Warwickshire Chilli Farm Perhaps?
Recommended brands for equipment and nutrients
ESSENTIALS – pH adjust fluids and metering solutions
Root!t – Excellent array of propagation solutions
VitaLink – Various nutrients for your choice of growing media
LUMii – Plant lighting. Extend the length of day during winter to give your plants a good start.
So the plants are coming along nicely and we have really good strong growth on the Carolina Reapers, Dorset Naga®, Bhut Jolokia and Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Chillies so far. The plants are ready to be repotted once they have four try grow leaves. You can transplant seedlings that you have growing in one pot but if handling make sure you handle them by holding the cotyledons and NOT the stem of the plant. If you damage the stem the plant is pretty much out of action or injured to speak.
We have repotted the Carolina Reapers into small pots filled with a mixture of VitaLink Pro Soil at about 80%, Perlite 10% and Vermiculite at 10% ratio. The reason we do this is to add air pockets to the soil to prevent compaction. If there’s a good balance of water with nutrients for the plants to drink with a good blanace of air in the soil the plant can feed and breath properly.
When repotting for the first time don’t be worried about the cotyledons (first growth leaves that appeared upon the seed germinating), this is the first stage of growth and allows the plant to photosynthesise to start growing ‘true leaves’… These will eventually turn yellow, go crispy or just fall off. So long as the plant has a few leaves growing don’t be alarmed by this as it’s all part of the natural process of its growth.
We can also officially announce that we have poly-tunnels to plant into this year and really upscale our grow. We are going to have between 250 and 300 chilli plants of varying flavour and heat. Some will be very ornamental and others will be literally pain disguised as fruit!
In order to get all of our plants underway, we were shown a great plan to utilise a Dutch / Danish trolley to half various shelves for propagation units and lighting. At present this has taken over our dining room but needs must!! The things we do to grow chillies…
The first of our Vlogs for the year, here’s some advice, help and growing techniques to aid you in getting started. Please give it a thumbs up on YouTube if you find it helpful and also subscribe to see all our other updates that will follow.
Pretty much the same as last year, but wait – where are all those chilli plants you’ve sown going? A simple case of watch this space, but as for the hydroponics in our greenhouse, pretty much the same as last year!
The greenhouse has been emptied, cleaned and sterilised with Jeyes fluid. Further plans are being put into action to enable us to upscale our grow this year. Yes we’d love to get our grow upscaled and there’s only one way to do – get more space to grow in…
So onto this years growlog… What are we growing:
- Caroline Reaper
- Dorset Naga
- Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Chilli)
- 7 Pot Yellow
- 7 Pot Red
- 7 Pot Jonah
- Aji Limon
- India Jwala
- Spaghetti (Sea Spring Seeds)
- Joes Long Cayenne
- Jalapeño M
- Katie Habanero
- Lucy Habanero
- Chocolate Habanero
- Red Habanero
- Peach Habanero
- Rocoto Red
- Basket of Fire
So that’s a lot of varieties and a small greenhouse I hear you ask? Watch this space and you’ll see where they’re all going to go as the season progresses!!! Could this scale of grow be a Warwickshire Chili Farm? Who knows…
Prevoious years techniques
2013 – First year of using the greenhouse, built several self watering buckets
2014 – Converted the greenhouse to a floating floor with guttering as irrigation system
2015 – Half the grow was Hydroponic (NFT technique) & Half Compost
2016 – NFT Hydroponic grow (SureGrow Gully’s and Nutriculture GT901)
If you want to grow chillies and also worry about time constraints then worry not, the less you fuss with them the better you’ll grow. Over tentativeness leads to stress from the grower stressing the plants in my opinion. If you have a few minutes a couple of times per week, you’ll get on fantastically. I say this because after planting the chillies and getting them to a good size simply tap the stems or give them a light shake a couple of times a week. This will help with pollination as chillies are self pollinating, we’ve all heard of people saying to get a paint brush and touch each flower blah blah blah… Don’t waste your time. Do the shaking thing and plant LOTS of marigolds or other orange flowered plants that are prolific and attract the good bugs such as hover flies and lady birds to your greenhouse whilst leaving a few small gaps for them to get in and out.
Aphids / Greenfly
Whether or not you think you can prevent them, you can’t… They’re around in your house even throughout winter when you wouldn’t be aware and hence overwintering chilli plants will demonstrate this no matter how many leaves you remove! It’s a matter of when you get them as opposed to if you get them. From past experience there’s only one way to get rid of the little blighters and that’s a product called Pyrethrum 5 EC which is very expensive but works! Other sprays work too, again from previous experience don’t go over the top with them though, the leaves of your plants still need to breath and smothering them with soapy solutions to kill the bugs will inadvertently kill the plants ability to photosythesize…