Collection: Peppers and Chillies

Although there are five domesticated species of pepper, most are Capiscum anuum. Bolivian hairy chilllies are a different species, Capiscum pubescens which is perennial. Chillies were domesticated in South and Central America at least 6,000 years ago. All wild chillies are hot and sweet peppers are a result of domestication.


Peppers and chillies, enjoy lots of heat and water, and grow well in a greenhouse or polytunnel.

The seeds need a warm place like a propagator, or kitchen windowsill, to germinate. The seedlings will be killed by frost and will not thrive when nights are cold. So unless you have a heated greenhouse or conservatory, restrain yourself from sowing them till February or March.

Prick out the seedlings into 10cm pots when they have a couple of real leaves and keep them cosy until they are planted out in their final positions in April or May. Here we dig a trench in the polytunnel in spring and fill it up with well-rotted FYM. The trench is covered up with soil again and then with ground cover. The ground cover has holes 60cm apart and the plants are planted through these holes. Peppers can be used green but their flavour and sweetness improves as they ripen to red.

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