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Chilli seeds

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bungeejumper
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Chilli seeds

#375880

Postby bungeejumper » January 11th, 2021, 2:58 pm

I'm one of those people who like to start my chillis as early as January, usually in a heated propagator. In this part of the world, chillis benefIt from the longest growing period they can get. But this year I've encountered a problem I haven't seen before. My usual go-to chillis have been out of stock since last summer, and the growers are blaming a combination of covid and last summer's weather. Are they having a laugh?

I'm not a thermonuclear nut when it comes to chillis - my usual is rather misleadingly called Inferno, when in actual fact it's the sort of heat you'd put on a pizza. (It's an F1 variant on Hungarian Hot Wax, rated at a modest 10,000 to 15,000 scovilles). But all the places online that claimed to have these seeds have said that they are currently out of stock, with no immediate likelihood of getting any more in. I had a dozen or so yellow Hungarian seeds (5,000 scovies upward), but beyond that I've been reduced to the traditional cayennes, which are at least cheap.

Have others had any difficulties?

BJ

dealtn
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Re: Chilli seeds

#375900

Postby dealtn » January 11th, 2021, 3:31 pm

bungeejumper wrote:
Have others had any difficulties?

BJ


It'll be my first year trying. Got my seeds through a couple of days ago which are "Gusto Green". No idea why I selected them, or whether my supplier offered "Inferno". They are 15-30,000 apparently. Yikes!

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Re: Chilli seeds

#375901

Postby Urbandreamer » January 11th, 2021, 3:32 pm

I don't begin anywhere near as early as you. Indeed these days I usually buy plug starter plants.

However for a time I use to save seeds and grow this years plant from last years fruit. Have you any saved seed or dried chillis? I'm not sure if frozen seed will germinate, but it might be worth a try.

The other idea might be ebay.
I've just had a glance and there seems quite a few offers.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from ... illi+seeds

I use to like Apache as it was easy to germinate and I felt about the right heat for me. However possibly a bit hot for you.

bungeejumper
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Re: Chilli seeds

#375915

Postby bungeejumper » January 11th, 2021, 3:53 pm

dealtn wrote:It'll be my first year trying. Got my seeds through a couple of days ago which are "Gusto Green". No idea why I selected them, or whether my supplier offered "Inferno". They are 15-30,000 apparently. Yikes!

The gustos sound rather good, actually. Although when I looked up the height of the plants, I got "one to eight feet". That's helpful. ;)

A few years ago, I was tempted to try a variety called Barak. Lovely plants, lovely chillis (if rather small). But 95 to 100,000 scovilles. :shock: I had to bin the lot. Couldn't think of a damn thing I might want to do with them. Certainly couldn't eat them. :lol:

BJ

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Re: Chilli seeds

#375921

Postby dealtn » January 11th, 2021, 4:04 pm

bungeejumper wrote:
dealtn wrote:It'll be my first year trying. Got my seeds through a couple of days ago which are "Gusto Green". No idea why I selected them, or whether my supplier offered "Inferno". They are 15-30,000 apparently. Yikes!

The gustos sound rather good, actually. Although when I looked up the height of the plants, I got "one to eight feet". That's helpful. ;)

A few years ago, I was tempted to try a variety called Barak. Lovely plants, lovely chillis (if rather small). But 95 to 100,000 scovilles. :shock: I had to bin the lot. Couldn't think of a damn thing I might want to do with them. Certainly couldn't eat them. :lol:

BJ


Hope you remembered to wash your hands afterwards!

bungeejumper
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Re: Chilli seeds

#375928

Postby bungeejumper » January 11th, 2021, 4:16 pm

dealtn wrote:Hope you remembered to wash your hands afterwards!

Don't. Just don't........

A few years ago, I finished shredding my dried chillies for winter storage, and when they were safely in their jars I went off for a pee. Didn't think anything about it as I unzipped my fly.

Two hours and a long, long cold shower later, I was still hopping from one foot to the other and wondering what was supposed to be so chilly about them? And all that with just 15,000 scovilles. :lol:

BJ

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Re: Chilli seeds

#375992

Postby BobbyD » January 11th, 2021, 6:19 pm

That reminds me I need to check on the Chocolate Bhut in the airing cupboard...

I still have fruit on a Trini 7 pot which must be approaching it's 2nd birthday, and which was abandoned for most of this year after being devastated by an unexpected frost.

Salad peppers can wait a little, and will be a game of germination roulette with older packs of yellow waxes, jalopenos etc which have built up since I downscaled somewhat.


bungeejumper wrote:A few years ago, I was tempted to try a variety called Barak. Lovely plants, lovely chillis (if rather small). But 95 to 100,000 scovilles. :shock: I had to bin the lot. Couldn't think of a damn thing I might want to do with them. Certainly couldn't eat them. :lol:

BJ


Use less! I find a sliver of some really hot peppers will add more flavour to a dish than the heat equivalent in cooler peppers.

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Re: Chilli seeds

#376016

Postby Urbandreamer » January 11th, 2021, 7:31 pm

BobbyD wrote:Use less! I find a sliver of some really hot peppers will add more flavour to a dish than the heat equivalent in cooler peppers.


Speaking as someone who cooks YES. For example the flavour of scotch bonnet* is very pronounced. It's also a hot chilli. If you want the flavour with a lot less heat simply remove all seeds and white flesh.

Likewise if you want more heat, but only have weak chillies ignore cooking instructions that tell you to do the above. Use more and discard the flesh. Or add the heat from the spice drawer using dried powdered chillies+ or dried flakes.

If you look up Mexican recipe's you may find that they use many different chilli's in the same recipe. That would be because it's not all about the heat. Some are very mild, but are used for their flavour. While others provide the heat and a different flavour.

*I can understand those who don't like it's acidic flavour. However that really IS the point. If you do like it you can enjoy it with less heat.
+I have a range from cayenne to chipolte (dried smoked peppers) and of course the same in papreka (another chilli but often grown in Europe and sometimes smoked).

bungeejumper
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Re: Chilli seeds

#376125

Postby bungeejumper » January 12th, 2021, 8:56 am

BobbyD wrote:Use less! I find a sliver of some really hot peppers will add more flavour to a dish than the heat equivalent in cooler peppers.

I can see that, but the trouble is, somebody's got to be the poor sod who gets the still-throbbing remains of the sliver in his dinner. Like the sixpence in a christmas pudding, but thermonuclear.

You've just given me an idea for a party game, though. :twisted:

BJ

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Re: Chilli seeds

#376132

Postby Urbandreamer » January 12th, 2021, 9:10 am

bungeejumper wrote:I can see that, but the trouble is, somebody's got to be the poor sod who gets the still-throbbing remains of the sliver in his dinner. Like the sixpence in a christmas pudding, but thermonuclear.

You've just given me an idea for a party game, though. :twisted:

BJ


I use to tell my kids that they were lucky if they found a bay leaf in their food. :twisted: However I understand that most people remove them prior to serving.

If you wish to do this with the flesh of a chilli then either use a muslin spice pouch or put a cocktail stick through it prior to cooking. At the end of cooking remove what you don't want to wind up on someone's plate.

Seriously though, the flesh looses it's heat in the cooking process while the stock takes it on.

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Re: Chilli seeds

#376215

Postby AleisterCrowley » January 12th, 2021, 12:28 pm

A friend's mum used to just wipe the pan with a Scotch bonnet chili (and discard?) - that was enough apparently

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Re: Chilli seeds

#376299

Postby sg31 » January 12th, 2021, 4:03 pm

I bought a chilli seeds last year for sowing this year. I've never grown them before and I'm confused by the differing advice I see on the internet. If anyone can provide a link to a reliable instruction resource I'd be most grateful.

I intend to try making my own chilli sauce this year if I have any success with the plants.

January does seem early for sowing.

bungeejumper
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Re: Chilli seeds

#376330

Postby bungeejumper » January 12th, 2021, 6:24 pm

sg31 wrote:I bought a chilli seeds last year for sowing this year. I've never grown them before and I'm confused by the differing advice I see on the internet. If anyone can provide a link to a reliable instruction resource I'd be most grateful.

Chillis aren't exactly a native species in the UK, so you're always going to have to tweak the growing instructions that would apply to warmer parts of the world. But they're not difficult if you've got a warm place to germinate them and somewhere under glass to bring them on, always bearing in mind that we're a bit starved of light in the UK, as well as spring warmth. (The reason why they benefit from the artificial boost of a January start.)

https://www.southdevonchillifarm.co.uk/ ... li-plants/ and https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your ... lli-pepper are both good places to start. None of the types I've tried have been hard to get started - if you sow three seeds for every two plants you eventually want, you should be well supplied. But make sure that the final plants have enough root space, because they're quite hungry once they get going. The conventional wisdom is that they don't like too much water, but I've never found that to be a problem. Ditto greenfly - mine have always found other plants to focus their attention on. :|

BJ

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Re: Chilli seeds

#376409

Postby BobbyD » January 12th, 2021, 11:07 pm

bungeejumper wrote:
BobbyD wrote:Use less! I find a sliver of some really hot peppers will add more flavour to a dish than the heat equivalent in cooler peppers.

I can see that, but the trouble is, somebody's got to be the poor sod who gets the still-throbbing remains of the sliver in his dinner. Like the sixpence in a christmas pudding, but thermonuclear.

You've just given me an idea for a party game, though. :twisted:

BJ


Two things.

As mentioned elsewhere chillis break down like everything else during cooking and the heat will leach out. This is more true of a spicy stew which spends a couple of hours in the oven than a quickly tossed stir fry though...

Chop it really small. Like tiny pieces of glowing hot metal thrown off by a grinding wheel you'll significantly reduce the impact if a spec does make contact, and the heat will leach out quicker during cooking.

The party game is to get some Habaneros and one Reaper or Bhut Jolokia, dip them in chocolate so you can't tell which is which and then make sure you've got a phone handy for when the friend who picks the Reaper stops breathing...

sg31 wrote:I bought a chilli seeds last year for sowing this year. I've never grown them before and I'm confused by the differing advice I see on the internet. If anyone can provide a link to a reliable instruction resource I'd be most grateful.


There were, and I assume still are some very dedicated forums for chilli growers on the net packed with mainly good advice. There's loads of advice around partly because they are actually fairly easy to grow so lots of people are successful, and partly because some people take it very seriously. You could do worse than try a little of everything and see what works for you.

The first thing to do is to establish which of the 5 families your chilli comes from. If it's a Chinense like a hab, a bonnet, Fatalii, or any of the super hot peppers you need to be looking to start germination asap, they need the head start to cram a season in to a British summer. For others you have slightly more time but may well get better results by starting now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsicum_chinense

If you don't have a heated prop, but you do a have an airing cupboard you can make a mini greenhouse using some damp kitchen towel and a sandwich bag. Moisten the kitchen towel, wrap the seeds in it, put in the sandwich bag, blow the bag up like a balloon, tie the end to keep it inflated with a knot you can easily pull open to check on their progress in a few weeks. Pop the bag in the airing cupboard and check back in a couple of weeks. Plant the seeds on once they've germinated.

The nice thing about this technique is that you see the germination much earlier than waiting to see if anything pops through the soil. Don't use too much water or all you will grow is mold!

Once you've got actual plants on the go get them as much light as possible and be careful about overwatering.

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Re: Chilli seeds

#376537

Postby redsturgeon » January 13th, 2021, 11:45 am

Ah yes the Scotch Bonnet is my favourite chilli. A delicious and distinctive flavour. One has to build up immunity to the heat of chillis in general but it is well worth it.

John

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Re: Chilli seeds

#376544

Postby sg31 » January 13th, 2021, 11:56 am

Thanks for the advice, I will follow the links and have a read.

My seed are very hot varieties. The idea being that I can use fewer chillies to get the heat I want into sauces. I have to use sauce because my wife doesn't like hot food. I like heat but there is a limit.

I grow far too many tomatoes each year and give most of them away. I just fancied trying something different this year so I intend to cut back on tomatoes and try chilli plants instead.

I think I'd better get started soon. I've got the heated propogator but sunlight is a problem, the green house is too cold and south facing window space always has a radiator underneath it. I can do north facing but unheated south is difficult.

My tomato plants I start quite late and I'm into cropping about the same time as everyone else. The plants do get a bit leggy unless I put them outside each day and bring them in each night.

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Re: Chilli seeds

#376819

Postby BobbyD » January 13th, 2021, 11:16 pm

sg31 wrote:I grow far too many tomatoes each year and give most of them away. I just fancied trying something different this year so I intend to cut back on tomatoes and try chilli plants instead.

I think I'd better get started soon. I've got the heated propogator but sunlight is a problem, the green house is too cold and south facing window space always has a radiator underneath it. I can do north facing but unheated south is difficult.

My tomato plants I start quite late and I'm into cropping about the same time as everyone else. The plants do get a bit leggy unless I put them outside each day and bring them in each night.


If you went very hot, then they are almost certainly Chinense.

You've just cut down on your drinking to spend more time smoking crack!

The major problem with radiators in my experience is that aphids love them. Learn to hate aphids like they did really nasty things to your nearest and dearest. They would if they could. They love chillis, and you should take any action necessary to prevent them becoming established. The second most evil things in the chilliverse are ants. It's simultaneously really impressive and completely infuriating to watch a column of ants shamelessly and in full view marching up your chilli, carrying an aphid egg a piece, and attaching them to the leaves of your chilli before sauntering down the other side of the stem. Ants are genuine farmers, and there's millions of them. My chillis live on a table in the garden. Yellow sticky traps are reasonably good, but the most important thing is eradicate asap regardless of method.

That said my plants will start on south facing window sills all of which have radiators underneath them. You can also get some quite reasonably priced LED grow lights, which might give you more flexibility.

Went back to tomatoes last year, and if you think I'm digging the blighters up every night to take them inside you've got another thing coming. Once you're past frosts chillis should be fine outside overnight, especially if they've been given some outdoors sun during previous days. Might depend where you live of course.


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