Monday, January 23, 2012

green finger tips - growing chilli

Chilli lovers can enjoy growing chilli bushes. Chilli belongs to the solanum family, which includes tomatoe and potato. This red hot chilli seedling was planted in September and is about 3 weeks old.

Two months later, the seedling is developing well and getting a lot taller. Chilli is relatively easy to grow, needing little attention and a little water. There are a great variety of chillies which vary in strength and size.

The first flowers appear on the chilli plants in January. This bush is standing about 65cm tall now. It is full of flowers and fruit.

The flowers are opening and the tiny chilli pods are forming.

Now the first handful of green chilli pods are in the hand. The pods emerge green, turn black and then red.

In February black chilli pods are all over the bush.

Finally in March the chilli pods are becoming a deep radiant red

The bush will last for a few seasons. It produces prolifically. The chilli bush dies back in the winter, but happily reestablishes itself in the spring. Chilli is a great insect repellent and is a great companion plant of herbs like basil and tarragon. The red chilli pods can be cut up and added to natural insect sprays.

Harvest your chillies and make chilli salt, chilli sauce and chilli jam. There are delicious chill recipes which will fulfill your desire for chilli dishes.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

green finger tips - nipping basil

The Basil Nip

Basil grows better if you nip the top two leaves from time to time. Start when the plants are about 8 to 10cm tall.

In these two photos you can see the first basil leaves have been nipped off the plants which are about 10cm tall.

The basil branches out and become bushy when you nip out the top two leaves.

In the second set of photos you can see the leaves which i nipped out of the growing basil bush. The basil bush is bushing out nicely because of the all the nipping i did.

Basil is a great culinary and medicinal herbs. It's sweet aroma is insect repellant and is a great companion plant in the organic garden.