In February this year, I planted an array of different Chilli types in an experiment to see what kind of results I would get. Having grown Cayenne’s only last year, I was excited to see what was going to happen. I wanted to establish the early/late bloomers, the high/low yields, the styles of growing, and the different techniques I would need in order to make each type successful in their Irish surroundings. Well after a great growing season, (more on this on my basic growing page) we are now in November and whilst most Chilli activity has substantially slowed down, some of my plants are showing no sign of calling it a day!
I knew from the start that a few would take a lot longer to germinate and therefore longer until they produced Chilli Ninja Chillies, such as the Scotch Bonnet, Habanero, Fatalii etc. This has worked in my favour as I also wanted to challenge myself and keep a few plants to over winter them and see if I can use them again in 2012 – something I’ve never bothered with before.
Right now I have Habanero Whites, Scotch Bonnets & Jamaican Reds all producing quite impressive fruit for the time of year. I attribute this to a few things:
I moved house in April and although I kept all my plants to similar surroundings, I have found that you get the best results when you keep the conditions constant without disturbing them too much. Also like I mentioned, these particular varieties are notoriously hard to grow in Ireland’s climate (however, contrary to the common view, we do get some stunning weather here to go with the laughable amounts of sideways rain. Just think though, Ireland wouldn’t be soo green otherwise so that’s how I look at it) Since I don’t believe in going out and spending loads on specialist lighting and growing contraptions I am at the mercy of the weather but I like to rock it ‘old skool’ and keep it as natural as possible. Some day though, I’ll have 4 green houses & a huge polytunnel and have them full to the teeth with a forest of Chillies! My wife will have to get her own polytunnel, fact.
Anyway, back to the story at hand. I’m very happy that I managed to grow these searingly hot Chillies and I know that next season I will maximise the growing time and try a few things to help them germinate quicker. As always I will share my findings and experiences here at Chilli Ninja.
These pods are not for those of you who dabble and don’t mind a wee bit of heat as they are almost inedible! I use them in hot pots, soups and dishes like Jambalaya were you can make a big batch at once. I read that a lot of West Indians have been cooking that way and use Chillies like the Jamaican Reds I’m growing and just pop them whole into big pots of food.
Since I am getting lots of Chillies still, I’ll post some great recipes over the next while. Do any of you have any particular uses for these Chilli types? Or have you any experience with over wintering? I’d love to know.
Altogether, it’s great to still have fresh Chillies to heat up our winter comfort food. Chillininja