Chilli Growing in the UK

Have you ever wanted to grow your own chilli peppers, for curries, mexican food, spicy salads, make your own hot sauces, have dried chillies and chilli salt to use all year round - I have! I love hot spicy food, it's great for your health, gives you a natural high and boosts your metabolism too (aka stops you getting fat).

The Greenhouse - built in 1919 in need of lots of TLC

It's a bit chilly in North Wales

Last year I moved to North Wales to a house which came with an amazing 96 year old 100ft greenhouse... we fell in love with it. It's just beautiful. The greenhouse needs a huge amount of renovation and loads of glass replacing along with lots of TLC.

Small chilli plants on the left 

Last summer (2015) we managed to grow about 6 chilli plants and we had home grown tomatoes from the end of July all the way through to September (we had 25 plants, many self seeded from the previous owners). We also had lots of fresh salad and basil and some veg too - it was a good start.

This year I want to get more serious with my chilli growing, as although I made some delicious hot chilli sauce last year I didn't have an abundance of fruit to cook with and many of the plants didn't have ripe fruit by the end of the season - so I didn't have any to dry and store.

I've been reading and here is a quick guide - everyone seems to take the same course so I'm going to try and stick rigidly to it and I'll keep you up to date. It looks like I'm already a little behind but I'm planning on buying a heated propagator to get the seeds going quicker!

Quick Guide to Growing Chilli Plants

  • Start early with your seeds - January - March - different varieties
  • You need them to be kept warm, invest in a heated propogator for quickest germination
  • Plant seeds in soil based compost - they like good drainage
  • Use a little surface spray for watering rather than watering from the base (no soggy bottoms)
  • Pot on once the seedlings have two well formed leaves into bigger individual pots
  • They still need warmth and lots of sunlight while they are little
  • Make sure they have enough space, they'll need repotting again
  • Feed them with tomato food when fruit starts to set
  • Don't let them get too hot and dry - they may need a little shade 
  • Pick fruit as they are ready to encourage more fruit
  • They can survive over winter if kept warm!

So there's the plan...  keep up to date here and on my Instagram @craftbloguk which is a mix of craft, gardening and veg growing :)