Sunday 19 July 2015

Chilli update

My chillis got off to a very bad start this year, but they are catching up rapidly. Most of them now have some small fruit, or at least flowers.

The best of the bunch at present is "Cayenne", which has several decent-sized fruit. They are all still green, but I feel sure this one will be the first to produce a ripe fruit.

This is "Aji Limon", normally one of the latest varieties to ripen its fruit.

This is "Hungarian Hot Wax".

"Cheiro Roxa" has suddenly produced loads of fruit. I really hope these ones will mature OK, because the photos I have seen of this variety make it look very attractive indeed.

This is "Brazilian Starfish". Even at this early stage the ribbing on this little fruit gives some clues about what shape it will eventually be.

"Rocoto" is lagging behind most of the others, having just produced its first flower.

This is the "Bird's Eye" - one of those I kept from last year. It has lots of very tiny flowers now, like this one (complete with aphid of course!).

This is "Indian Chilli Bullet", which has an unusual way of delivering its fruit - in clusters at the tops of the stems.

This plant is probably the most prolific of this year's batch. It is "Ring of Fire". Despite being a fairly small plant (about 18 inches high), it has literally dozens of flowers on it now, some of which are just setting fruit.

As you can see, I need the next few weeks to be hot and sunny if the chilli harvest is to be any good. It doesn't look hopeful just now (he says, looking out of the window at another grey overcast day)!

P.S. You know that I'm always banging on about weedkiller contamination in commercial compost? Well, look at the leaves of my chilli plants, and tell me what has caused this distortion if it's not weedkiller...

Fortunately the damage is not as severe as it was this time last year, but worrying nonetheless, especially in a food crop. Maybe you would like to see this article from the Soil Association about the presence of the weedkiller Roundup / Glyphosate in our bread and cereals?

The report claims that recent studies show that 7 / 10 city-dwellers in the UK had traces of Glyphosate in their urine! (I wonder if my guts are distorted like those leaves....)


  1. I'm not sure I've ever seen a pepper with a yellow flower before.

    I tend to buy organic food to avoid things like glyphosate. I think at this point you can't get away from it, but I figure less is better.

  2. You have such a wonderful collection of chilli plants Mark. It's a shame about the weed killer contamination, have you made an enquiry with the company?

  3. I hate to be a prophet of doom but there have been of organic farms supplying contaminated manure. I don't know about n the US but in the Uk the term organic doesn't necessarily mean what you would expect it to,

  4. Aphids, mites and other insects that feed by piercing plant tissues can cause distortion like that. It only takes one aphid to transmit a virus that causes distortion so you may never see the culprit. I hope it's not weed killer contamination, that would be truly depressing, at least if it's bug transmitted it's natural. Your plants are looking great considering the rough start and bad weather.

  5. The leaves may be distorted but the plants are looking much better now than they were earlier in the season. It's so worrying about compost contamination, we think we're doing the right thing growing our own but then we come across problems like these.

  6. Some of my chilli leaves look like that - I'm inclined to think it's bug related since I've used the same compost with all of my plants but only some of them are affected (and again, only a couple of sets of leaves have been distorted before they right themselves again).

    ... no idea what the bug might be, mind you. I've kept a close eye on all the plants and haven't spotted anything beyond the occasional greenfly.

  7. Your chilis are really looking healthy, despite a few distorted leaves. Hopefully not weed killer related. Glyphosate is a big reason to avoid GMOs in food, particularly corn based.. 90% of GMO hybridization is to make a plant "Roundup ready", so it can be sprayed continuously. There is bound to be residue in the crops. Monsanto claims it is safe because it blocks a metabolic pathway that humans lack. We don't have it because we rely on our gut biota, which do have that pathway and are affected when we consume Glyphosate-contaminated food.


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