Grow your own Chillies


Kitchen gardening

Grow your own Chillies

Chillies are very easy to grow in your garden or in pots, provided they receive lots of sunshine and water. Besides being an essential element of curries and many Thai foods, chillies are also an excellent source of vitamins A and C, calcium and iron. The bite in chillies comes from a compound known as capsaicin, which has anti-inflammatory properties, helps to clear the lungs, improves blood circulation and relieves constipation.

Step-by-step guide to growing your own chillies

  • Choose a sunny spot in your garden with well-draining soil. A container placed in a sunny area will also provide a good home for your chill plants.
  • Prepare the soil before planting by adding equal amounts of compost, superphosphate and general fertiliser to the soil.
  • Plant your chilli plants 30cm apart and water well. Water twice a week to ensure the soil doesn’t dry out.
  • Feed your chilli plants once a month with a liquid fertiliser like MultiFeed or Seagro.
  • Look out for aphids on your chilli plants. If you do spot them you can simply spray them off with a fine jet of water.
  • Chillies are ready for harvesting when they are plump and their skins are glossy.

Did you know? As a rule of thumb, the thinnest, darkest and smallest chillies are the hottest. If you’re not sure how hot a chilli is, taste the tip first – this section is the mildest, with the intensity increasing as you move closer to the stalk.