Hot Pepper - Machu Pichu 10 seeds
A cool chilli from Peru, the upright plants produce dark brown fruits which are mild to medium hot and have a great flavour. If you are new to growing chillies, this is not the easiest to start with. Can be grown successfully outdoors in a sheltered spot in hot summers in your vegetable garden, and you can have a great harvest of 20-40 fruits from one plant, if the seeds and plants grown in the greenhouse. The fruits mature from green to chestnut brown and they are about 10 cm long.
Chillies become THE vegetable to grow, over the last few years. Every year new varieties of seeds arrive from all over the world to the UK. Do you ask yourself if chillies are a spice or a veggie? Well, most vegetable seed species, where the veg, the edible part of the plant, contains seeds are fruits. So technically a pepper is a fruit or not, it is for you to decide.
Sow the chilli seeds indoors from January onwards all the way till middle of April. It is quite a late sowing but if you give the seeds plenty of heat and you have a greenhouse the plants will grow quicker and you will have peppers by around early September. Chillies need a lot of heat to germinate successfully, so a heated propagator or a warm airing cabinet is a must. If you can keep the temperature at around 30 Celsius, it might sound a bit too high, but trust the experts, the chilli seeds do need a lot of heat and you have a much better germination rate. And generally speaking the hotter the expected fruit is the more heat the seeds need to germinate.
When the seeds have sprouted take them out of the airing cabinet and place them at the sunniest spot in your house. The heat is still an important factor and the plants need plenty of direct light too. At this stage providing enough light is a challenge, that is why the best time to sow chilli seeds is early March; and later on give them plenty of light and heat in the greenhouse.
Transplant the chilli seedlings into small individual pots when they have two to three pairs of true leaves. Use good quality potting on compost and keep the cayenne red chilli plants at 20-30 Celsius during the entire growing season. The best place to raise the plants is a greenhouse or a very sunny conservatory. Feed the plants regularly, especially if they grow in pots or containers. Once a week with regular tomato feed should be enough, but if you have plenty of flowers and later on fruits, feeding twice a week might be recommended.
Harvest when the fruits turned from green to bright red. Pick them regularly to encourage more of them to ripen and this will make the plants produce more flowers too. If you want a bit more heat to your chillies, give the plants some sort of stress, for example let them dry out a bit, this makes the peppers go hotter.