Tuesday 20 March 2012

Mid-March update - Chillis etc

I sowed my Chillis on 25th February. Most of them germinated in little over a week. However one variety - "Amando F1" has done very badly. I sowed four seeds (two to a 7.5cm pot) but only one germinated. In theory I should leave them at least a month because peppers and chillis can sometime take that long to germinate, but if I do, they will be way behind all the others (or they might never germinate at all), so I have sowed another two. My aim is to have two plants each of four different varieties.

The plants are now between 5 and 7cm tall - and predictably a bit leggier than I would like, though they will probably be OK. I have thinned them to one plant per pot, discarding the weaker of the two seedlings.

I am particularly pleased that some of the seeds I brought back from Turkey have germinated. So far, only two out of the eight I sowed, but two is all I need, so any more will be a bonus.

"Turkey" chilli
I'm doing my best to give these little ones as much light as possible, but it's not easy. Now that my Tomatoes have germinated too, I can no longer move the Chillis to the other side of the house at lunchtime! I think if we get any sunshine on a day when I'm at home and able to supervise them closely I will put them outside for a couple of hours, but still inside their propagators.

My plastic mini-greenhouses are already occupied, mostly with those wooden wine boxes I wrote about the other day. I have got Baby Leaf Salad in one, and Radishes in the other. Filling them with compost made me realise how much bigger they are than the old washing-up bowls I sometimes use. They took about half a bag each!

My plastic storage boxes have also been brought into use. As you can see in my next photo, two of them fit neatly into my big wooden planter. In one I have sown seeds for Carrot "Mini Finger" and in the other one I have planted my Strawberries.

Meanwhile, out at the front, the Daffodils around the base of the Crab Apple tree are looking good now. All the Irises have died off though.

March and April are the chief seed-sowing months round here, so there's not much to see in the vegetable garden just now - mostly "potential"!

Just look at the mess the Blackbirds have made, scratching around in the compost looking for worms and bugs!

The bright green patch in the middle is the Swiss Chard and Perpetual Spinach, which is growing quite strongly again.

Nearly forgot to mention the Broccoli... There is not so much of it this year, but it's nearly ready for picking:


P.S. I'm working in London this week - setting off at the crack of dawn and getting home late, so I'm afraid I don't have much time or energy for blogging, and I'm relying on posts I created at the weekend, so you may not hear much from me for a few days....


  1. Thanks for the updates, Mark! Your garden looks neat and very well maintained. And much better than mine after flash flood and extremely heavy rain last night. Your peppers look healthy. I wish you lived closer so I could lend you my lamp for the seedlings. I made a very primitive construction of energy efficient lamp ($12 at the Home Depot), a rope and a piece of wood. With temperature in upper 20sC my indoor season is over.

  2. So is your Turkey chili a paprika? Last year I so wanted to make paprika. I hope when I can eat peppers again I'll get a chance. I love the stuff. But then I haven't met a chili I didn't like. The only peppers I'm not fond of are the sweet green peppers.

  3. But at least the blackbirds are helping rid you of bugs!

  4. This may appear twice as I had an error message on the first attempt.

    At least the blackbirds are helping get rid of some bugs so forgive them the mess.

  5. Your chillies are so much further on than mine...ok...I only planted them two days ago-but I want to see growth-now!!

  6. Hate blackbirds! Anoying, annoying, annoying. I do like your chillies though - I find they often take a good while to germinate for me too.

  7. Thanks so much for the update! I love your raised beds! I have raised beds and containers as well. My husband has built me a wonderful area to dig in the dirt. I look foward to seeing how your peppers do! Best of luck with them!

  8. We don't have blackbirds that bother the garden here. What a pain. Your seedlings look great.

  9. Good post. Birds have been digging rightly in your beds! Great display of the mini daffodil around the tree. You did a great job when you did the redesign around the crab apple. Hope you trip goes smoothly.

  10. I've got some carrots in a container which I sowed at the back end of last year and overwintered in the greenhouse, I'm hoping to get an early crop so we'll have to wait and see how they do. Take care on your journeys back and forth to London.

  11. Mark, Everything looks so great. I love your garden layout and all that you share. Thanks!

  12. Daphne: I honestly have no idea what variety of chilli the ones from Turkey are - I just know that they were medium-length, fairly slim ones that ripened to a bright red colour, not particularly hot. I'm not sure what a Paprika chilli looks like - are they like I have described?

  13. The squirrels root around in my beds thoug not as rambunctiously as the birds in yours. Chillis are looking good.

  14. Poor old Mark having to work so hard when the weather is so lovely - your chillis are coming along nicely - I have yet to start with mine - but I am a little behind with my sowings due to my holiday - hopefully I'll soon catch you up.


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