Frequently Asked Questions
We are often asked questions about ourselves and chillies in general, so here are the answers to a few of the more popular ones.
Chillies get hotter as they grow - if you want milder chillies, pick them before they have reached full size. Chillies are generally hottest when fully grown and the heat is not really increased by ripening to red.
What should I do with my bumper crop!?
If you have more chillies than you can use, you can freeze them as they are (in a freezer bag), dry them, or pickle them.
What can I do about greenfly?
Greenfly (aphids) can be a problem if natural predators are not present. If the plant is in a pot, tip the pot on its side and 'tickle' the aphids - most of them will jump off. The remaining aphids can be blown, knocked or squished. Keep a close eye on the plants and deal with the problem as soon as you notice them.
What is the correct spelling chilli, chile, chili etc.?
Generally chilli is accepted as the spelling in the UK, and chile in the USA (apparently they go so far as to make it law in the state of New Mexico to be spelt that way). But really there is no hard and fast rule so if you want to use something else then go ahead.
How do I dry my chillies?
Chillies look and taste better dried if they are allowed to ripen first - better colour and flavour too. Air circulation is important - place the chillies somewhere hot (30-40c) and provide a good air-flow - perhaps with a fan.
What is the hottest chilli?
This is open to debate: some say it is the "Red Savina" Habanero, which has officially held the title for many years; others say it is the 'Naga', an asian variety of Habanero. We have a few Naga plants this year, and we can confirm that they are very, very hot!
When are fresh chillies available?
As a rule chillies are available from late June till early December. Though there are usually only a few varieties available at the very start of the season, and in limited numbers. Habaneros and some others with a longer growing season are not usually available until the end of July or August. Check out the Shop for details.
Is the heat in the seeds?
There is a misconception that the heat comes from the seeds. This is not true, the heat is mainly held on the "placenta" which is the membrane inside the fruit to which the seeds are attached.