Building a Chilli Farm at Home

ChilliFarm_3

This year, I have never eaten so many chillies in my life! I’m throwing chillies in to nearly everything I cook. I can’t seem to get enough of them, so it made sense to try to grow my own.

Starting with the classics

To start myself off I picked up a pack of seeds that contained three classic chilli varieties:

Jalapeño – medium heat
Cayenne – fiery fellas
Scotch Bonnet – extreme

Planting properly for a change

Then I tried to break habits of a lifetime by planting these things properly! I bought some compost that’s suitable for growing seeds and put one seed in each hole the recommended distance apart (details given on the back of the packet).

This is not my usual planting style, which would generally include scattering the whole packet in! Planting properly now means any seedlings have a better chance at life – and I have some seeds left for a future sowing.

I planted the seeds into pots on a windowsill greenhouse that I got from Ikea. The green pots had the Jalapeño, the pink pots had the Scotch Bonnet and the terracotta pots had the Cayenne – colour coding was the best way for me to remember which was which!

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Planting out the seedlings

Once the seedlings emerged and looked strong enough, I took out the lesser specimens to give the better ones more room. I didn’t have the heart to throw away the ones I’d pulled out, so planted them into pots in the garden just to give them one last chance!

When the greenhouse started to get leafier, and the plants looked strong, I created my chilli garden against a wall with a range of larger pots – their final homes. I ended up with three Jalapeño, four Cayenne and four Scotch Bonnet.

Starting to bud…

It’s many weeks later now and the plants are all going strong, except for two casualties… Two of the Scotch Bonnets have been munched right down – by what? I haven’t got a clue.

Looking at the plants today, I can see the start of some flowers, which of course had made me a little more excited than it probably should! So, fingers crossed that I’ll be able to come back soon and show you a colourful crop!

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