mould, which only occurs when there are other problems present as discussed above in Sucking Pests. If you have black sooty mould then you need treat the cause as discussed in that section.

Other Problems
Chillies like a warm, sunny spot, well drained soil and regular watering during dry weather. Over fertilising can lead to excessive foliage and fewer fruit, just like with tomatoes.

Also, as in tomatoes, chillies are prone to blossom end rot. This is caused by a calcium deficiency and also irregular watering and can easily be prevented simply by watering regularly and applying a bit of a dressing of dolomite lime.

That's it for this article. I hope you find value in it and wish you all the best with growing your chillies!
Nigel publishes a monthly newsletter covering all aspects of chillies that is FREE to subscribers. You can subscribe at http://www.chillies-down-under.com/ and receive the full Grow Your Own Chillies eBook as a free gift.
Nigel Laubsch is one of the world's leading chilli experts and has grown studied and cooked with chillies for over 20 years. Much of his experience was gained travelling through Indonesia, China and Fiji. In 2005 Nigel presented the world's first Chilli Sauce Appreciation course at the University of Western Australia and has received rave reviews for the innovative content.

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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

should you limit the number of chillis on a plant?
we have one, in a polytunnel, which is in a 5L pot, and has dozens of chillis on it. should i pluck all but the biggest couple of dozen off it?
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
should you limit the number of chillis on a plant?
we have one, in a polytunnel, which is in a 5L pot, and has dozens of chillis on it. should i pluck all but the biggest couple of dozen off it?


Yes, reducing the amount of fruit usually amounts to an increase in size of the remainder provider water and nutrients are looked after medieval knievel.
This is best done at an early stage though, like at fruit formation or better still at flowering by the removal of some flowers so that they don't become fruits.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheers - i've already picked off the remaining flowers, will 'deadhead' the smaller chillis later.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have three chilli plants. I grow them from seed. They have been in a sunny window all the time and they have just started to flower. Since we are in September, I shouldn't expect to have my own chillies this year, should I?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mariafp, I grew chilli,s myself last year and like yours they were slow to flower and produce chilli,s, but hang on in there they should be ok as mine gave me chilli,s all the way to christmas and looked quite festive as well with the red fruits and the green foliage. Also may help if you snip the growing tips.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Stonehead! I wouldn't mind if they don't give chilli fruits because I am loving the plants anyway. I really like their vibrant green colour. However, if they want to give me a few to use in my enchiladas Id appreciate it. Surprised)
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