[CH] Review

Tony Flynn (flynnt@ellconweb.net.nz)
Tue, 28 Apr 1998 11:56:50 +1200

Hi All

On a drizzly autumnal day here at 176'46 East 37'57 South. As the list a
bit quiet, I thought I would review my first year of growing chilies
seriously. Hoping it may point the way for other first time growers.

Having grown vegetables and cayenne peppers for many years I thought I
would soon grow more exotic types.

I started my seeds in early August ( Southern Hemisphere remember)
planted in seed raising mix in an old polystyrene cooler with a small
bulb mounted inside. This held a steady 90'F.
I planted Anaheims,Serrano, Habenero, Jalepeno, Frenso, Unknown
Ornamental and several varieties that failed.
These germinated between 3 to 8 days (great success).
I then moved the seedlings under a fluorescent light in my large hot
water cupboard. These were thinned out as necessary.
Next step plant into individual small pots and place on low table in
front of North facing ranchslider. Mid September. Out on fine days and
in at night. Small feeding with Miracle Grow.

Planted out into garden at the end of October. Too early as soil was not
really warm enough. I planted out 60 plants 500mm between rows and 400mm
between plants. This was too close as later in the season they became
too crowded. 
El Nino gave us a cool windy dry November/December. This made the plants
low and bushy. As they are shallow rooted I shall use bigger stakes and
pinch off the lower branches in future.
January February were hot and very dry. Drought for most farmers.
I have been picking fruit since February and they are slowing up now.

The big success was building a small (2metre x 1.9 metre) lean to
greenhouse from an old bay window on the West side of the house.
In this went 3 Habs 1 Serrano and an Ornamental in 4 liter pots.
They grew like mad and are still laden with fruit which I am picking
daily. No doubt that in cooler climates greenhouse is the way to go.

Presently freezing and drying peppers as fast as I can.
Great tip from the list to use expanded metal as a drying shelf in the
Clean the coffee grinder with bread, making peppered bread crumbs for
coating fish.
All plants will try to produce fruit. Even the ones I planted in odd
places in the garden rather than dump. Stunted and neglected they
managed somehow to produce a few peppers.

My taste this year has expanded from mainly hot curries to mixing
flavours like Habenero/Peach/lime Salsa. Habenero stuffed and frozen
with ice cream.Jalepeno lemonade
Powders like Calvins and Jim's Apple smoked habenero. I now prefer
powder to sauce. Wouldn't visit McDonalds without it.

I have learned so much from this list and had help from so many that a
big thank to all who have written at some time or another is due.


Apologies if this post is a bit overlong

Tony Flynn

Grandad. retired at the beach, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.