David at sinfield.demon.co.uk
Tue Aug 27 13:19:06 EST 1996
I have been growing chilli plants for the last few years. I started with seed
from some dried chillis that I bought years ago and have been replanting seed
from the strongest of the plants each year. So I don't know what variety I have
I have found the plants remarkably hardy, growing and fruiting them outdoors in
Surrey, only bringing them in if the temperature is going below 0C. I have
found that if I crop the early fruit when they are green the plant produces
much more fruit. The green fruit does not seem to be any less hot than the red
but lacks the immediate sweetness that you get if you are eating them raw.
Letting them ripen to red on a windowsill does develop the sweet taste. So I
can see no real disadvatage in cropping them early and making room and strength
for the later fruit.
I am sure given greenhouse protection and similar conditions to indoor toamtoes
I'd get bigger plants and more fruit, but it's just as easy to sow more seed
and have lots of stocky plants making maybe a dozen 2" long fruits each over
from begining of July to Sept or later. I usually start my seed indoors in
March and put the plants outside in full sun as soon as then are a couple of
inches tall and have some true leaves. Then I keep an eye on the weather
forecast. If there might be an overnight frost, they come in or get covered in
newspaper and a propogator lid put over them.
I now have a greenhouse, which I am going to keep frost free and I have some
seedlings up now that I am going to try to keep through the winter to see
if I can raise some mega plants next year.
Although the books say treat as HHA or even Greenhouse annual, I have a plant
in it's second flowering and fruiting season that was kept dry and just above
freezing (most of the time :-) through last winter.
I feed weekly with Phostrogen during the summer and autumn and that's all, just
make sure they get enough sun and don't freeze.
The truth is that life is hard and dangerous.
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