Veg Patch

To read the story of my Veg Patch in chronological order use the links in the Blog Archive

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Chillies - The Finale

The first day of 2013 saw me planting my large collection of chilli seeds, and over the summer I have kept you up to date with the progress of both the chilli trial plants and the various others I was growing. 

Even if I say so myself, they have been brilliant. Only three of the chilli trial plants made it , all Chiltepin, but they are huge and healthy. 

I have done my best to preserve as many as possible in the last few weeks but I began to realise that growing 12 plants was probably a bit of an overkill. Especially as chatting to an artisan chilli sauce producer, I discovered he used only 2 plants to make his entire years products.

So what on earth was I going to do with them all. Especially the Dorset naga. I had managed to grow three very healthy plants each with about 50 or more ripe chillies, waiting to be picked. If you like a hot chilli, This is the one for you. I love them, but even this one is a little off the scale for me. 

And not forgetting the rude chilli, they have caused me  much entertainment over the summer .

So I stood at the greenhouse door and suddenly it came to me. I use twitter as a way of keeping in touch with other gardeners and getting help with things. I had met a lady online and then subsequently in the flesh, who runs a very successful local company making chutney's and sauces. The Hampshire Chutney Co seemed to be the best place for my chillies to go. 

A few emails and conversations later, I was ready to pick the fruits. 

The Chiltepin were first

Followed by the smaller rude chilli's. For some reason this plant grew long skinny Peters and the other two are fatter, but as yet have not ripened. 

And then the Dorset Naga

This is what I picked 

So it was off to Chutney HQ in the depths of the Hampshire countryside. A short drive and I was with Shelley in her chutney kitchen watching the daily batch of products being made. The smell was wonderful. I think she was pleased with the chillies and  in exchange for them, I came away with three wonderful jars.

We have had the spicy pear before, its delicious with cheese, the other two are new to me so am looking forward to trying them. 

Shelley was planning on making a batch of her rocking roasted red pepper & red chilli sauce and her chillirific chutney. Thats is where my chillies were destined to go. 

So if you want to try some wonderful sauces and chutneys, and get a taste of one of the chillies I have been writing about all summer, go to her website by clicking the logo below, you will not be disappointed. 

With the chillies almost gone, the greenhouse was looking very tatty. There are only a few tomatoes left, so it was time to start clearing. This is always a sad time, as it really means that the Summer is over. 

But as I was clearing, I noticed that my cucumber has started to grow again. 

I shall give it a bit of a chance and see if I get anymore. I had left one on the plant to try and collect some seeds, so I finally cut it. 

and managed to pick out quite a few seeds. 

And finally, it was time to cut the strawberries back, they have been throwing runners all over the place, I have saved some, but now they were just messy. 

I was amazed to find they were also still trying to grow fruits, but with cold weather due this week, they didnt get a reprieve like the cucumber. 

And finally, the oak trees all around my garden are now dropping leaves and acorns everywhere, so it was time to get the blower out. Gibson loves the blower, so he was having a wonderful time, while Jim was trying to clear up. I made a short film so if you want to see it click here 

Have a great week .


  1. Back to good old fashioned bartering!

    1. Been doing it all summer for all sorts of things.. Wonderful way to try new things cheaply :)

  2. What a brilliant idea ! and excellent swap. my mission next year is to definitely more canny with the space available, less of the experimental and more of the stalwarts, wonder if I'll still feel the same come January ?

    1. Not a chance.. I think the challenge is sunflowers next year...

  3. I may have to end up doing something similar myself this year! I have so many chilli plants its ridiculous (more than 12....they are still all fruiting). But we eat them in almost every meal at least (my husband is half-indian, so likes spicy food, though I still seem to end up doing all the cooking!)

    Can I ask about the training clips shown in the cucumber plant close-up picture - where did you get them from? I haven't been able to find them anywhere and was looking for some to get for next year's vines.

    1. Hi Rozzie

      The clips are really good, I use them on everything that needs training. Amazingly they come from Lidl. I bought some two years ago to try when they did the spring gardening week which is usually around the end of March. As they were so good this year I bought 5 packs when they were in. I still managed to use all of them so next year I shall be buying more.

      We were eating lots of the chillies but have reached overload, I fear I may have permanently damaged my taste buds

    2. Thank you!! I shall look out for them at Lidl and make sure I stock up :)

      Yes there is a limit to what we can all handle, although I like the idea of making my own chilli sauces - if only to fuel the hilarious competition my dad and husband have going to see who can handle the hottest sauces!

  4. I have been really pleased with my £ 3 99p chillies plant I brought back in the summer and it still fruiting any tips for keeping it over winter? or try growing my own nest year hoping to have all the glass in by end of month on the greenhouse

  5. Your chilli peppers are amazing! I barely got 2-3 peppers out of mine.

  6. Great swap with the peppers. I also went a bit overboard with the hot peppers this year. I planted 9 plants - 4 of which were cayenne. I have so many frozen ones, dried ones, I've made several batches of hot sauce, and I think next I'm going to grind some and make my own chili powder. Note to self: only 1 cayenne plant next year (if that).

  7. Those chilli peppers look heavenly. You definitely had a whopper crop this year. The swap is such a fine idea. Love all the red.

  8. tough little strawberries. our pansies have given up but our tomato plants are trying to bloom one more round. I overplanted peppers last season. they're potent and still two bags of them in the freezer. luckily for us peppers grew terribly this season around here so by 2014 we should be ready for them again.

  9. That is a healthy harvest!
    I am now inspired to have a garden of my own.