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Chillies - only 1 plant, what t do with just a few??

Hi Guys,

Not specifically a growing question, but I bought a few small chilli plants form the supermarket back in spring, they have grown well and now I have 4 plants, all of different varieties (Hot Banana, Apache, Hot Fajita, Yellow Habanera) that are just starting to produce, but are ripening only a few chillies at a time.

I didnt realise when I bought them but they are all hot varieties.  :open_mouth:

I have a couple of questions I am hoping for suggestions:

1: Should i pick the as they ripen?
2: Do they need to be fully ripe (Red/Yellow) to pick?
3: How long will the stay fresh after picking?
4: As only a small number are ripening at a time what could I make with just a few?
5: As I have 4 separate varieties, what could i make with them?

I was looking at chilli jam or a chilli sauce, but not sure i'll have sufficient quantities ripe together.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Posts

  • TPWTPW Posts: 15
    I'm not able to answer your question i'm afraid but i'd love to grow my own chilli plant. Is there a best time of year to grow them? I'm hoping i haven't missed out this year  :D
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,286
    I freeze them whole.
    Pick them when ripe, put them on a baking tray and pop them in the freezer for a few hours then bag em up. 
    When you have enough in the freezer you can make chili jam/sauce etc.
    They are a bit mushy when you come to use them but still have flavour and plenty of heat. I have some that are about 3 years old the freezer - still fine and I use them in place of fresh chili. They work fine in most dishes.
    If you pick them green it's probably a bit too early.
    As they start to colour-up you can pick them what you want.
    The redder they get the hotter they are.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,286
    TPW said:
    I'm not able to answer your question i'm afraid but i'd love to grow my own chilli plant. Is there a best time of year to grow them? I'm hoping i haven't missed out this year  :D
    They need a long season to ripen properly.
    I start mine in a heated propagator in late Feb. They start to be ready around mid-August

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • GlenjjonesGlenjjones Posts: 141
    TPW said:
    I'm not able to answer your question i'm afraid but i'd love to grow my own chilli plant. Is there a best time of year to grow them? I'm hoping i haven't missed out this year  :D
    maybe if you can find some plants in a supermarket or nursery that are already a decent size you my get  few chillies this year, especially if you have a greenhouse, but as Pete.8 states above they do need  long growing season and some heat if possible. 
  • GlenjjonesGlenjjones Posts: 141
    Pete.8 said:
    I freeze them whole.
    Pick them when ripe, put them on a baking tray and pop them in the freezer for a few hours then bag em up. 
    When you have enough in the freezer you can make chili jam/sauce etc.
    They are a bit mushy when you come to use them but still have flavour and plenty of heat. I have some that are about 3 years old the freezer - still fine and I use them in place of fresh chili. They work fine in most dishes.
    If you pick them green it's probably a bit too early.
    As they start to colour-up you can pick them what you want.
    The redder they get the hotter they are.
    Thanks, not a bad idea. do you think I could chop them up before freezing?

    I would really like to pickle some or make some chilli oil. If they go a bit mushy after freezing that might not be great for pickling so not sure I'll have enough for that.

    so when we buy green chillies in a shop are they just unripe or a specific variety?
  • LG_LG_ Posts: 4,344
    We freeze ours. Don't even bother to do them on a tray or anything so no need to wait for quantity, just pick and pop in the freezer in a bag. They defrost in a hand in a few seconds. We also are still working through the 2020 crop (didn't grow any last year).
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,004
    You need to pick ripe chillies reguularly as they inhibit the ones behind from ripening.  If you can't use them all straight away they can be frozen whole or else chopped and put in ice cubes for adding to sauces, soups and stews  I keep separate ice cube trays for each variety as they have different heat and flavours.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • GlenjjonesGlenjjones Posts: 141
    LG_ said:
    We freeze ours. Don't even bother to do them on a tray or anything so no need to wait for quantity, just pick and pop in the freezer in a bag. They defrost in a hand in a few seconds. We also are still working through the 2020 crop (didn't grow any last year).
    Thanks LG.

    2 questions, what are they like when you defrost them? are they a bit soft/squishy? Also, what do you use them in. I rarely cook with chillies, but would like to more, so not sure what to make with them?
  • floraliesfloralies Posts: 2,673
    I dry a lot of mine and then grind them into flakes and store in jars ready to add to recipes.
  • LG_LG_ Posts: 4,344
    floralies said:
    I dry a lot of mine and then grind them into flakes and store in jars ready to add to recipes.
    What's the process, @floralies? We'd like to do this too.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
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