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Chilli update – June 2016

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If you have been reading the Greenhouse updates you will know that we have been flat out busy with preparing the greenhouse, potting up plants and planning our display crops. We have added 40 varieties to make 60 capsicum varieties this year, 46 of which are chillies.  You can see a full list of chillies and sweet peppers along with the rest of the plants in the greenhouse here plant list 2016 with full chilli details on our chilli pages.  Last year we had some fun trying to create a couple of hybrid varieties through controlled hand pollination with some reasonably good success.  So far we have a Naga X Pimenta de Neyde hybrid, a Trinidad 7pot X Pimenta de Neyde hybrid, and a rather unusual variegated Cayenne that produces a green and white striped fruit that turns red and retains some of the dark stripes.  We are working to stabilise this variety through selective breeding. 

The first two hybrids mentioned above are growing nicely with interesting foliage and early fruit – we’ll keep you updated on their progress throughout the season.  Some of the ‘new to us’ varieties have caught our eye already, these being Cajamarca with its purple corkscrew fruit, Turtle Claw for it’s very attractive growth habit and the cute little worm-like fruit, and the Scotch Bonnet –Big Sun- for its impressive leaf size.  We can wait to see what the pods are like on that one!  Some of the new varieties of super-hot chillies we have growing this year are 7pot Brainstrain, Fatalii Jigsaw, Douglah, several new colours of Bhut Jolokia, Naga and Habanero. I can’t wait to see how the Purple Bhut and White Bhut turn out. All the varieties from last year are being grown again this year including the Carolina Reaper ‘hottest chilli in the world’ and fast becoming the ‘most grown chilli in the UK’.
Another new chilli variety of note is the purple cayenne – Purple Haze.  It’s early to flower and fruit and we have lots of pretty purple pods hanging of the tall but dainty plants already – I’m also told that they have a very good flavour, good looks and great taste, that’s got to be a winner.  The other cayenne types are also in flower and fruit and looking really awesome, I’m expecting good things from two more new additions – Korika Jolokia and Mizoram Birds eye – these have just started setting fruit so it will be a week or two before we get a good idea of what they will be like.

On to the sweet peppers next – I’m so looking forward to getting some home grown sweet peppers back on my plate, it’s such a pleasure.  Some of the notable new varieties are Tequila – the ultraviolet bell pepper.  Ringo – a pointy yellow pepper and Marconi – Purple, a purple version of the Marconi Red – a large red pointy pepper.  There are also two sweet habanero that I’m itching to get my teeth into – flavour without the pain.  In the next post I will be talking about support for your chilli peppers and discussing different options for different plant growth habits.  Until next time, happy growing.

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