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Growing Chillies

How to grow chilli peppers in pots, containers, growbags, garden beds and allotments

 

Chilli Peppers

Family/Latin Name

Solanaceae - Capsicum annuum

Type of Plant

Fruiting - Crop Rotation Group = Others

Suitable for

 

Pots, Containers, Garden Beds, Allotments, Greenhouses, Growbags


Pests & Diseases    Companion Plants    In the Kitchen

See also:-  Vegetable Growing Glossary  |    Container Growing  | Buying Seeds & Plants

 

Plant Dimensions

Height - approx  45cm/18"  - Spread  approx 30cm/ 1ft

Yield Per Plant 15-20 chillies (sometimes more)

Time between sowing and harvesting

About 18 weeks

Sowing time

March - April - temperature   16-21C/60-70F

Where to Sow

Indoors in small pots 7.5cm/3" diameter filled with compost. 

How to Sow

4 seeds per 7.5cm/3" pot - 6mm/¼-inch deep. Germination takes up to 21 days

After Germination

Keep moist but not too wet. When the plants are about 7.5cm/3" high transplant to individual 6.5cm/3" pots

Growing on -  in Pots Outdoors

Harden off plants and finally move outdoors once all danger of frost has passed. As the plants get bigger, pot up into larger pots in stages ending with three plants per 30cm/12" container or 4 per growbag. Place in a hot sheltered sunny position. 

Growing on - in open ground

As above but plant  in beds or borders 37cm/ 15" apart. 

Growing on -  in greenhouses Transplant one plant per 15cm/6" container, three plants per 30cm/12" container or 4 per growbag. Mist plants regularly to maintain humidity. Greenhouse plants tend to grow taller than outdoor raised plants so support may be needed.

Aftercare

Water regularly, but do not keep the compost very wet.  Feed with tomato food once the fruit start to swell each time you water.  May need supporting with canes.

Harvesting

In general start picking green fruit once the skins are glossy  (probably at the beginning of August). This will ensure continuing new fruit production. The size of the chilli will depend on the variety grown. A mature chilli will often turn red  towards the end of the season but remember leaving chillies to fully ripen will halt new fruit production. Crops over about 6 weeks.

Pests and Diseases

Companion Plants

Red Spider Mite
Indications First sign is that the leaves may look pale and mottled. Particularly in greenhouse grown plants.
Treatment Organic
1. Wash them off with a hose.
2. Spray them with soft soap.
3. Sprays containing pyrethrum every 5-7 days on the upper and lower sides of the leaves.
Prevention Difficult. Try keeping the atmosphere humid.
Aphids
Indications Leaves distorted, yellowing and stunted
Treatment Organic
1. Spray with soft soap
2. Use water through a hosepipe to knock the aphids off the plants
Chemical
Spray with an insecticide containing pyrethrum
Prevention None

 Companion Flower Graphic

Tomatoes,Geraniums, Petunias

If you know aphids are a problem in your area, grow flowers such as nasturtiums, calendula asters,  dahlias, and zinnias nearby (but not too close) as aphids find them attractive so they act as a lure.

 

To learn more about companion planting click here.

In the Kitchen

Storage:   Keep in a cool dark airy place in a paper bag for up to 5 days or refrigerate in the crisper drawer for up to 10 days.

Can be air dried for later use or preserved in oil or vinegar.

Preparing:  Rinse well in cold water. Cut off the stalk to 1cm/½-inch or remove completely if required. As the skin is edible, there is no need to peel.  Cut in half lengthways and remove the seeds for a less fiery flavour. Cut as per the instructions in individual recipes

Cooking Some chillies are much hotter than others, so care should be taken when adding them to recipes. Use in any dish where you want to add a kick of heat.

For more preparation and cooking information about chilli  peppers  plus lots of  recipes visit our sister site www.recipes4us.co.uk.

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