Your chilli plant will produce ripe fruit 2-4 months after sowing. Harvest chillies as and when they ripen to encourage the plant to produce more chillies.
To harvest chillies cut them off the plant with scissors or a sharp knife. Chillies can be harvested when they are green or red, however there are some varieties that will not turn red in our climate.
If your plant has unripe chillies, you can ripen them off the plant. Try placing them in a bag with a ripe banana as the ethylene given off the ripe fruit will encourage ripening. You can also drape a ripening cover over your chillies which will retain the heat and moisture needed to encourage your chillies to ripen more quickly.
When you’re harvesting your chillies why not save some seeds from your favourite chillies and store them away in a Seed Storage Tin. Follow our top tips for saving your seeds:
1- Make sure the chilli is fully ripe before picking
2- Using a sharp knife cut the pod in half exposing the seeds
3- Scrape the seeds away from the flesh taking care not to damage the seeds
4- Dry the seeds in a dark, well ventilated space
5- The seeds are ready to be stored once they no longer bend, store in an airtight container in a cool dark place until needed
If you are growing chillies in a standard plant pot then take care not to over water or let your plant dry out. Before the Autumn frosts you can harvest the plants, remove the branches and hang them upside down so the fruit continues to mature.
Drying your chillies is a great way to preserve your bumper harvests and perfect for intensifying the flavour of your chillies.
Air drying your chillies with a Chilli dryer is an ancient and effective method of preserving your crops. Chillies can be hung up and dried in a warm, dry well ventilated environment, but If you’re using a Chilli & Herb dryer you can also preserve your herbs, fruits & seeds.
Store your dried chillies in an air tight container such as a sealed glass jar in a cool, dark, moisture free environment to help them retain their flavour and prevent mould growth.