Chilli and Sweet Pepper harvesting in November

Misty mornings and a continuous fire means winter is well on its way. This is our first winter on the land, and we have semi-prepared.

November has been an interesting month in the garden, bringing us great crops! we harvested the remainder of our chilli and sweet pepper plants and had a huge amount of fruit, many are unripe but we got to get them all before the frost does!

Chilli plant bed
One of the Chilli beds in June

Varieties we grew

Cayenne Diane chilli, a mild but tangy heat, grew well with not much attention given. Started off in trays on the windowsill in February, planted out into the greenhouse in May. I had so many young plants I decided to grow some in pots for the comparison. overall plants put in the ground grew much bigger, healthier, bearing more fruit than those in pots. However, late September I was able to move those in pots into the polytunnel in an attempt to get even more out of them! They are still going and have a good crop of healthy red chillies just waiting to be picked.

Nigels Outdoor green chilli, sweet refreshing flavour but no heat. The seeds came from The Real Seed Company, easy to grow, little support and bear lots of fruit! These seeds are a variety that grows well in the UK climate which is great as I can’t handle the heat anyway!

Spaghetti chilli, very mild, grows massive and bears a huge amount of fruit! Very ornamental plant and might need some support if grown in a pot but easy and well worth it!

Scotch bonnet, too hot. I will be slowly training my taste buds to spice in preparation for next season!

Sweet Peppers

We also had a small harvest of Sweet Peppers which were started from seed indoors back in February and March.

Sweet peppers are transplanted after the frost is over

California Wonder is a great traditional bell pepper, they grew well in the greenhouse, and gave us a great yieldas of late august! Although we didn’t get many to ripen red, they were huge! They really had that fresh flavour and were often used as a Green Pepper Salsa to go alongside a hearty winter chorizo stew and Roasted Sweet Potato!

Last bunch still hanging in November are harvested before the frost

Lipstick pepper was another, full of flavour and ready before the others, it’s pointy fruits ripen to red however we were a bit eager…

Lessons learnt

Chillies need a long hot summer. Next year I think we will be sowing our seed indoors even earlier, and being able to grow in the Polytunnel next year will definitely help extend the growing season!

Cut back big leaves to allow sunlight to reach the fruits and help them ripen! Also remove the lower leaves that give access to slugs and snails or they will go straight for the fruit!

We used most of our Chillies in Tomato sauce Preserve we made with our homegrown tomatoes and herbs. Next year we will be growing on a larger scale and look forward to growing lots of different varieties and creating some super hot chilli sauces!

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