Due to having a lot of other things in my mind and life this Spring, I am rather late in my chili pepper project – but as Juice Leskinen said “Kuule istuta vielä se omenapuu”. I will plant my plants.
As I wrote in January, because hydroponics make chilies grow so fast and tall, it is actually probably good to start a bit later, in any case. That way, the plants should hopefully still be of manageable sizes, when I am able to move them into the proper hydroponic setup in our greenhouse. Handling a full hydroponics system in my small basement “office” is really not that feasible, even under the best of conditions. I hope that this time it will be a warm and early summer (fingers crossed).
As said, I have two themes this year: taste and colour. Into the taste category, I finally decided two chili varieties: Hainan Yellow Lantern and Lemon Drop.
In the more exotic section, where interesting looks are the main criteria, I chose (finally in a pretty random manner) the following: Buena Mulata, Pimenta da Neyde, Chinese 5 Color, Kanon Pepper F2, Filius Blue, Numex Twilight, Bolivian Rainbow, and Purple Bhut Jolokia.
Since I do not have room to grow into large, fruit-bearing plants nowhere that number of chili peppers, I conceive this as a sort of speedrun style competition: those plants that germinate fastest, and produce promising saplings, will get into my AutoPot 4Pot system. I do not know what to do with the rest – maybe I will just put them into regular flowerpots with soil outdoors, and see if any of them will survive, too.
The germination follows pretty standard procedure again, except that IKEA had stopped selling accessories for their old hydroponic products (shame on them!) So, I picked some standard rock wool cubes from the local hydroponic gardening shop (luckily, I did this long before the coronavirus epidemic), and then just installed them into the covered water-tray system – which is on top of the electric heat mat, and under the LED lights. Let’s see how long it takes before the first plants will appear, this time.
All my chili seeds are coming from Fatalii this time. Here are some short characterizations of his, about these chili varieties:
- Hainan Yellow Lantern: “This variety comes from Hainan island, China, where it’s actually quite commonly used for mainly a tasty hot sauce. Very prolific variety that has a strong chinense aroma, very similar to Harold st. Barts and few other yellow Capsicum chinense varieties.” (Link.)
- Lemon Drop: “Lemon Drop represents hot, non-sweet, slightly lemon-flavored types of baccatum peppers (as opposed to sweet, low-heat or only moderately hot Ajis). The plant is relatively compact and produces lots of bright yellow fruit even in non-ideal home conditions.” (Link)
- Buena Mulata: “Very old heirloom variety from 1940’s. This plant looks absolutely gorgeous with all great colored pods! The flowers and pods start from purple and ripen to very beautiful colors!” (Link)
- Pimenta da Neyde: “One of the strangest chile peppers I’ve ever seen! Mature pods won’t change the color, but stay purple instead.” (Link)
- Chinese 5 Color: “Fantastic, very colorful ornamental chili pepper which is also quite hot with a decent taste to be used for cooking.” (Link)
- Kanon Pepper F2: “This beauty is still unstable meaning the results growing this one will vary, which is a good thing when you want to find your favorite among them.” (Link)
- Filius Blue: “So very pretty ornamental chili pepper which ripens from beautiful blueish purple to red with some fancy color stages in the middle! Quite hot.” (Link)
- Numex Twilight: “An ornamental chile pepper that is so insanely pretty you simply can’t miss it. If you like to grow useful chile peppers that are a true eye-candy!” (Link)
- Bolivian Rainbow: ” The dark green leaves will turn shiny deep purple, almost black. The cone-shaped, erect pods go through colors of green, purple, pink, yellow and orange before ripening bright red!” (Link)
- Purple Bhut Jolokia: “One of the most amazing looking super hot varieties there is! Ripens from green to purple to red. Very heavy producer and the pods taste very good when ripe.” (Link)
Looking very much forward to the summer.