Tag Archives: peppers

Sowing and planting this week

This week saw a mixture of sowing and planting out. First, we prepared our second outdoor potato bed and planted a favourite late main crop Pink Fir Apple, along with more of second early Wilja and a few left over early Sharpe’s Express. The Wilja and Pink Fir Apple will go into the store once harvested, whilst this third sowing of Sharpe’s Express should keep us in new potatoes for some time. Continue reading

Replacement peppers

I recently wrote about the poor germination from some of our peppers. I contacted one of the seed merchants who had found a problem with one of the varieties and sent replacements. This has come too late, though, for a further sowing. New seed from a different supplier sown in the second batch has germinated well, but that still left our chilli and sweet pepper collection rather lacking this year. I usually grow 44 chillies, to fill our smallest glasshouse through the summer, and 22 or so sweet peppers, plus spares. We were short by about one third of what we needed so had to resort to buying young plants instead. Continue reading

Germination problems

Whilst many of my posts are quite positive about the crops we manage to produce from our kitchen garden, sometimes things do go wrong. I recall one particularly bad experience when an entire bed of overwintering peas and beans was destroyed by bean seed fly larvae – a pest I had never even heard of and, thankfully, have not seen since. Such things do happen from time to time, but more normal is the loss of a small and entirely tolerable portion of a crop. This year, though, I am very disappointed to already report a bit of a disaster with our chilli, pepper, and aubergine seeds. Continue reading

First sowings of the year: peppers, chillies, and aubergines

Whilst the main plot is too cold and too wet for planting, and the polytunnel is not much better, it is nonetheless time for the first sowings of the year. Peppers, chillies, and aubergines hail from warmer climes, and benefit from a long growing season so need to be started early in the year. Chillies are, in my experience, the easiest of these crops, and we never fail to produce a good quantity of ripe fruits. It does vary, though, according to variety. The Habanero, for example, needs a much longer season than many others. The peppers and aubergines really do need to get a good start as it is a challenge to ripen the fruits at the end of the season, especially the peppers, and neither CT nor I are particular fans of dark green peppers. Continue reading

Sowing plan – peppers, chillies, aubergines, and tomatoes

The miserable days of winter might dissuade one from venturing forth to the plot, but it is the ideal time for reviewing one’s seed collection, browsing catalogues, and deciding what to sow in the coming season. Whilst there is generally some time left for this task, some plants need an early start for best results, so it was time to look through the seed box and check the pepper, chilli, aubergine, and tomato seeds, which will probably form the first sowings of the season, any time from the end of January through to March. Peppers, chillies, and aubergines generally take a couple of weeks to germinate and are not too quick to get established, so are good candidates for early sowing. If the germination or early growth of the first batch is poor, there is then time for a further sowing. Tomatoes germinate more quickly and establish themselves much more readily, so I tend to sow those two or three weeks after the peppers. Continue reading

Chorizo and red pepper paella

Following the recent chilli harvest, we had a large number of the mild chilli pepper Big Jim. These look rather like the more common pointed sweet pepper, and they are mild enough to substitute for them in one of our favourite rice dishes. I am somewhat loath to call this a paella, as this no doubt has specific connotations, but it is inspired by this Spanish dish of rice, seasoned with paprika and saffron. Continue reading

Cream of yellow pepper soup

Finding some great looking yellow peppers in the polytunnel put me in mind of a delicious soup we enjoyed on one of our trips to Tuscany, so I thought I would make the most of them and attempt to recreate this zuppa di peperoni gialli at home. I have no recipe, nor can I be sure of what the ingredients might have been, except that it was predominantly made of yellow peppers, as they contributed the dominant flavour and a fresh yellow colour. I have been trying to recall where we ate it, and cannot be at all sure, but I have a suspicion that it might have been a restaurant in a very old but beautifully converted lime kiln near Meleto. However, having spent quite some time in various parts of rural Tuscany, I suspect that it is not a common dish and perhaps hails from one of the neighbouring regions. In any event, it turns out to be ever so easy to create a truly delicious yellow pepper soup, very much as I recall it in terms of flavour and colour, and this one will definitely become a favourite. Continue reading