Grow your own: Peppers!

There is a rebirth of home grown produce that is spreading across the UK… people are really digging into (get it?) growing their own fruit and veg.  I must admit I am starting to become one of them!  So I am going to offer my insights into how you can grow your own stuff  starting with the first thing I grew, on my window ledge, chilly-peppers.

To grow anything you need seeds.  Now you could go and buy a packet, but there isn’t really any point when you have a whole fruit and veg section in your super market.   Take a chilly variety you like, and dry out the chilly.  Once it is dry you can take the seeds out and store them as long as you like.

To plant your seeds you need some good soil and a small pot.  You can actually get small bio-degradable cardboard style pots from a garden centre or such, that will let you grow a single seedling into something a little bigger.  For my experiment of peppers I just plopped a load of seeds in to a small plant pot, and 2 germinated.   I would not recommend this as peppers grow really big, and you need to separate them before their roots entangle, I am now stuck with 2 plants in one pot and I’m not sure how well that is going to work.

Once you have your pot set up push the seeds into the ground, say about a centimetre and then cover them over.  I kept mine on the window ledge so they have plenty of light and kept the soil moist, like chocolate cake my farmer friend advised.

if you have more than 2 seeds germinate make sure you separate them if they are not already in separate pots.  I had to cut mine back a lot too as it was just growing too high and thick, don’t be too scared of doing this as it will start to re-grow leaves and branches no problem.   To actually get any fruit you need to do some pollination, I used a Cotton bud stick thing (I’m a bloke, I don’t know the name) and helped the plants make sweet love.  Most of the flowers after pollination will fall off, but some will start to grow into the fruit.  How exciting!

I harvested my first crop of 2 red chilly peppers the other day and took them to my parents, the turn read quite quickly when ripe, so just be patient if you have red chillies.   The funny thing is my wife doesn’t really like chillies, but I just thought it was a good experiment :)

I think next we are going to go for other indoor experiments, definitely peppers – the salad variety and something else we have not decided on yet.  Stay tuned for more how to grow stuff!

Here are some pictures!