Growing chillies

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  1. Post
    #1

    Growing chillies

    I want to give this a good go this season as normally I get disappointing results,capsicum included.
    I know there is a thread already on chillies but I just need to know the tricks to get a nice crop.
    Chillie masters cough up your secrets

  2. Post
    #2
    Chillies are very closely related to tomatoes... Treat the plants like you would treat a tomato plant (assuming you have grown a tomato before) and the chilli gods shall bring you delicious hot fruit! Its good cause if you head to any gardening department / store anything that is advertised for tomatoes is good for chillies too. i.e. liquid food (though have it a little more dilute than you would for a tomato).

    My tips from my limited experience would be:
    - Frost is like kryptonite and one frost can kill them or damage them badly.
    - They actually grow fairly well in large pots (or plastic bag pots)
    - Maximum sun for maximum hours
    - Learn what blight is and do your best to avoid it, it will consume whole plants before you know it.
    - Plant early indoors!

    Also consider the varieties you want to grow:
    + Cayenne: grows like the clappers, fruits a fu^k ton. Dried and crushed to make chilli flakes it lasts for ever.
    + Birds eye: grows fairly well, fruits fairly well. The chillies are delish and dry really well.
    + Rocotto: Grows really well, fruits well and the plants can withstand cold! Plants in the upper north island will live through winter even! Chillies are kinda average eating. Good for sews and stuff.
    + Thai Chilli: kinda similar to cayenne ... just stick with cayenne.
    + Jalapeno: Grows fairly well, fruits like a mofo! Pick them while they are green and the plant will just keep popping them out (plants have a limit and they drop fruit/flowers when they get to that limit, picking early means more fruit. They taste great too. Salsa city!
    ~ Habanero: Grows ok... need to be north of taupo for a good crop. Tasts AMAZING. Hands down my fav chilli.
    - Super Hots (ghost pepper, Trinidad scorpion, 7 pot, naga). Grows similar to Habs. HUGE novelty value at parties. Actual chilli tastes like sweaty ballsacks. Most people overlook how bad these chillies taste. Grow a plant or two for laughs but don't waste too much garden space with these things.
    - Capsicum: Honestly I wouldn't waste garden space with these. They grow ok, and they fruit ok but when they fruit they are also dirt cheap and taste just as good from the market. Use the space to grow something more interesting. Consider growing the Big Jim instead.

    I've grown a few other varieties but had poor success with them so not really worth mentioning.

    Growing chillies is fun can't wait till I have some dirt again...

  3. Post
    #3
    Large pot, well drained, lots of light & warmth. Some varieties/breeds are more susceptible to bug infestation.

    I have not yet grown this yet but there's a variety called 'Aji Crystal' that seems to get a lot of praises.

    Keep in mind those small packets of liquid feed have like 5000% markup compared to buying 25kg sacks of individual ingredients LOL

  4. Post
    #4
    Wow,thanks for the info.
    I grew two Habaneros last year,one fruited poorly while the other had ****loads of flowers but not a single fruit.
    By the sounds of it im not planting early enough and since I have a massive green house I really have no excuse this year plus Im redoing my garden into raised beds with heaps of horse manure composted and organic ferts so it should be good.

  5. Post
    #5
    I think you've just missed the season haven't you? don't they like hot weather?

  6. Post
    #6
    ... also I've ordered multiple packs of seeds from here with no troubles at all: Nickys Nursery

  7. Post
    #7
    This coming spring/summer :P

  8. Post
    #8
    I had a pretty decent crop of Cayennes and Habanero this year, just getting the last of them now.

    Next year I'd like to give growing from seed ago. I haven't tried it before as keeping them indoors hasn't been practical, but I think I can do it now, especially with the kids a bit older and not likely to get into them. How do I go about that? Save seeds from good looking fruit and take them out of the fresh chillies or dry them first? Then how do I store the seeds? An lastly when do I plant them?

  9. Post
    #9
    Grolim wrote:
    I had a pretty decent crop of Cayennes and Habanero this year, just getting the last of them now.

    Next year I'd like to give growing from seed ago. I haven't tried it before as keeping them indoors hasn't been practical, but I think I can do it now, especially with the kids a bit older and not likely to get into them. How do I go about that? Save seeds from good looking fruit and take them out of the fresh chillies or dry them first? Then how do I store the seeds? An lastly when do I plant them?
    Buy your seeds.They are cheap and you will know what you will get.
    cross pollination can be a bitch

  10. Post
    #10
    Swampy wrote:
    Buy your seeds.They are cheap and you will know what you will get.
    cross pollination can be a bitch
    Yeah this! I always bought my seeds. Such a small cost. You never know what random thing will come from saved species. ... though if all you grew was cayennes and habs you might be ok as they are different species.

  11. Post
    #11
    What's so bad about cross pollination, how does that work? Yeah I could Google it but you guys have the good info already

    Just grew cayennes and Habs, alongside capsicums, basil, tomatoes, spring onions. I thought saving a few seeds from them as they were a good crop might be the way to go, but buying them does sound easy and cheap. When is the best time to buy them and plant? Thinking of just putting them on a window sill until the sprout and then into the garden come spring time.

  12. Post
    #12
    Grolim wrote:
    What's so bad about cross pollination, how does that work? Yeah I could Google it but you guys have the good info already

    Just grew cayennes and Habs, alongside capsicums, basil, tomatoes, spring onions. I thought saving a few seeds from them as they were a good crop might be the way to go, but buying them does sound easy and cheap. When is the best time to buy them and plant? Thinking of just putting them on a window sill until the sprout and then into the garden come spring time.
    The seeds of cross-pollinated fruit may not produce plants with the same characteristics of the parent plant(s). It's not an issue if you're growing from purchased seed every year, but if you're wanting to collect seeds at the end of the season for next year you need to maintain adequate separation of varieties to avoid cross-pollination (e.g. between a sweet capsicum and a hot birds eye).

  13. Post
    #13
    Grolim wrote:
    Just grew cayennes and Habs, alongside capsicums, basil, tomatoes, spring onions. I thought saving a few seeds from them as they were a good crop might be the way to go
    KevinL wrote:
    The seeds of cross-pollinated fruit may not produce plants with the same characteristics of the parent plant(s).
    Yeah, this. But it's only 'inter-species' mingling you need to worry about. You won't end up with a tomato plant that grows basil leaves (although this would be a god plant!). So although your cayennes and habs won't mingle (different species) your cayennes and capsicums may get it on cause they are the same species. If you then planted the seeds from the cayennes you might end up with tasteless cayennes, poorly shaped cayennes, low heat cayennes etc. The result always tends to be crappy and every thing tends toward the 'generic chilli' the more you travel down the cross pollination road.

    Grolim wrote:
    When is the best time to buy them and plant? Thinking of just putting them on a window sill until the sprout and then into the garden come spring time.
    Proper seeds will last a few years (I usually refresh after 2 years) so just buy whenever. Now is a good time if you are ordering from overseas.

    When to plant them is a dance with the devil in my experience. The earlier you plant the more likely you will have bigger plants, more fruit and a longer season ... However, at the risk of a) loosing plants to the cold or b) having plants get way too leggy indoors and then doing poorly when you plant them out. To compound this issue I've had seeds take between 1 to 7 weeks to germinate!

    If you have a glass house you'll be laughing.

    Probably also worth mentioning that if you can get a plant to 'overwinter' (cut right back to just a stalk and store in a dark place all winter) you can have a waaaaay bigger crop the second year! I've struggled with this though, it is quite tricky. Also I've read that they don't really do well the third year so not worth the effort.

  14. Post
    #14
    Thanks guys, info much appreciated. Think I'll check out ordering some seeds from somewhere and giving them a go.

  15. Post
    #15
    Merkinz wrote:
    Chillies are very closely related to tomatoes... Treat the plants like you would treat a tomato plant

    - Capsicum: Honestly I wouldn't waste garden space with these. They grow ok, and they fruit ok but when they fruit they are also dirt cheap and taste just as good from the market. Use the space to grow something more interesting. Consider growing the Big Jim instead.
    ..
    I'd slightly disagree with that.
    Capsicums take longer to get going than tomatoes. They like it really hot. Tomatoes are less fussy than capsicums for sure.

    Having said that, once they are established you can leave them in for a long time.....depending where you live.
    In Auckland I have left mine in until the following Spring. They survived and continued fruiting albeit slower....

    If you start them early enough, they are still expensive in the shops, in fact I see they go down to cheap as dirt (20c each) late April, early May here.

  16. Post
    #16
    I'll be looking to grow some caps, but i'm going to try and get seeds of a less common colour such as purple. Then I can take advantage of cheap shop ones without feeling like i'm wasting time and space.

    It's going to be a lot harder deciding what types of chillies I want to plant.. The bodgy tomato greenhouse I made has been working brilliantly so I can see it being recycled and maybe duplicated a few times to get some nice early starts of all these come spring.

  17. Post
    #17
    So when would be a good time to germinate some chillies?
    I am going to set up grow box to get a nice early start so I was thinking of starting them off beginning of August then plant out early October?

  18. Post
    #18
    Just put my order in at Gstuff
    Stuck pretty close to Merkins advice but also added a Jolokia for ****s and giggles.

    1 x Big Jim NuMex Chili (15 seeds)
    1 x Cayenne long red Chili Pepper (50 seeds)
    1 x Jalapeno Chilli Pepper (0.5g - 60 Seeds approx)
    1 x Habanero Red Chlili (15 seeds)
    1 x Ancho St Luis Chili (15 seeds)
    1 x Bhut Jolokia Chilli Pepper(15 seeds)

  19. Post
    #19
    Swampy wrote:
    So when would be a good time to germinate some chillies?
    I am going to set up grow box to get a nice early start so I was thinking of starting them off beginning of August then plant out early October?
    Where do you live? I started germinating in July one year I was living in Nelson and it turned out to be just a bit too early. So you should be ok in August esp if you are up north and have a glasshouse...

    EDIT: if you live in aucks this might help decide... it's the first and last recorded frosts from a few years. There might be more uptodate data on the NIWA site ...:
    http://www.noodles.net.nz/2010/07/05...d-frost-dates/

  20. Post
    #20
    Im in Hamilton.
    They will be under lights for a while and put out around October.

  21. Post
    #21
    nice one......

  22. Post
    #22
    Merkinz wrote:
    EDIT: if you live in aucks this might help decide... it's the first and last recorded frosts from a few years. There might be more uptodate data on the NIWA site ...:
    http://www.noodles.net.nz/2010/07/05...d-frost-dates/
    LOL. I grow potatoes all year.......frost....more like a f....
    September they could be put out.....

  23. Post
    #23
    Ok,this has turned into a monster.
    I am now setting up a growroom to start them off as well as building a mini greenhouse to ease them into things.
    I also ordered a lot more seeds(hot ones)so will be looking at starting of with around 60 seedlings.
    I am sure to have a lot left over so I may sell any plants that dont find a home here.
    Added:

    10 X NAGA MORICH
    15 X YELLOW MORUGA SCORPION
    10 X RED 7 POT
    15 X FATALII
    20 X LEMON DROP AJI

    My wife thinks I'm mad

  24. Post
    #24
    Merkinz wrote:
    ... also I've ordered multiple packs of seeds from here with no troubles at all: Nickys Nursery
    What sort of postage did you get hit with for what quantity?

  25. Post
    #25
    My body is ready, although I'm amped now and there's still months before planting time...

    Goin to the garden centre next weekend oooh yeah