WEEKEND WEB: How to spice up your life!
Advice on growing chillis at home with Baytree Garden Centre, of Weston
Many years ago, I had a go a growing my own chilli pepper plants on the kitchen window sill. Unfortunately, it ended in disaster.
I had managed to grow a beautiful looking plant, from which I was only able to harvest one tiny chilli.
This was the moment when my burgeoning gardening interest was snubbed out!
Nearly 20 years later, I felt ready to tackle growing chilli peppers once more and re-introduce some spice back into my life.
You see it turns out that what I had done wrong was to not help stimulate the plant in the right way. It would seem that some plants find it harder to reproduce than others. I needed to become like Professor Robert Winston, giving IVF to plants.
You have to wait for the flowers to open on the chilli plant as they struggle to pollinate indoors. Normally, bees would do this job, but they don’t know how to ring the doorbell to be invited in.
Clearly, because of their lack of domestication, my chillis failed.
Therefore, if you take a small soft paint brush and brush the pollen gently from one flower to another, you fertilise the plant and hey presto, a few weeks later, you have chillis waiting to be picked.
It is this very act which I think will finally put to bed the ghosts of 20 years.