Itchy sowing fingers + ‘jaded’ head and a rainy New Year’s Day = unearthing the propagator and bringing in the grow-lights from my garage for the first chilli sowing of 2017. This year I’m sowing Black Nagas, my first superhots, plus I’ve swapped Trepadeira Werner seeds for some Burkina Yellows. Nagas are too hardcore for me, so if I succeed with them they’ll be donated to my slightly bonkers friends and relatives (Michelle, Francesca and Alexx this means you) whose tastebuds are more robust than mine.
The full list of chillies for 2017’s season looks a little like this:
Overwintered Trepadeira Werner* & a mystery chilli* (Rob Smith’s seeds)
Nigel’s Outdoor* (hotly awaited seeds from the Twitter seed circle!)
Lots of them are new varieties for me. And this does give the impression I will be growing very little else. It should be said that I am currently working with a very exciting seed spreadsheet, without any form of growing plan and on the assumption I can get a second greenhouse up quickly. All of the above mean I’ve gone overboard with optimism (again).
2016 was the first year I grew enough chillies to dry, freeze AND make a fairly poky Hot Sauce (click on the link for the recipe). It’s a rather lurid orange and is lurking in the fridge, daring passers-by to try it. It is REALLY good and I want to have enough chillies to make more later this year.
Tomorrow I’ll be tucking a sprinkling of shallot seeds into compost – Zebrune and Long Red Florence. I have 2 surviving rooted sideshoots from last year’s Crimson Crush plants and they’ll go into compost and under lights too. And I’d better get on with planning!
A great bit of news to end on is that, as of today, my section of the Grow Your Own Forum’s Virtual Seed Parcel goes live and is open to the end of April. It’s a fantastic initiative that lets forum members swap seeds they don’t want for ones that they do. I’ve got cucurbits (my favourites!), lettuce family and the delightful randomness of the ‘miscellaneous’ section. It’d turned into a huge beast that one person couldn’t manage, so now four of us have a bit each. More information is here if you’re interested.
*Just to go on a bit more about the amazing value of seed circles & swaps – these starred varieties cost me a stamp and some of my own self-saved seeds. Nine out of the fifteen.
Categories: Diary 2017