Gardening Magazine

September Chilli Fest

By Jules
I'll confess that I'm slightly pitying of anyone who doesn't like chillies. In my book, that's like saying 'I prefer my food to taste quite ordinary, I don't really like making it a bit more interesting'. Chillies don't have to be hot to make a difference in food, they can add fruitiness, spice or simply an unidentifiable tang that just adds a bit of pizzazz to everyday flavours. Tomato and mascarpone pasta sauce? Throw some chopped hot cayenne in there! Stir fry or pad thai? Whack a scotch bonnet in it! Courgette fritters? A couple of bulgarian carrot chillies will add some zing!
My chilli rollcall this year is as follows: Hot Cayenne, Peruvian Chinense, Scotch Bonnet, Razzmatazz, Numex Twilight, Lemondrop and Bulgarian Carrot. The latter 3 are new to me this year, the others I've grown at least once before.
Chillies have a long growing season, so most were sown back in February and March. I get the best results keeping them in the greenhouse and it means I can prolong the ripening through to October if I'm lucky.
Most of my harvest will be added to the freezer so we have an all year round supply. If I have a real bumper crop I may dry some to grind down for chilli powder or make a small batch of chilli jelly.

September chilli fest

Scotch bonnets

September chilli fest

New flowers on the Razzmatazz plant

September chilli fest

Hot cayenne ripening in the sun

September chilli fest

The changing colours of the Numex Twilight

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