Growing Chilli Peppers

 

 

Tips for getting your plants off to a good start

 

Capsicum and chilies

This spring and summer you will find our vegetable section brimming with capsicums and chilis. Our growing department in Christchurch has been trialling and tasting new ranges to bring you the pepper family champions.

 

Growing and location:

When planting use Oderings Shrub & Tub Mix, and feed with Total Replenish. Capsicums and chilis are fond of pots with a capacity of at least 15 litres, to get their root systems warmed up. If you choose to plant direct into the garden, make sure they are not too wet and keep them weed free.

Capsicum and chilis perform better when planted early, from August in glasshouses, and in gardens no later than Labour weekend. If planting into pots and garden beds, be aware of frosts and where possible place the plant against the house facing full north. Make a cloche with stakes and microclimba; this material can be removed later once frosts have passed, and helps to protect from strong, cold winds. This is important to intensify the heat for the hottest chilis if you want the maximum Scoville rating.

 

Watering & Crown Bud:

Initially, try to keep plants from getting too wet. As the days get hotter, more water will be required, especially when the fruits begin swelling. As your plant grows into a bush the growth will create a fork shape; this is where the crown flower (first flower) will form with fruit. If these first flowers are not removed it will stunt the growth of your plant and it will put all its energy into that one fruit. 

 

Pests & Diseases:

Prevention is key. Upon planting, apply neem granules around the base of the plant and reapply every 4-6 weeks for a safe pest deterrent. If Insects are present use a pyrethrum-based spray.

 

Season ending:

Most fruiting should be finished by the end of March. Dispose of plants once fruiting is finished.

 

Capsicum Selection 

 

Capsicum Ma Bell – this is our most popular, bell-shaped capsicum. Ready when green but keep longer on the plant for fruit to ripen further to red.

 

   

Capsicum Lunchbox Series - available in red, orange, and yellow. The fruit is a great size to snack on straight from the bush or to pop into the lunchbox, and has minimal seeds. The more you pick, the more fruit you will get. Best eaten raw.

Capsicum Tequila Series - the Tequila series comes in Orange and Yellow. The fruit is bright coloured, bell-shaped with a sweet flavour.

  

Capsicum Sweet Banana – named because of its sweet, elongated yellow fruit.

 
   
Chili Selection  

Jalapeno Scorcher - loved by many, is easily eaten, and is classed as mild heat.

 

Chili Hot Red - a type of cayenne pepper. It is a good starter if your heat resistance has surpassed the chilies often found in supermarkets. These are hot enough to give you a little kick with a heat that rolls over the tongue.

 

Scotch Bonnet – available in yellow and red, sweet, and fruity with a hint of smokiness when the heat comes on. They have a pleasant taste that is very aromatic. A good starter if your heat resistance has surpassed cayenne and jalapeno.

 

Red habanero - fruity and aromatic.  Habanero is a cousin to the Scotch Bonnet; it packs a similar heat but is not as fruity.

 

Brown Ghost - a well-rounded flavour that awakens your senses. Not too fruity, but sweet and balanced with a little smokiness and bitterness. Good heat with a slight build then a kick of heat which lasts for around 30 minutes.

 

Red Scorpion - eater beware! This extra-hot chilli has a layered heat that builds and builds. A floral flavour upon first encounter, develops earthy and smokey tones.

 

Carolina Reaper - eater beware, this is our hottest chilli and is not for the faint hearted as it is incredibly hot. It is initially sweet and fragrant and then it catches you off guard as the heat intensifies.

 

   

Shop Capsicums & Peppers online here 

     

 

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