Spice up your garden with the chilli

The chilli is the most widely used of all spices. An essential ingredient of African and Asian cuisines, it is native to South and Central America, and discovered by Christopher Columbus, who brought them back from his voyages. Here's how to grow good chillies.

Spice up your garden with the chilli

Where to plant:

  • Chillies and peppers require good drainage, full sun and rich, moist soil. More than anything, they need good heat for the fruits to grow and mature if the summer is cool.
  • Even fruits of the fastest varieties take three months to mature.

Propagation.

  • Sow seeds in early spring in a warm and sunny place. Transplant them into individual pots when the seedlings are large enough.
  • The flowers are self-fertile, but they also propagate very successfully through cross-pollination.
  • It is therefore unlikely that the seeds from your plants will propagate identically.

Care.

  • Continue to repot, otherwise the plants may not get the nutrients they need and become sick.
  • Do not put your plants outside, unless the temperature at night is above 10°C.
  • Remember to protect your plants from birds once the fruit has ripened.

Pests and diseases.

  • The main enemies of plants grown in greenhouses are aphids, whiteflies and spider mites.
  • Stick to biological methods to eliminate them.
  • Feed the plants regularly, especially when they are growing fruit.
  • Beware of botrytis in cold locations with poor ventilation.
  • Remove the diseased leaves and fruits and improve the growing conditions.
  • The many varieties of pepper make for beautiful pot plants in our cooler climates.

You can harvest the peppers at any time. Remember that the heat level is at its highest when they are red.

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