Chilijournal


Chilis for 2016

Chili season 2016 has already started. I planted 15 about a week ago. This year I don't have an "extreme-only" mix, but variety. Of course no chili season can go without Reapers. So for this year we have:

The Bishop's Crown grow extremly fast, and extremly big. They are also a bit fragile due to their size. Let's hope the first storm doesn't blow them away once they're outside. The list is sorted by heat. Complete meltdown on top and more like bell pepper on the bottom. But I'm still mostly looking forward to the Bishop's Crowns. They were extremly tasty without setting your mouth on fire. For some people, this may be a good thing. Probably not for us that grow chilies. :)


Harvest 2015

This year's harvest is probably less than 2014. Bad weather in the spring, less plants and experiments with soil which turned out to be suboptimal. Not all variants seem to like compressed cocos fibre. The stuff can hold a lot of water, but the plants contantly have "wet feet" and it dries out pretty fast. The turfless soil I tried this year is much better. I will use that again next year. Only downside: it's more annoying to transport. I could probably order it at amazon, but that really feels weird.

So, this year's leaderboards:

Type# of plants# of fruitsRank
Ají Dulce2104th
Carolina Reaper2551st
Fatalii2383rd
Habanero2422nd
Trinidad Scorpion115th
Total9146 

Profile: Bishop's Crown

When I first sowed the Bishop's Crown seed in June this year I was more expecting it to become an indoor chili for the window sill. But it turns out they are even faster growers than the Fataliis and after only 1.5 months the plant is 75cm high. Not even a small pot prevented it from growing. It just became offended, letting its leaves hanging, and I had to put it into a bigger pot.

After a bit of research it turned out that these plants grow up to 2-3m high. They seem to grow much larger than your standard capsicum chinense plant. It even grew so fast that the trunk is kinda thin and it seems to have trouble getting enough water to the topmost leaves.

Environmental conditions

Hailing from the Carribean they should be accustomed to tropical climate. Interestingly 35°C behind a window glass (greenhouse like) seems to be almost uncomfortable and 40°C in direct sunlight is too much for them. They seem to like it much better in the shade and, in contrast to other chilis I have, need plenty of water. While others are fine with the soil completely dry for a day or two the Bishop's Crowns seem to prefer it mostly wet.


The Test: Carolina Reaper

The first Carolina Reaper chili was ready today. Compared to other red chilis they look more orangish and quite poisonous if you ask me. Ah well, no pain no gain. So I made a traditional chili con carne and spiced it up quite a bit with a finely chopped chili. The conclusion: they burn as hot as they look! I'd say the stories you've read elsewhere are definitely true. This is a weaponized chili pepper. If you enjoy pain or like to see others gasp for air while they try to eat your evil cuisine, give this one a try. :)


Day 170

It's been some time, every plant made it. But with the weather being extremly bad most of the time they are kind of late this year. It's finally getting warmer and most of all sunny. I've given away some of them which leaves: 2x Carolina Reaper, 1x Trinidad Scorpion, 3x Habanero, 2x Ají dulce, 1x Fatalii. And a pot with two more plants that I forgot to label. Chili surprise. Should be a Fatalii and an Ají dulce, but who knows.

The fastest one is, as always, the Fatalii. It's the first one with a green and growing fruit. Now that the sun is out more often the Carolina Reapers also decided not to drop their petals anymore, but to start converting them into… well, let's call them flaming fruits of fiery doom.

I have also brought one more contender: Bishop's crown. I had them once as pickled chilies and they were absolutely fantastic. Extremly fruity and sweet, but rather mild. It's probably too late for this year, but other plants grew perfectly fine indoors during winter, so it may work out just fine.


Day 37

After some more time almost all chilis have sprouted. Except for one Reaper and two Scorpions. So for this year I have:

  • 4x Habanero (actually 2 and one "dual mutant chili")
  • 3x Ají dulce
  • 3x Fatalii
  • 2x Carolina Reaper
  • 1x Scorpion

The LED lighting seemed to have worked quite OK. Now the days are getting longer and they should soon do fine without artificial lighting.


Day 17

The most likely final count for this year's chilis is:

  • 3x Ají dulce
  • 3x Fatalii
  • 2x Habanero
  • 2x Carolina Reaper
  • 1x Trinidad Scorpion

11 plants should be enough. Artificial lighting this year is an LED light. 5.5W, 385lm and 4000K. It's a "cold white" LED which is much "bluer" than the fluorescent lamp I used last year. But also brighter and consumes only 1/3 of its power. Let's see if it works better, but then the best light comes from outside anyway so they have a nice place on the window sill.


Day 13

More chilis! Interesting that they all sprout after roughly the same time. We now have the following list:

  1. Ají dulce: 3/3
  2. Habanero: 2/1 (2nd gen), 0/2 (original)
  3. Fatalii: 0/1 (2nd gen), 1/2 (original)
  4. Scorpion: 0/1 (2nd gen), 1/2 (original)
  5. Carolina Reaper: 1/3

Day 11

The first Chilis have sprouted. This year the first was a Habanero. Actually a Dual-Habanero as two seedlings sprouted from one seed. It's a second generation seed so it might have been mixed with something else… Habatalii or even a Ghost Habbi!

Number two is a Fatalii from the two year old original seeds. And third is an Ají dulce from new seeds I bought last year.


Chili Season '15

New year, new chilis. This year I started a bit earlier than last year, almost a month, because the fruits were a bit late last year. And this entry was created on Jan 10th rather than the 6th. This year's contenders are:

Trinidad Scorpion Butch T

Same as last year, “exceptionally hot”. To put it mildly. But they do have a lovely taste… for a moment. [Trinidad Scorpion Chili]

Habanero Red

Pure classic mexican habanero. At least you can eat them directly. [Habanero Chili]

Fatalii

Same yellow version like last year. They always produce so many fruits that you don't really need more than one plant. Also pretty hot (read: lava) and extremly fruity. Probably the best tasting chilis in the mix. [Fatalii Chili]

And there are two new chilis this year.

Ají dulce

These are supposed to be sweet and much milder to the point of not being hot at all. Still they retained their habanero like flavour from which they were grown. [Ají dulce]

Carolina Reaper

Hottest pepper in existence it probably melts your teeth and puts your tongue on fire. As to why they were called “Carolina Reaper”, one can only hope they live up to their name. They probably won't get much hotter than the Scorpions in these parts, but it's worth the shot. 2 mio SHU here we come! [Carolina Reaper]

Three plants each, I will probably give away four. Should be enough for 2015. They are all planted in their heated mini greenhouse again that worked great the last times. Temperatur during the day is around 28°C and 18°C during the night. Hopefully the first seeds will have germinated around Jan 16th.


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