Some rum things about my chilli residents this year.
First, the Case of the Curious Chilli Leaves, in which our heroine’s plants keep going all listless about the tips and looking like they are about to die. This is only happening to the ones we think are Scotch Bonnets and they have been doing this since the beginning, dying back, looking like they are about to turn up their toes and then slowly dragging themselves back to life. The bulk of the plants are fine and fruiting and flowering away but the sad leaves are looking quite bad. They’re in the same compost and conditions as other plants and which haven’t been affected. Other chillis from the same packet and sowing date, which I suspect of being Habanero type are fine, too.
Secondly, The Mystery of the Cayenne Peppers That Weren’t. Our heroine is confronted by plants from the local social project garden centre, which she knows to dabble in a little artistic license when it comes to labelling (Super Marmalade tomatoes being my favourite). These Cayenne peppers look very similar but not identical to some Cheyenne chillis that I – sorry, that our heroine – rescued from another nursery’s death row in late June. Is it a mis-spellling? Could they have just sown some seeds from a bought fruit? Is there some form of mysterious Cayenne which our heroine has yet to encounter? Will the “Cayenne” turn red while the Cheyenne stays orange? The Cheyenne have come on rather in leaps and bounds from their shaky start, making sturdy plants with lots of fruit, but very slow to ripen to orange.
Normally we grow most things from seeds but this year circumstances dictacted we should buy most of our chillis. We also bought some Apache F1s, which are annoyingly great little plants, quite small but with lots of useful sized, hot fruits which are ripening quickly and will be very useful for chilli sauce or jelly. We also bought some Hot Banana plants from the market, and the less said about those the better.