Saturday 16 October 2010

Chilli Harvest 2010

The chilli season is over and now it’s time to enjoy my fruity loot. Here’s what I managed to get from my plants this year.

The harvest

You can see that there were still some orange bhuts & habaneros left to ripen when I took these photos. It didn’t take much other than leaving them on the kitchen window sill to get them to ripen. I was surprised at this because the kitchen window sill gets no direct sunlight at all.

I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough to last me through to next year, but I think that fear can be put to rest…

Lots of chillies

Dorset Naga

Out of all of the plants that I grew this year, without a doubt the Dorset Naga was my favourite. It yielded loads and the taste is far superior to closely related varieties such as the Orange Bhut. Apparently the Bangladeshi folk prefer them green as opposed to red and I have to agree with them on this.

Next year most of my efforts will be put into growing these. I’ve ordered some true seed this time, because this years crop were grown from seeds taken from pods that I bought in Tesco.

Dorset Naga

Orange Bhut

I had high hopes for my three Orange Bhut plants, but they were over shadowed by the Dorset Nagas. I didn’t start these plants off until the start of February and they didn’t get have any extra heat or light other than what was available to them in the spare room. This is probably why they didn’t develop as fast the others and certainly why they didn’t yield as much as the Dorset Nagas.

They’re not as good green as the Dorsets but they do have a fantastic orangey citrus flavour unlike any other. Taste aside they look great!

Orange Bhuts

Because the plants were late to flower, I had quite a few stubborn green pods that refused to ripen, so with these ( and some others ) I decided to make some deadly but lovely chilli powder

Non Ripe Orange Bhuts

Long Habanero

I was curious about Habaneros - I’d never tried one and I like Scotch Bonnets so I decided to grow some Long Habaneros. As with the Orange Bhuts I think I started these too late and didn’t get them off to a fast enough start. They could have really used some extra light & heat in the early stages of their life.

They came out great though, but they tasted a little overly “perfumey” for my liking. Don’t get me wrong they were nice, but I don’t think anything can really compare to the Dorset Naga. I devoted my entire yield of these to my homemade chilli powder

Long Habanero

Etna

I got these seeds free with my order, I didn’t really have high hope for them, but they proved me wrong. They were a joy to grow and they’ve inspired me to grow a few more varities of smaller chilli plants next year that I’ll scatter around the decking for fun and lulz. They taste surprisingly good and they don’t just have a high heat, but a nice perfume that isn’t as strong as habaneros and they taste great on sandwiches.

Etna

Cherry Bomb

These were great and I think I’ll grow more next year. They’re really early developer and the yield lots. I would have had more this year if It wasn’t for some pesky mould damage. They range from not very hot to quite hot and they’re great to have on hand for stir fries and general chilli duty.

Cherry Bomb

Scotch Bonnets

I grew these simply because I had some seeds. They were the first to be evicted from the greenhouse when I came to the conclusion that it was over crowded. Thanks to a freak hail storm in the start of August the plants took a total battering that took them a while to recover from. Needless to say I haven’t yielded many and to be honest, there’s not a lot of point growing these as I can get a bag full of fresh ones from Ahmeds in South Shields.

Scotch Bonnets

Thoughts for 2011.

I’m hopefully getting a big Vitopod propagator for Christmas so I’ll be able to get good head start on my season next year. In the green house I’m going to put Dorset Naga & Super Chillies in my new hydroponic NFT tanks. I’ll be putting Cherry Bombs & Jalapeno’s in soil and I’ll also be growing a number of small container varieties for fun and lulz.

One new addition will be Pimentos de Padron, as I’ve spent a small fortune on these delightful little peppers for me and mrsmoo, they make an awesome appetiser for any meal and it’d be great to be able to pop out into the garden and grab a tub full.

I don’t think I’m going to have an allotment by next year, so it looks like I’ll be farming out a load of plants to my mothers allotment and the in-laws allotment and hoping that god of chilli negotiates a bountiful season with the apparently tricksy overlord of summer weather.