Saving chilli seeds for planting again is one of my favourite jobs in autumn! I keep some chillies on a plant to ripen before I pick them. Once harvested the ripened chillies are all placed on my windowsill. I am lucky to have a windowsill right next to the boiler in my kitchen, which means they will keep dry and warm. Within a few weeks, the chillies will start wrinkling up as they lose their moisture and dry.
How I grew my chilli plants
Early this year in January, I sowed some saved seeds of Aji limon, Ring of fire and Jalepeno in a tray of compost indoors. I also added some new chilli varieties which included de Cayenne and Curry to my sowings. After sowing the seeds, I lightly watered the compost and covered these trays with a plastic cover. These trays were then kept in kitchen utility room where the boiler lives. Within a couple of weeks, the chilli seeds had germinated with little green blobs peeping through! Once this happened, I removed the plastic covers and moved them to the dining room where glass back door lets in enough light for them to continue to grow.
The next set of leaves which appear on the chilli seedlings are called true leaves. Once these true leaves appear, they can be transplanted into little pots. I use recycled drinking cups with a hole punched into the bottom for good water drainage. This is very important as plants do not like their roots to become water logged. I have been very fortunate to have a new greenhouse this year, which meant my new seedlings could all move in there in early spring!
Up until early summer, the chilli plants grew very well in the greenhouse. After that we had the summer heatwave. This meant all the chilli plants had to move out of the greenhouse as it was too hot inside! By July I was harvesting my chillies and there were so many of them too. Homegrown chilli harvests have been plentiful this summer and autumn. I am so pleased with growing and harvesting my own chillies that I am now drying some of the ripened chillies for saving their seeds. I will store the dry chillies in a glass jar until I am ready to plant. They can be cut open to get the seeds out and then planted.
My Favourite Chillies
These are very easy to grow. Aji limon or lemon drop chillies are ripe when they turn yellow and these chillies have a really fruity kick!
Ring of Fire
These are big producers and easily grown at home. I grew these chillies from my own saved seeds and the cycle will continue next year! They can be eaten green or red and they are slim long chillies with a good kick!
This is also easy to grow and harvest at home. This variety is called (Hot) de Cayenne and as you may have guessed the green and the ripened red both have a fantastic heat level!