Tag Archives: peppers

End of season review – what went well?

I’m beginning to consider what I would like to try growing next year which has made me have a good think about what has gone well this year and what I’ll definitely be growing again next year. I’ll do a separate post about the things that didn’t grow quite so successfully.

Tomatoes were a major success – I grew two varieties from seed, Moneymaker and Maskotka and also bought a Black Russian plant as we fancied trying something different. The Maskotka plants were attacked by nibblers but I managed to save three plants – and Moneymaker was very successful, I had nine plants, six in the greenhouse and three outside and gave away
another nine!

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Cucumbers have also gone well and we could hardly keep up with eating them all. The Crystal Apple round cucumbers are my favourite. I had two plants (again grown from seed), one went completely mad, grew like a triffid and produced at least 20, while the other one was less
productive, with only three or four coming from it.

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The ‘normal’ cucumbers (a variety delightfully called ‘Burpless’) have also been very productive – two plants stayed in the greenhouse and I put one outside in a raised bed where it got munched but just about survived – it then recovered and ended up producing probably 20 or more cucumbers, we had to pickle some to use them up.

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The butternut squash looked well enough, two plants grown from seed, both in a raised bed outside and produced plenty of flowers but in the end only two reasonable sized squash with another tiny one. They were tasty though.

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Peppers also grew well from seed – I grew Cayenne, Hotscotch and Hot Devil’s Brew and they produced plenty of chillies, see my pepper update here

So more of the same next year although now we have half an allotment, I can spread out more – just have to remember not to grow more than we can feasibly eat/store/give away!

Recipe: Hot Pepper sauce

It is no good just growing things, we have to make sure we eat them too – and I did cause a bit of an oversupply of peppers this year, as you can see from the evidence:

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So my resident chef has been busy in the kitchen making his own version of a hot pepper sauce – some disclaimers/warnings first:

1. quantities are all very approximate
2. heat depends on how hot the peppers are 😉
3. don’t sniff the pan while it is cooking (dangerous to nose linings!)
4. don’t forget to sterilise the jars before filling up with your mixture

So here we have Deano’s Homemade Hot Pepper Sauce:

3 cups mixed peppers (varying degrees of heat), trim top off each but leave whole
1 inch cube of ginger, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
half cup malt spiced vinegar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika (plain paprika would also be fine)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup of water (or enough to cover the ingredients)

Put all ingredients in pan, boil for 45 mins then blitz in blender/nutribullet. Add more water
if mixture too thick or reboil if too thin until required consistency reached. Add pinch of
salt to taste.

Sealed jars should last at least 6 months in a cool place or a few weeks in a dish in the fridge.

After boiling:

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Blitzed:

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And here is the finished result:

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Can be eaten with all sorts of dishes, goes well with ribs and chicken wings. You can spread it
over a pizza base and add your favourite toppings or even add some mayo to cool it down a bit and have with salads.

Last of the peppers

I decided to harvest the remaining chilli peppers today so I could tidy up the greenhouse and move in some of the fuchsia and geranium plants to give them a bit more shelter over the
winter.

Plenty of peppers to pick – some of them might even be pickled… 😉

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I grew three different varieties but due to a lack of labelling skills, ended up not being entirely sure which was which.

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We probably won’t be buying any chilli peppers for a while! I’ll definitely be growing them again next year but will hopefully be a bit more careful with the labelling.

I still have a couple of plants left – not sure if they will manage to grow and ripen this late but worth a try…

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All Go in the Greenhouse

Even though I’ve only had my greenhouse for a few months, I can’t imagine life without it now! It is crammed full of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and everything is doing really well.

We’ve already harvested a few of the first red tomatoes (delicious!)

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The cucumbers are doing very well too – we picked the first one a few weeks ago and it all seemed to go very quiet until all of a sudden, tiny cucumber plants sprouted all over the place. There are at least four on one plant and three on another, luckily we eat a lot of it!

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I’m also growing Crystal Apple cucumbers and again, the plant has gone a bit mad – great news as these are the tastiest of cucumbers, can’t understand why they aren’t more popular. I’d never heard of them until last year when I saw a packet of seeds and decided to try them.

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Plenty of peppers in the greenhouse too, I have to keep swapping them round on the shelves to make sure they all get enough sunlight and space.

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We’re now having conversations about whether we should take on an allotment, hope we’re not getting too carried away – this veg growing is a bit addictive…

News from the Potting Shed

I’m beginning to panic a little bit about all the ‘stuff’ I need to get done before we go on holiday for a few weeks (South of France, staying in a lovely little cottage near Nimes, can’t wait!). So I’ve done a bit of gardening in the rain tonight – we did actually have a little bit of sunshine earlier but it soon clouded over.

Before I did anything else, I ‘harvested’ some lettuce, mixed leaves and rocket – all of which has suddenly grown and seem to be taking over the cold frame.

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Then some potting on – little and large here were sown on the same day but one courgette plant seems to have done a lot better than the other.

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I popped the larger one in a pot, putting in a cane to help support it before placing the plant in the pot – I’ve managed to skewer the roots of a plant in the past so I’m trying to be a bit more careful now…

Some of the tomatoes needed tying up and a couple needed a better cane support so I got those jobs done before making up a couple of hanging baskets which are going to go out at the weekend.  By that time it was raining quite heavily so I put everything back in the greenhouse, watered all the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and flowers and made a dash back to the house. Not before taking a couple of photos of the packed greenhouse, a sight that makes me very happy 🙂

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Pepper progress

Haven’t done a pepper update for a while – potted on quite a few of them today as they were getting a bit too big.

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The ones on this last tray don’t look quite as healthy but I’m hoping their new spot in the greenhouse will perk them up.

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I haven’t done too well at the labelling though and have an awful feeling that I’ve mixed some of them up. I’ve grown Hotscotch peppers, Hot Devil’s Brew and Cayenne Peppers but now I’m not sure that they are all in the right trays. Oh well, we’ll find out at harvest time…

Progress report

I needed to get on with repotting some tomato and cucumber plants this weekend so I was a bit concerned about the forecast of rain (yes, I’m a fair weather gardener, I can’t deny it..). But as it turned out, we had beautiful blue sky and sunshine this morning and I managed to get quite a bit done between the showers. 

Glad I went out there early on though as it has been raining sideways this afternoon and is
currently pouring down. There must be a rainbow somewhere near though as the sun is still shining!

A couple of my repotted tomatoes went very floppy and were looking sorry for themselves, but they have perked up again now they’ve been back in the warm for a while so hopefully I haven’t killed them off.

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There are several trays of peppers at various stages of growth:

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After the peppers, I pricked out some of my antirrhinum seedlings – I do love the bright colours of snapdragons but think I got carried away when I was sowing them as I have 24 in one tray, plus 13 in little pots and that only got about a third of the tray of seedlings done.
Anyone want any snapdragon seedlings, I may have a few left over..?!

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That’s in addition to the (mostly) marigolds on these trays:

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I may have to get the under-gardener to dig me another flower bed…

Delighted to see that one of my Crystal Apple cucumber seeds has sprouted:

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Hoping to put this marjoram out in the new herb garden when it has come on a bit more:

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The cold frame is full, with lettuce, mixed leaves, rocket, coriander, peas in pots and some little fuchsia plants waiting to go into hanging baskets. The house is also just about full of plants and seedlings now, not a spare windowsill to be had. I’m getting an old table in from the garage to put up in the spare room so I can give everything a bit more space and importantly, a bit more light. I’m going to have to look up leeks, I haven’t grown them before but this tray has suddenly burst into life:

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Once I’d done all my repotting and pricking out, I had a quick peep outside at the raised beds – the garlic that went in last October is coming on nicely:

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The onions, broad beans and strawberry plants out there are also looking good but the rain poured down as I was about to take a few more photos so I’m afraid you’ll have to take my word for it… 🙂

Potting on

The weather wasn’t great today but I had quite a number of peppers and tomatoes that had outgrown their current homes so it was a day of dashing out to organise new larger pots and get them planted, in between the showers.

I’m getting a bit desperate for my new greenhouse to be erected – at the moment everything is either on the old greenhouse staging in front of the patio windows or in trays on various
windowsills all over the house. I thought I’d lost two cucumber plants which I’d forgotten about tucked away in the spare room, but they’ve been sitting in the bath all day and appear to have perked up a bit, thank goodness.

Tomatoes are looking good but I’m not sure if I should be snipping a few leaves off at this stage or if that comes later.

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I’ve repotted quite a few of the peppers but they seem to be growing at different rates so some are still in their initial small pots. I’m hoping that will mean they will give us a slightly staggered harvest instead of all coming at once…

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Other jobs today included putting some lobelia seedlings in small pots – I’ve done half the tray and left the rest to see if they get a bit bigger as that was fiddly to the point of being nearly impossible! I also put some soil conditioner in the raised bed where my sweet peas are going – I was going to put them in today too but ran out of time before the rain started coming down heavily.

In spite of the weather, I really enjoyed myself pottering about in the garden although my nails are suffering a bit, am in dire need of a manicure!

Operation Pick a Peck of Pickled Pepper

I’ve got three varieties on the go – Hot Devil’s Brew, Hotscotch and a cheapie that was just
labelled ‘Cayenne Peppers’. Think they are doing ok so far:

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A few haven’t made it, but most of them seem to be going, some looking a bit weedy but
others looking much more healthy – like this one:

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Will be interesting to see if these really are as hot as promised:

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Sowing..

Sowing..

Really want to get growing again, winter seems to be lasting a very long time. I bought a windowsill propagator in the sales (oh how I’ve changed!) and now have some hot peppers in one tray and moneymaker tomatoes in another. My other plan was to sow some sweet peas in the deep root-trainer propagator I also bought but there has been a slight hiccup…