Growing guides

Over wintering chilli plants

Another thing I like to do over winter is over wintering chilli plants. This is a very easy method of getting more good from one plant and often earlier then new plants.
The method is very easy and simple. I normally try and do this in November before the first frosts by simply checking over my chilli plants and pick any remaining chillis. I would Discard any plants that are diseased(although this is rare with chilli plants). Then prune the selected plant's. this is so it doesn't need as much water to keep it through the winter and encourages a bushier plant next year.
After this I simply dig up the plant if in the ground and place in a pot and move indoors. This year I am testing to see if they survive in a polytunnel and will let you know the results of that at a later date. Of course in the future I'll have a greenhouse and place them in there.
Now it's simply a case of monitoring and lightly watering the plants for the next few months. Watering needs to be minimal just keeping the soil moist as the plant puts on little growth and I've never feed the plants during winter.
Come march I normally find the plants start to grow again so I start to feed and water more regularly around about April I find that the plants can go into our shed window or in a cloche about mid April I start hardening the plants off ready to go outside.
If the plants are going into the ground I prepare the soil a few weeks before by adding a handful of grow more fertiliser per plant and raking it in. Then when I plant the plant I simply dig a hole big enough to fit the root ball place the plant in the hole back fill and give a good water.
Then it's simply growing the plant on with the occasional feed I use a feed for tomato plants or a nettle feed before the plant flowers switching to a comfrey feed when the first flowers start. Watering is minimal intact I find that chilli plants produce better crops when treated mean.
By overwintering these plants I've guaranteed successful plants and can harvest as early as June.

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