I’ve started the sowing – how good that feels!
Though it could all end in tears of course. I have started with the chillies – 26, yep, twenty six varieties. 3 seeds to each cell sown at a depth of 5mm. As some chillies take an age to germinate I’ve done the early sow to free up the propagator in February for tomatoes, aubergines and sweet pepper.
At this time of year low light levels can play havoc with producing overly etiolated seedlings so I have a cunning plan. I’ve positioned a floor lamp over the top of the propagator. I have no idea whether this will help but I’ll give it a go.
There are 5 common species of chilli: Capsicum annuum; C. chinense; C. pubescens; C. baccatum and C. frutescens. All the plants I grow are C. annuum varieties. Whilst I’ve sown many of the same from last year, (see here), I’ve acquired some real stunners:
Pot Black: This is described by T&M as an ‘edible ornamental’ and is so striking the Telegraph recommended a planting combining it with amaranth, black scabious, coleus, diascias and ‘lipstick-pink zinnias’! It is a british bred variety with dark leaves, purple flowers and black fruit which turn red when ripe. The chillies are medium hot at 45,000 SHU.
Loco: Another british bred chilli. Moderate heat at 24,000 SHU. But see how pretty it is:
Even prettier is Razzmatazz.
Super Chilli. This is a thai style chilli, with lime green fruit turning red and a compact habit. Hot at 40-50,000 SHU. The variety holds the RHS AGM. Another thai style chilli is Demon Red. Also a compact habit with small, slender chillies held in upright groups; 30-50,000 SHU.
Joe’s Long is a cayenne style chilli with lovely long slender fruits. Moderate heat at 15-20,000 SHU. Krakatoa, another cayenne style chilli, compact and very hot when fully ripe.
On the mild side are Cayennetta, coming in at 10-20,000 SHU, and very mild at 1000-1500 SHU, Poblana Ancho which has large fruits that are good for stuffing.
Now the real hotties:
Paper Lantern is a habanero style pepper and hot, hot at 250,000 SHU.
Finally, (drum roll here), Naga Jolokia. Back in 2007 was the world’s hottest chilli, though it has now been surpassed by others. It comes in at over a whopping 1 million SHU.
I better make sure I label this one!