Jane has bought a lovely new bracelet. I have jokingly dubbed it her "Badge of Office", which she can use to demonstrate her status as Executive Chef for Marksvegplot!
Of course this has just reminded me that I ought to provide an update on how my chilli plants are coming along. Well, they have grown a lot the past couple of weeks. They are so tall now that I have had to remove the second shelves of the mini-greenhouses in which they live.
These plants are doing what chillis normally do: when they get to a height of about 35 or 40cm they begin to branch out, like this:
You can see how there is no longer just one growing point, but (on this plant at least) three. If they get beyond 50cm tall and have still not branched out, I would pinch out the growing point, in order to force them to adopt a bushier habit.
You can also see that the first flowers are beginning to form.
Often I find that the first few flowers don't set fruit - maybe because the pollinating bees don't discover them until it's too late. It's unlikely that I'll be short of chillis though. Before long I'll probably have masses of them.
A word now about the pots in which I am growing some of the chillis (e.g. the one on the right in the second photo of this post). They were originally marketed as tomato pots, but I have found them to be too small for tomatoes. The big tomato plants were too thirsty and it was always a challenge to keep their compost moist. The pots come with a cover, which is intended to reduce evaporation. The cover also helps stability: it has a hole through which you can insert a cane, pushing it through to a matching hole in the perforated inner base. The inner base itself is removable and fits low down inside the main pot . You put a layer of gravel or pebbles under the removable bit to aid drainage and the main pots has some holes in the side at a height of about five centimetres through which excess water can escape (you can just see one of them in the photo). These pots are just right for chillis.