One of the things that is really filling my window sill right now is my chili plants.
Every year just around New Year, I promise myself that this time I will not end up with a sea of chili plants that I have no idea where to place and which I do not bother to throw out. "You can just give them away", I am told, but it does not work, because my brother is affected by the same chili fever, and he is always faster than me to have his plants delivered to our mutual friends and family.
So I promise myself that I will limit myself. Also because I actually quite rarely use chili in cooking.
It just never works. For suddenly it's time to buy seeds and all the many plants just look so amazing.
This is how it went this year as well.
Peter Norris posted his list of good seed stores online here on GrowCamp.dk and wupti I went to Thompson & Morgan and bought myself poor - not least in chili seeds. However, I want to praise myself for being content with 8 varieties this time :)
The great thing about chilies is that they are so grateful, and the gods must know that it is something you learn to appreciate as a tried and tested gardener. But the last few years, I still ended up with large, bushy and very green plants instead of some that yielded lots of chilies. So I have approached it all a little differently this year - and it seems to work.
In the beginning of February I laid the seeds for 24 chili plants (so yes, I actually managed to control myself a bit anyway). They were placed in ordinary plant trays and kept evenly moist with water from a nebulizer. But at the same time, they were put under plant lights and on a heating mat, both from GrowCamp's germination program.
All seeds germinated!
I've never experienced that before.
I gave them running water - first with the atomizer and later from a jug, and a couple of times a month I have added a little liquid fertilizer. Already in March they were too big for the hills, and were repotted.
Now here in the middle of April they stand like big, beautiful, powerful plants that are NOT bushy, but strong and robust. - And then they have already got a wealth of flowers. I have simply never experienced such healthy plants before and I can only imagine that it is the extra light and heat that has done it.
In June, most of them are planted outside. I bet I got a couple of GrowCamps for the collection by that time and otherwise they have to stand where I can now find a place in resp. window sills and greenhouses.
I read somewhere that if you snap the first few flowers of each plant, they should give more yield. I haven't quite figured it out yet, meant thinking it should be tried this year where the plants are so much in the shoes.
I'll probably tell you how it's going to go :)