Saturday, 22 January 2011

I can see clearly now, the label's on...

At last, some form of clarity!

I have to admit to my own personal stupidity in not properly labelling the coir pellets when I put the seeds in.

It has made for an interesting two weeks of guessing what has 'hatched'.

But finally, I can see it clearly, since what could have been either a Kumquat or a Stromboli Chilli has germinated:

Both did and I can confidently say they are chillies and not citrus.

I'm a bit sad, mind you. I was quite excited at the prospect of having little Kumquat plants.

But I guess them's the yams, as they say.

So, what I should have germinated at the moment is now definitely:

1 Trinidad Scorpion x Giant White Habanero (F1 hybrid. Like a Liger or a Tiglon! So exciting!)
2 Stromboli

10 out of 22 isn't that bad. I might be temped to do one or two more seeds of different varieties if there is space available, but one of the offices I use at work for growing chillies is being converted into a seminar room, so that will unfortunately limit space.


Two exams down, one exam and one report to go.

Las cosas en las que me meto yo... :-/

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

So Much Confusion...

In between attempting to get my head around the various many ways in which Urban Villages are useful (and the many more in which they are rubbish), I have come to the conclusion I got the order of seedlings wrong.

This now means that the seedlings I've seen 'hatch' (yes, bird term. But I like to think of my chillies as somehow 'bird like' Maybe, just maybe, they imprint on the first human they see, and adjust their spiciness levels to them) are in actuality the Goats Weed and a Lemon Drop. I don't mind this at all, since that would mean two new types to grow that I have yet to see go from seed to plant to pod!


A few more have also 'hatched', which, if my revised order is correct (again, fingers crossed) would be one of the Trinidad Scorpion x Giant White Habanero F1 (that's First Generation Hybrid) and a Gold Cayenne. There is another little seedling rearing it's little vegetable self out as we speak, and this one will definitely set the record straight. It will either be a Stromboli or it will be a Kumquat.

And there is a big difference between them, as one is a chilli and the other a member of the citrus family (oranges and tangerines and them giant lemons used in Judaic ceremonies!).

Anywho, will let y'all know what eventually happens.

Almapaprika is watching 'metabolically challenged' (fat) people being bullied by slim, muscular people, being made to run in treadmills, push tractor tyres around, run some more, and then forced to share the reason why they are fat on global television as each and everyone of them embarks on a 'journey' more difficult and perilous than Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring embarked on when they tried to take the One Ring to Mordor: To Lose Weight.

To you lesser mortals, she is watching America's Biggest Loser.

I will probably join her, while holding a copy of a book by a chap named Allmendinger.

Riveting stuff on planning theory...

Sunday, 16 January 2011

And we're off!

The first seed of the 2011 season has germinated!

And no surprise here, it's a Cayenne Ring of Fire. I have to admit that for the past three seasons these have been the most consistent performers for me. And they are good producers, so more to boot. They don't suffer as much with the mild temperatures of the UK, and thus tend to start setting fruit much earlier than the capsicum chinenses, which means that, though the plants grow a little smaller than the chinenses (though this is in part because I put them in smaller containers), I do manage to get a second harvest from them. The heat from them is also much more manageable for people than that of any of the Habaneros or 'super hots', which means I can more readily incorporate it into regular dishes.

I guess if you're short on space and want to grow a chilli which gives you 'edible heat', this would be my number one choice.

The first chilli seed germinated yesterday, but there was also another little one which germinated this morning: The Strawberry Guava.

Last year this particular plant was also quick off the blocks, but succumbed to damp because I kept it in the little greenhouse in the cupboard for too long.

I am hoping there will not be a repeat this year.

Once fully grown, this shrub/small tree can be frost hardy to an extent, which means it can be kept outdoors in the UK (except in severe weather), so it will hopefully make a very good large container plant.

Two out of 22 so far in less than a week. A promising start. Let's hope by next week I hit double digits.

Now, back to my meagre attempts at studying (revising to the Brits)

Monday, 10 January 2011

The 2011 Season Begins today!

At least for me, anyways.

Some folks have started already.

This will not be a heavy season for me (not like last year. I still have bags of chillies drying all around the flat, and jars of chilli related jams in the fridge.), because Almapaprika and I will more than likely be on the move once again, which means I can't have twenty-odd plant pots following me.

With that in mind, I've decided to make the 2011 season a bit more manageable.

I have just finished sowing:

-2x Goats Weed Chillies (c. annuum)
-2x Trinidad Scorpion x Giant White Habanero (c. chinense)
-2x Gold Cayenne (c. annuum)
-2x Lemon Drop (c. baccatum)
-2x Stromboli (c. annuum)
-2x 'Peppermo' peppers (c. chinense? they were an unidentified pepper from a forum pal I even forgot what they look like)
-2x Kumkuats (citrus japonica)
-4x Ring of Fire Cayenne (c. annuum)
-2x Cayenne (c. annuum)
-2x Red Strawberry Guava (psidium littorale)

I'm only growing two types of chinense this year! what gives?!

Oh, I do have two overwintered Fataliis at work, hoping THIS year I might get a pod off them...

As usual I am including the odd 'non-chilli' so that I can have a bit of variety. I guess I'll find out if citrus seeds keep viable for more than a year, since the kumkuat seeds are from 2007 (I really should check my box o'seeds more often.

I also apologise if this year the entries are fewer and further in between, but I'm in the middle of university stuff, which means spare time is a luxury rather than a commodity (though organisational skills are still a necessity of mine). It's also been the reason why I've been away from almost every single forum I belong to. The responsibilities of further education!

Hope you've all had a good holiday season, and let the growing commence!