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Growing Guide - Chilli

Chilli is an annual plant, meaning it will complete its full life cycle in one season but for those lucky enough to live in warmer climates you may be able to prolong the life of your chilli by giving it a prune after harvest and it will survive the winter. Chilli can be grown in pots or the vege plot and are a must for any kitchen garden. 

 

Plant

  • Chilli grows best in warm weather. If you live in warmer climates you can start planting in August. In cooler climates hold off until mid Spring.
  • Prepare soil with compost, lime and well rotted animal manure two weeks prior to planting. 
  • Position your chilli in a sunny position with 30cm spacing protected from the wind.
  • Plant alongside parsley and basil.

Grow

  • Apply a 3-5cm layer of mulch once you have established seedlings. You will also need to reapply later before fruiting. 
  • During the growing process add organic matter into the soil around the base of the plant and feed with a liquid fertilizer weekly, we love using Seasol.
  • Water 2-3 times in the first month then cut back to one solid water per week to encourage stronger root growth.
  • If you see fruit fly around your vege patch, bag the growing chilli to prevent them from laying inside and destroying your harvest!

Harvest

  • Chilli's take 12 weeks to ripen, a life lesson in patience! The can be harvested at any colour once they are full size.
  • The heat of the chilli intensifies with maturity so harvest to suit your taste.
  • To avoid damaging the plant twist the chilli until it snaps off or use scissors.
  • Harvesting your chilli in succession will encourage further growth.
  • If you remove the plant after harvest avoid planting in the same spot the following season.

Varieties

The intensity of your chilli variety is usually proportionate to its size e.g. the smaller the chilli the more intense the heat. The flavour also intensifies with maturity. 

  • Birdseye Thai - A small, heavy producing chilli perfect for South East Asian and Indian cooking. Grows to 6cm in length.
  • Cayenne Red Hot - A common long thin red chilli up to 12cms, long harvest and can be long lived in warmer climates.
  • Shishoto - A mild, spicy, small japanese variety. Grows to 7cm
  • Magnum - A very hot, small, orange chilli. Grows to 6cm

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