The Little Chilli that Might

chilli plants

One use we’ve decided to put our greenhouse to is growing chillies – not the fearsomely hot ones (I hope) but some of the sweeter, milder ones. Several varieties of seeds were ordered, and they all germinated very nicely, except for the serrano chillies which didn’t come up at all and then, naturally, became the one variety we absolutely had to have. A quick consultation with Professor Google suggested soaking the seeds in warm water overnight, so we split the remaining seeds into two batches and soaked one lot, and planted them all, lovingly spraying them with a mist of water and keeping them warm on the shelf over the Rayburn. Finally, just as we were ready to give up, one sole serrano chilli seedling emerged (out of the unsoaked seeds, if anyone’s interested), looking rather weedy compared to its robuster relatives.

All was going fairly well, the bigger chilli seedlings had been pricked out into individual modules and were ready to be transferred up to the greenhouse, when disaster struck: our sole precious serrano seedling had got knocked and was looking pretty broken.

broken chilli seedling

After all the effort we’d gone to to germinate it, we couldn’t quite give up on it, so we left it on the kitchen windowsill and the next morning it still wasn’t actually dead yet, and the morning after that it was looking a bit perkier, and after a few days it seemed to be straightening itself out somewhat, although it’s never going to win any prizes, other than for perseverance in the face of adversity, which I’m 100% certain isn’t a category in the village show, although I said that about comedy vegetables last year.

serrano chilli seedling

Not dead yet

The first of its cousins have now been planted out in the greenhouse and are looking pretty good, which is something of a relief as my gardening pal in the village keeps threatening to come up and visit my veg plot. They might just serve to distract him from the state of the rest of my beds, which are suffering from a certain ‘just in time’ management approach to preparation and planting at the moment which is threatening to tip over into ‘just too late’ in some areas (it helps if you remember to actually plant your fennel…). Although, in my defence, we’ve got a yellow warning of snow tonight, which makes planting out my spring onions feel less than urgent… and the fact that I’ve already planted out my salad leaves feel positively foolish.

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3 Responses to The Little Chilli that Might

  1. Charles Lock says:

    I have always had mixed results with Chillis and germination, once they are up they are no problem, but I find them rather like teenagers, very difficult to wake up. Still eating last year’s which I froze.

  2. […] been killing you – I promised you news of the tarmac fairy and have been burbling on about chilli seedlings instead.* But I have news. The tarmac fairy returned last Monday and – as I discovered as I […]

  3. disgruntled says:

    It’s strange because all the other chilli varieties came up really easily.

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