No one likes a show off, but I can’t help myself this week, so apologies in advance!
2012 hasn’t offered the best conditions for growing chillies, which ideally need lots of summer sunshine and heat to perform well. So I am more than chuffed with my pot of Chilli ‘Chenzo’ plants.
Granted, I gave them an early start, sowing them back in February in an Aerogarden, under artificial lighting, but at 10cm or so high, they were potted on and grown under normal conditions in the greenhouse. The fact that they are from the Unwin’s Gro-sure range has no doubt helped too (specially selected F1 varieties chosen for reliability, pest and disease resistance).
A few hot days a couple of weeks ago did catch me out, I returned home one evening to see my plants withering in the greenhouse, but a heavy water and a night to recover, the plants soon perked up again. This did cause the newest flower buds to drop off the plants, but the fruits held on and already new flowers are on show. If we do get any more hot spells this year, move your plants outside by day to avoid temperature extremes.
Chenzo chillies change from purple to red as they ripen. Currently in the purple phase it is hard to see the fruits in the photograph but I estimate I already have a good 200 chillies, with plenty more to come.
From now until season’s end, the only upkeep they need is a weekly water and feed. I’m using Nutri Liquid Tomato Feed to promote heavy fruiting. Once month I also flush the pots with a heavy watering to wash out any build of salts in the compost.
I’m so confident in the performance of ‘Chenzo’ that I’m taking my container to the Great Dorset Chilli Festival, Wimorne St Giles this weekend (4-5 Aug) to enter the event’s plant competition. This is the first time I’ve contemplated entering any kind of growing competition. Who knows what I’ll be up against, but I’m quietly confident. I’ll let you know how I get on next week.