Look, aren’t they shiny?
I am not much of a gardener, but I love to grow chillies. I’ve been away for a week, during which the UK had rather unusually hot weather, and I was worried that my plants would be wilty and sad on my return. They were, but they also had a lovely crop of red chillies, and contrary to the suggestions of some pessimistic people (they’ll be all dried out and dead, it’s been so hot) the plants will recover just fine.
I love chillies because:
- The plants look nice
- They grow on a windowsill
- As long as you keep the aphids off they’re actually pretty easy to grow
- You get a good plant-to-produce ratio
- The plants are not too big so you can grow a variety of different ones
- The chillies look nice when you put them on the windowsill to dry
- You only need to buy seeds once, the next year you can use seeds from your dried chillies*
- People are impressed when you make them food that includes something you have grown yourself
- You can give the little plants as presents**
- You get to eat lots of nice chillies. Obviously.
Wow, that’s a much longer list than I thought it was going to be when I started typing it.
Anyway, as you can see, I love to grow chillies. I also love to eat chillies, and my love of eating them has grown alongside my love of growing them. I can now actually taste them as a vegetable (technically fruit, but never mind) rather than simply going hothothotinmymouthmymouthisburningitishot. There are two kinds of chilli in the bowl there, the smaller Super Chilli and the larger Ring of Fire.
You are excused for a moment to snigger at Ring of Fire. Done? Good.
The Super Chilli is a smaller more compact plant which produces fruits about 3cm long with a fruity taste. Ring of Fire chillies are longer, more like 8cm, and have a smoky taste. Neither of them will blow your head off, and you don’t need to wear gloves to cut them up, but do be careful if you wear contact lenses (and men be careful going to the loo after chopping them). I’ll post some pictures of the plants when they have new red fruit and look pretty. I foolishly cut off all the red ones so now they don’t really look like anything much. This is the cream of last year’s crop of 6 different types of chillies, started when we lived in a 2nd floor flat with a lot of large deep windowsills!
So, yeah, look at my pretty chillies and be impressed. Early next year I’ll do a masterclass in planting and growing chillies so you too can be smug and spicy.
* I once planted seeds from a chilli that I had bought for eating from a Chinese supermarket, but only about half of the plants were fertile and it took ages to find out which – they made flowers but never made fruit.
** After you give people little plants as presents you can also be smug that your plants are growing larger and making more fruit than theirs.