Hello Chilli-heads,

I’m back in the room….well, back at the keyboard to be precise.  If you have read the Greenhouse update, you really should, you will know that we have been mad busy potting-up all of the plants into final pots and preparing the main greenhouse for the season ahead, so keyboard time has been limited. This year’s selection of chilli and pepper plants is not as diverse as the previous years but we do have a lot of different varieties, mainly as a result of requests from commercial customers and concentrating on the most sort-after varieties.

Hi, back again with a double dose of greenhouse blog because it's been all hands to the pump for the past couple of months.  The months of April and May see the start, and hopefully the finish, of the bulk of the potting up in to final pots and a break out into the main greenhouse. Yes! It's the fun bit when you can get your hands in there and dirt under your fingernails.

For us, here at the chilli farm, March has seen more of the same potting up. The second sowings of superhots along with all the hots and sweets peppers are now done and very soon the next phase will begin. The first batch of plants are enjoying the new propagation house and some reasonably fine weather and as a result are now more than ready for their final pots.

If you are thinking of growing your own chillies or sweet peppers this year you still have time to start them from seed, or you can purchase plug plants or small potted plants. You can find out all you need to know for successful propagation in our new website information section: All You Need To Grow.

March has flown by and next week sees the clocks go forward for British summer time signalling the unofficial start to the gardening season. There is no official start date by the way so you better get on with it. That’s what we have been doing and we have been busy putting up the new nursery greenhouse and making it ready to relieve the now bulging growroom of some monstrous chilli plants. O.k, they are not quite that big but they will certainly benefit from the extra space and sunlight now that they growing fast and it will allow us to get at them more easily and start adding supports. I’ve had a Keder Greenhouse that I recovered from someone about 8 years ago and it's been sat in a neat pile on some racking waiting for the call to duty. That time has arrived so Tim (Nursery Manager) and I set about getting this beauty back in business.

Its chilli time again folks and here is what we’ve been up to so far. At the end of last season we made the decision to start our seeds earlier than normal, starting with the superhot varieties. The hope is to bring the harvest forward thus enabling earlier supply to our customers and also to gain larger overall plant growth and increased yield. Starting earlier will also be advantageous for the organic trials some of the plants will be undergoing as it provides a longer establishment period for the beneficial microbes being used. There is no guarantee that sowing seeds earlier will produce the desired results, not in our greenhouse anyway, as we are mostly at the mercy of the Great British weather. But it is always good to be prepared if the opportunity presents itself so fingers crossed we have a mild spring and a hot summer – from about April would be lovely!

I should probably have entitled this post; Growroom Update because that’s where all the action is at this time of year, in our show growroom inside the shop. We take full advantage of this purpose made environment for the early season propagation of chilli plants and some of the early sown exhibition crops. The lights in the growroom have a multipurpose in that they grow plants, provide a working display and heat the shop throughout winter making full use of the energy input. You can see a recent video of the growroom and our first round of chilli plants by visiting our facebook page.

Greenhouse - August 2016

What a month August has been - Great weather and a superb AutoPot Open Day weekend with the greenhouse being the star of the show.  All the plot demonstrations looked amazing with a myriad of chilli pods beginning to ripen to show their true colours and all of the plants flourishing.  We received great feedback from the plot sponsors and visiting guests alike and many left with arms full of fresh veg.  You can find out more about the chilli plants progress and a look at some varieties in depth in the latest Chilli Update blog.

Greenhouse - July 2016

July has been a good month for temperature with night time temps staying in the mid-teens and some really hot day temperatures at this late stage in the month.   This has brought both positive and negative effects to the greenhouse and plants with a subsidence in powdery mildew only to be replaced by localised outbreaks of spider mite.  We have been hitting these pesky mites with a combination of natural mite killers which seems to be keeping a control for now.  The first chilli fruits of the year are starting to ripen and it's great to see some of the new varieties of chilli taking shape.  Talking of taking shape, the pumpkins are flying along and, after a late start the green pumpkin is catching up with the orange variety in terms of growth and fruit size.  The giant onions are bulking up very well indeed and I expect these beauties to be our best effort yet.  Some of the other impressive plants have been the lemon grass which we started from seed this year and the Datura that were also started from seed this year and are about to start flowering any day now.

If you have been reading the Greenhouse updates you will know that we have been flat out busy with preparing the greenhouse, potting up plants and planning our display crops. We have added 40 varieties to make 60 capsicum varieties this year, 46 of which are chillies.  You can see a full list of chillies and sweet peppers along with the rest of the plants in the greenhouse here plant list 2016 with full chilli details on our chilli pages.  Last year we had some fun trying to create a couple of hybrid varieties through controlled hand pollination with some reasonably good success.  So far we have a Naga X Pimenta de Neyde hybrid, a Trinidad 7pot X Pimenta de Neyde hybrid, and a rather unusual variegated Cayenne that produces a green and white striped fruit that turns red and retains some of the dark stripes.  We are working to stabilise this variety through selective breeding. 

Greenhouse - June 2016

The end of May and beginning of June is by far our busiest time in the greenhouse with all of the hard work going into the planning, preparation and potting up of all the wonderful plants we will be growing this year.  The weather had been kind and the night temperatures reasonably mild so the plants are growing well and fast.  We have encountered some small outbreaks of aphid and greenfly but very isolated and there is a good amount of natural predators this year out and about nice and early.  These helpful chaps, along with a consistent regime of spraying with SB Plant Invigorator and pyrethrum alternating weekly in between foliar feeding, seems to be keeping a good natural control.   The best way to use any natural plant protection product is to start using it before the appearance of pests as a preventative.  It's unlikely that these products will regain full control if they are used as a cure for a heavy infestation.  Most often, natural plant protection products can be applied regularly without any harm to the plants and this practice is to be encouraged so get yourself armed with a  good natural product such as SB Plant invigorator, Trounce, 5sec or Neem oil. 

Greenhouse - May 2016

Hello and welcome to the 2016 Plantasia greenhouse blog. Well it's May already and we are bursting at seams with plants, all in the propagation area growing well in the recent fine weather. This year sees us increasing the diversity of plants and varieties we will be growing and I’m really excited by the new additions as well as the chance to improve on some of the favourites from last year. We have increase the number of capsicum and chilli plants to 50 varieties and you can follow their progress in the regular Chilli Update post right here.

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Plot 3 sponsored by Growth Technology Ltd is showcasing selection of their own-brand products including Tomato Focus, and Ionic Coco mineral fertiliser products with the addition of Nitrozyme, Blackjack, Superdrive and HydroBurst. The plants also receive regular foliar applications of Nitrozyme, Blackjack, Superdrive and HydroBurst. Plants on the Growth Technology Plot are growing in Guanokalong soil mix, Ugro Superior Coco mix or BAC Lava soil. The Growth Technology Plot features a range of different Autopot watering systems such as Easy2Grow and 1Pot systems running on nutrient solution supplied by a 700ltr Flexi-Tank.

OPENING TIMES

Monday   9.30 - 6pm
Tuesday   9.30 - 6pm
Wednesday   9.30 - 6pm
Thursday   10.30 - 7pm
Friday    9.30 - 6pm
Saturday    9.30 - 5pm
Sunday    CLOSED

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Tel: 01844 239820
Email: [email protected]

Plantasia
Brill View Farm
Ludgershall Road
Piddington, Bicester
Oxfordshire, OX25 1PU

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