Friday, 28 October 2011

Late chillis and an exercise in one-handed photography

We've had a lot more Autumn sunshine than is normal for October in the UK, and my chillis are loving it. Many of them have decided to produce some more flowers, hoping for a second crop. If I had a greenhouse, I would move my chilli plants into it right now, because the plants themselves still look full of vigour, but it can't be many days now before we get frost, so I think their days are numbered.

Flowers on the "Serrano" chilli plant - 20 October 2011
The Serrano chilli plant has produced only a modest crop so far. Most of the fruits have been very small, like this:

(By the way, this is where the one-handed photography starts. I couldn't get the chillis into a good photography position without holding them!)

The latest batch of Serranos has been much more typical in shape - longer, in other words.

Some of the "Pinocchio's Nose" chillis have grown to a good size. On the packet of seeds is says "Fruits may grow up to 25cm in length", but I'm not sure where you start measuring. Is it the beginning of the stem? Or the shoulders of the fruit itself? However you measure it, this is a big chilli.

This variety has been a lot slower to set fruit and a lot slower to ripen than the other types. These huge ones may have to be ripened indoors.

"Medium Long" has lots of ripe fruit now, looking very much like miniature Bell Peppers / Capsicums:

Only two or three of the "Cherry Bomb" ones have turned red. There are lots of green ones though.

While we're on the subject of late harvests, I must just mention that I'm still harvesting Runner beans. The overall appearance of the plants is decidedly tatty:

But despite this, I was able to pick this little collection last week. Notice that it includes the "non-conformist" one I showed you a few days previously.

Well, tatty foliage or otherwise, I'm not taking those plants down until one of two things happens:
A (preferred option) - the beans in the next picture get big enough to be worth picking, or
B - frost kills the plants.


  1. I envy your the Runner Beans, they are my favourite vegetable. Regarding your Chillis, could you not take one or two indoors to overwinter? I keep two on east facing windowsills all year round and there is generally on or two fruits visible.

  2. With your great blog, I think someone should sponsor you a greenhouse like Hazel.

  3. Good photos for one handed photography! Those beans looks great, too!

  4. Looks good Mark, we had first frost last night while most things made it through - they were covered, the basil is done. The cherry bomb peppers are still going strong.

  5. I used a picture of that rainbow chilli in my header today..just for you! What sort of runner beans are they? And...I will talk to Daniel about setting up a greenhouse experiment in Fleet. LOL.

  6. I've found flowers on my tomato plants, the weather really has been topsy turvy this year.

  7. I'm really impressed at the size of your Pinochio's Nose Mark, I may have to try growing them again myself, they all failed last year so I didn't bother this year. I too am still harvesting beans, and hoping that the frost doesn't finish them off quite yet. I will really miss them.

  8. That is late for runner beans - ours are up and composted.

  9. Your chillis look great and 10 out of 10 for your one handed photography! Could you not make a cloche for a couple of your chilli plants to over winter them? Seems a shame to lose them... x

  10. Very nice Mark. It is raining here today so my little gardens are being watered. No real cold weather for us yet.

  11. Could they not become house plants for a few months? They look soooo healthy and they are very decorative.....

  12. So many shape of chillies! We just harvested our first bean for spring this year yesterday.


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