Chilli Growing Diary

We grew seven varieties of chilli in 3 different Vivigrow planters.

To show you just how quickly chillies grow in our Vivigrow we decided to share our weekly records.

The figures are all in cm and show the height of our chilli plants in numbered weeks after planting. Click on the week number to go to the diary entry.

Week Friars Hat Portugal Georgia Flame Pasilla Bajio Pusa Jwalia Nepali Orange Joes Long - Front Plant Joes Long - Rear Plant
3 49cm 34cm 30cm 29cm 39cm 37cm 42cm 44cm
4 60 47 42 36 45 45 55 58
5 76 57 57 44 53 55 72 74
6 87 66 66 50 64 66 82 86
7 110 83 85 70 77 75 99 102
9 170 109 115 104 93 97 134 137
10 175 123 145 115 117 117 136 148
11 215 135 150 134 120 128 147 163
12 235 160 165 136 140 150 160 183
13 244 179 174 152 142 153 167 193
14 268 181 182 167 159 154 176 200
15 280 197 191 169 164 180 184 202
16 260 200 203 172 166 182 189 204
17 272 207 206 185 181 177 197 205
18 282 216 214 186 182 179 200 207
19 285 220 220 200 190 182 205 211
21 293 226 225 203 192 184 213 220
22 302 232 233 209 195 186 215 223
23 310 233 235 209 195 186 215 223

After week 23 growth slowed down whilst the plants concentrated all their effort on ripening their fruit.

Yield 

Week Friars Hat Portugal Georgia Flame Pasilla Bajio Pusa Jwalia Nepali Orange Joes Long
24  20 35 23 16  20  30  35
25  28 40 25 18  26  40  39
26 108 56 30 28 >110 >200  60
27 108 56 30 28 >110 >200  60
29 >120 60 35 30 >120 >230  70
30 >130 65  36  32 >130  >240   75
31 >135 65 36 34 >135 >245  78
36 4000g 794g 380g >60 >150 >250 >90

Weekly Diary

chillies1 160309

11th March 2009

In Vivigrow 1 we planted: Friars Hat, Portugal and Georgia Flame chillies.

In Vivigrow 2 we planted Nepali Orange, Pusa Jwalia and Pasilla Bajio.

In Vivigrow 3 we planted 2x Joes Long chillies, these are our favourites and they are so productive that we decided not to plant anything else in this planter.

joeslong 310309

31st March 2009 (week 3)
The chillies have really taken off. The Joes Long plants that were planted last month are looking great!

greenhseset up160309sized

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat         34cm 
Portugal            18cm
Georgia Flame 19cm

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio    17cm
Pusa Jwalia     12cm
Nepali Orange 15cm

Vivigrow 3 
Front plant 19cm
Rear plant 20cm

 

 

6th April 2009 (week 4)

Everything is looking good. Flowers are beginning to show.

 

pasillab1stchilli 170409

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat:          11cm
Portugal:             13cm, 4 flowers open
Georgia Flame: 12cm, 4 flowers open

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio:   7cm, 1 flower open
Pusa Jwalia:    6cm
Nepali Orange: 8cm

Vivigrow 3 
Front Joes Long: 13cm
Rear Joes Long:  14cm

 

 

15th April 2009 (week 5)
Cool! Our first fruit are beginning to form! Both the Portugal and the Pasilla Bajio are forming their first fruit.

 

padronszd

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat:         16cm
Portugal:            10cm, 5 flowers open, 1 fruit
Georgia Flame:15cm, 4 flowers open

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio:   8cm, 2 flowers open, 1 fruit
Pusa Jwalia:    8cm
Nepali Orange:10cm 

Vivigrow 3
Front plant: 17cm
Rear plant: 16cm

 

 

22 April 2009 (week 6)
With growth well under way we are looking forward to tasting the first fruits of our labour!

 

chillies2270409

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat:          11cm
Portugal:             9cm, 9 flowers open, 2 fruits
Georgia Flame: 9cm, 6 flowers open

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio:     6cm, 3 flowers open, 1 fruit
Pusa Jwalia:     11cm
Nepali Orange: 11cm, 2 flowers open

Vivigrow 3
Front plant 10cm, 2 flowers open 
Rear plant 12cm, 9 flowers

 

 

28th April 2009 (week 7)
The fruit are beginning to form on the Joes Long plants and the Portugal and the Pasilla Bajio both have more fruit.

 

chillies1010509

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat:           23cm
Portugal:             17cm, 15 flowers open, 8 fruits
Georgia Flame: 19cm, 13 flowers open, 4 fruits

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio:     20cm, 9 flowers open, 2 fruits
Pusa Jwalia:     13cm
Nepali Orange: 9cm, 17 flowers open

Vivigrow 3 
Front plant 17cm, 8 flowers open 
Rear plant 16cm, 12 flowers, 2 fruit

chillies1110509sized

12th May 2009 (week 9)
There is plenty of flowering and fruiting going on, we’ll soon be enjoying delicious chillies!

 

20th May 2009 (week 10)
There are plenty of fruit abound; we just need to wait for them to ripen.

 

joeslong190509sized

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat          175cm, growth of 5cm, still no open flowers but lots of buds
Portugal             123cm, 17 fruits, growth of 14cm
Georgia Flame 145cm, 14 fruits, growth of 30cm

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio    115cm, 4 fruits, growth of 11cm
Pusa Jwalia     117cm 10 flowers open, growth of 24cm
Nepali Orange 117cm, 3 fruits, growth of 20cm

Vivigrow 3: 
Front plant 136cm, 9 fruits, growth of 2cm
Rear plant 148cm, 17 fruits, growth of 11cm

Back to the top

27th May 2009 (week 11)
The Pasilla Bajio fruit are ripening to a beautiful greenish black. We changed the nutrient solution in the tanks this week to refresh the nutrient balance.

 

pasbaj100609szd

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat:         215cm, growth of 40cm, still no open flowers but lots of buds
Portugal:            135cm, 20 fruits, growth of 12cm
Georgia Flame:150cm, 20 fruits, growth of 5cm

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio:    134cm, 13 fruits, growth of 19cm
Pusa Jwalia:     120cm  18 flowers open, growth of 3cm
Nepali Orange: 128cm,  3 fruits, growth of 11cm

Vivigrow 3
Front plant 147cm, 20 fruits, growth of 11cm
Rear plant 163cm, 20 fruits, growth of 15cm

 

 

5th June 2009 (week 12)
A huge increase in fruit production this week; Nepali orange has gone from 3 fruit last week to over 30 this week.

 

joeslong010609szd

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat:         235cm   growth of 20cm, 3 open flowers
Portugal:            160cm   20 fruit, growth of 25cm, some fruit beginning to ripen
Georgia Flame: 145cm  20 fruit, growth of 20cm, some fruit beginning to ripen

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio:    136cm   29 fruit, growth of 2cm, many fruit ripening
Pusa Jwalia:     140cm   20 flowers open, growth of 20cm
Nepali Orange: 150cm  30 fruit, growth of 22cm

Vivigrow 3
Front plant: 160cm  30 fruit, growth of 13cm
Rear plant: 183cm   30 fruit, growth of 20cm

 

10th June 2009 (week 13)
After several weeks of phenomenal growth, the Friars Hat chilli is fruiting. Pusa Jwalia is eagerly fruiting slender, cayenne type fruit.

 

chillies1port140509szd

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat:          244cm, growth of 9cm, 10 fruit
Portugal:             160cm   40 fruit, growth of 19cm, some fruit beginning to ripen
Georgia Flame: 145cm   40 fruit, growth of 9cm, some fruit beginning to ripen

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio:    152cm   40 fruit, growth of 16cm, many fruit ripening
Pusa Jwalia:     140cm   20 fruit, growth of 2cm
Nepali Orange: 150cm   40 fruit, growth of 3cm

Vivigrow 3
Front plant 167cm 40 fruit, growth of 7cm
Rear plant 193cm 40 fruit, growth of 10cm

 

17th June 2009 (week 14)
The Friars Hat is romping away and is a staggering 268cm tall! The Nepali Orange is bearing lots of small, hot chillies.

 

pasbaj170609szd

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat          268cm, growth of 24cm, 20 fruit
Portugal             181cm    40 fruit, growth of 2cm
Georgia Flame 182cm    40 fruit, growth of 8cm

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio    167cm      40 fruit, growth of 15cm, many fruit ripening
Pusa Jwalia     159cm      20 fruit, growth of 17cm
Nepali Orange 154cm     40 fruit, growth of 1cm

Vivigrow 3
Front plant 176cm      40 fruit, growth of 9cm
Rear plant 200cm      40 fruit, growth of 7cm

 

Back to the top

24th June 2009 (week 15)
The Friars Hat is still growing strong but is now producing lots of interesting fruit.

 

friar240609szd

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat:          280cm  40 fruit, growth of 12cm
Portugal:             197cm  50 fruit, growth of 16cm
Georgia Flame: 191cm  50 fruit, growth of 9cm

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio:    169cm   50 fruit    Growth of 2cm
Pusa Jwalia:     164cm   60 fruit    Growth of 5cm
Nepali Orange: 180cm   80 fruit    Growth of 26cm

Vivigrow 3
Front plant 184cm    50 fruit           Growth of 8cm
Rear plant 202cm    50 fruit           Growth of 2cm

 

 

1st July 2009 (week 16)
This week we trimmed the Friars Hat because it had reached the roof of the greenhouse. To prepare them for a show in a few weeks time we also trimmed the plants in Vivigrow 2. Growth has slowed as the plants concentrate on fruit production.

 

chillies2nepornge010709szd

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat          260cm     60 fruit, growth of 13cm
Portugal             200cm     50 fruit, growth of 3cm
Georgia Flame 203cm     50 fruit, growth of 12cm

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio    172cm      50 fruit   Growth of 6cm
Pusa Jwalia     166cm     60 fruit    Growth of 2cm
Nepali Orange 182cm     80 fruit    Growth of 10cm
 

Vivigrow 3 
Front plant 189cm           50 fruit    Growth of 5cm
Rear plant 204cm           50 fruit    Growth of 2cm

 

 

8th July 2009 (week 17)
Since they were trimmed last week, the chillies have put on more side growth, and become even bushier. We have begun harvesting the ripe ones. 

Over 40 green Padron chillies made their way over to the Duk Restaurant in Preston this week and there are plenty more to come.

 

pusajwalia 220709szd

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat:           272cm    60 fruit                          Growth of 2cm
Portugal:              207cm    50 fruit   16 ripe fruit   Growth of 7cm
Georgia Flame:  206cm    50 fruit   12 ripe fruit   Growth of 3cm

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio      185cm     50 fruit    44 ripe fruit       Growth of 13cm
Pusa Jwalia      181cm      60 fruit                               Growth of 15cm
Nepali Orange  177cm      80 fruit     36 ripe fruit     Growth of 3cm

Vivigrow 3 
Front plant 197cm             50 fruit     16 ripe fruit       Growth of 8cm
Rear plant 205cm             50 fruit     15 ripe fruit       Growth of 1cm

Back to the top

15th July 2009 (week 18)
With plenty of fruit beginning to ripen, everyone in the office has been eager to try out some of the new varieties we are growing this year. 

 

friarshat1208093szd

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat:          282cm     60 fruit, 
Portugal:             216cm     50 fruit, 17 ripe fruit, 3 picked
Georgia Flame: 214cm     50 fruit, 14 ripe fruit, 2 picked

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio     186cm      60 fruit, 44 ripe fruit, 3 fruit picked
Pusa Jwalia      182cm     60 fruit
Nepali Orange  179cm     80 fruit, 42 ripe fruit, 2 fruit picked

Vivigrow 3
Front plant 200cm             50 fruit, 16 ripe fruit, 1 fruit picked
Rear plant 207cm             50 fruit, 14 ripe fruit, 2 fruit picked

 

 

22nd July 2009 (week 19)
The Pusa Jwalia fruit are ripening to a lovely rich, orange colour. They are thin fleshed and ideal for drying so a season’s worth should keep you going throughout the winter months and given how many there are, they’ll probably keep your friends in stock too!

 

pusajwalia 220709szd

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat          285cm    60 fruit, 
Portugal            220cm     60 fruit    30 ripe fruit    3 picked
Georgia Flame 220cm    50 fruit   18 ripe fruit     3 picked

Vivigrow 2 
Pasilla Bajio    200cm      60 fruit       50 ripe fruit  3 fruit picked
Pusa Jwalia     190cm      60 fruit,      5 ripe fruit
Nepali Orange 182cm      80 fruit      50 ripe fruit  3 fruit picked

Vivigrow 3 
Front plant 205cm
Rear plant 211cm
Combined, the Joes Long plants have over 70 fruit, 44 of which are ripe, 5 fruit picked.

 

5th August 2009 (week 21)
It has been all go this week as we prepared for the West Dean Chilli Fiesta near Chichester this weekend.  Plenty of fruit from the systems that aren’t going to the show have been harvested for people to try including Friars Hat, Portugal and Georgia Flame.

 

port 050809szd

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat           293cm    60 fruit     12 ripe fruit     7 fruit picked
Portugal             226cm     60 fruit     30 ripe fruit     25 picked
Georgia Flame 225cm     50 fruit     25 ripe fruit     18 picked

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio    203cm,     70 fruit     60 ripe fruit, 3 fruit picked
Pusa Jwalia     192cm     60 fruit      20 ripe fruit
Nepali Orange 184cm     80 fruit      50 ripe fruit, 3 fruit picked

Vivigrow 3 
Front plant 213cm
Rear plant 220cm
Combined, the Joes Long plants have over 70 fruit, 44 of which are ripe, 22 fruit picked.

 

12th August 2009 (week 22)
The West Dean Chilli festival was a huge success but plants in Vivigrow 2 took a bit of a battering on the long journey to Chichester from our greenhouse in Mawdesley. With that in mind, a schedule of care is what is needed and before too long the chilli plants will be on top form once more.

 

joeslong050809szd

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat           302cm     70 fruit, 20 ripe fruit, 10 fruit picked
Portugal              232cm     40 fruit, 12 ripe fruit, 26 picked
Georgia Flame 233cm      50 fruit, 9 ripe fruit, 20 picked

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio      209cm     60 fruit     40 ripe fruit, 10 fruit picked
Pusa Jwalia      192cm      60 fruit     30 ripe fruit, 12 fruit picked
Nepali Orange  184cm      80 fruit     50 ripe fruit, 20 fruit picked

Vivigrow 3
Front plant 215cm
Rear plant 223cm
Combined, the Joes Long plants have over 70 fruit, 35 of which are ripe, 24 fruit picked 

 

19th August 2009 (week 23)
The majority of branches on the Friars Hat are now touching the ceiling. Another week, just long enough for the fruit to ripen and it will have to be pruned back.

 

chillies2120809szd Vivigrow 1

Friars Hat          310cm     60 fruit    30 ripe fruit    10 fruit picked
Portugal             232cm     30 fruit    20 ripe fruit    30 picked
Georgia Flame 233cm     50 fruit    9 ripe fruit      20 picked

Vivigrow 2

Pasilla Bajio      209cm          20 ripe fruit    15 fruit picked
Pusa Jwalia      192cm          40 ripe fruit     18 fruit picked
Nepali Orange 184cm          100 ripe fruit    20 fruit picked

Vivigrow 3

Front plant 215cm
Rear plant 223cm
Combined, the Joes Long plants have over 70 fruit, 35 of which are ripe, 30 fruit picked

 

 

26th August 2009 (week 24)

The Friars Hat and Nepali Orange have been trimmed. All the chilli plants are looking healthy and work now begins to prepare them for the Mawdesley Family Funday in two weeks time.

 

port190809szd

Vivigrow 1

Friars Hat          315cm       30 ripe fruit      20 fruit picked
Portugal             236cm       20 ripe fruit     35 picked
Georgia Flame 236cm       15 ripe fruit      23 picked

As the light levels begin to wane as we head towards autumn, growth will halt and the plants will concentrate all their efforts on ripening fruit.

Vivigrow 2

Pasilla Bajio     209cm      20 ripe fruit      16 fruit picked
Pusa Jwalia     192cm      40 ripe fruit       20 fruit picked
Nepali Orange 170cm      100 ripe fruit     30 fruit picked

Vivigrow 3

Front plant 220cm
Rear plant 225cm
Combined, the Joes Long plants have over 70 fruit, 35 of which are ripe, 35 fruit picked

 

2nd September 2009 (week 25)

We have chillies in other systems in the greenhouse and two of them are Rocota Orange and Rocota Red. The red one has been producing ripe fruit for weeks but this week sees the very first orange fruit ripening, a cause for excitement. Don/'t let the gentle curves and soft colour fool you, these chillies pack a punch.

 

rocota orge030909szd 1

Vivigrow 1

Friars Hat            315cm     30 ripe fruit      28 fruit picked
Portugal              236cm      20 ripe fruit      40 picked
Georgia Flame  236cm      15 ripe fruit      25 picked

Vivigrow 2

Pasilla Bajio      209cm    20 ripe fruit         18 fruit picked
Pusa Jwalia      192cm    40 ripe fruit          26 fruit picked
Nepali Orange  170cm    100 ripe fruit       40 fruit picked

Vivigrow 3

Front plant 220cm
Rear plant 225cm
Combined, the Joes Long plants have over 70 fruit, 35 of which are ripe, 35 fruit picked

 

  9th September 2009 (week 26)

This week we are looking forward to the Mawdesley Funday on Sunday. We are attending in support of the local allotments group. We have harvested a great many chillies to give away at the event along with a recipe.

 

pusajwalia 090909szd

Vivigrow 1

Friars Hat           315cm    108 fruit picked
Portugal              238cm    56 fruit picked
Georgia Flame  236cm    30 fruit picked

Vivigrow 2

Pasilla Bajio     209cm     28 fruit picked
Pusa Jwalia     192cm     110 fruit picked
Nepali Orange 170cm     200 fruit picked

Vivigrow 3

Front plant 220cm
Rear plant 225cm
Combined, the Joes Long plants have had 60 fruit picked.

 

16th September 2009 (week 27)

joeslong230909szd

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat:         315cm     108 fruit picked
Portugal:            238cm     56 fruit picked
Georgia Flame: 236cm    30 fruit picked

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio:     209cm    28 fruit picked
Pusa Jwalia:     192cm    110 fruit picked
Nepali Orange: 170cm     200 fruit picked

Vivigrow 3
Front plant:  220cm
Rear plant:  225cm

Combined, the Joes Long plants have had 60 fruit picked.

  30th September 2009 (week 29)

There are loads of fruit which need to be picked. Everyone who has visited the greenhouse has been impressed with how many chillies we have growing. Their vibrant colours certainly brighten up the place.

 

pusajwalia300909szd1

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat:          320cm   120 fruit picked
Portugal:             240cm   60 fruit picked
Georgia Flame: 240cm   35 fruit picked

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio:     209cm    30 fruit picked
Pusa Jwalia:     192cm     120 fruit picked
Nepali Orange: 170cm     230 fruit picked

Vivigrow 3
Front plant 220cm
Rear plant 225cm

Combined, the Joes Long plants have had 70 fruit picked.

  7th October 2009 (week 30)

We hosted the Mawdesley allotments and smallholding community group’s monthly meeting this week. They were all given a goodie bag of chillies and sweet peppers to take home.

 

friars071009szd4

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat:          330cm    130 fruit picked
Portugal:             245cm    65 fruit picked
Georgia Flame: 245cm    35 fruit picked

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio:    210cm     32 fruit picked
Pusa Jwalia:    195cm      130 fruit picked
Nepali Orange:175cm      240 fruit picked

Vivigrow 3
Front plant 225cm
Rear plant 230cm
Combined, the Joes Long plants have had 75 fruit picked.

 

  14th October 2009 (week 31)

This week I harvested the chillies form the Bih Jolokia I have had growing in a  Rain & Drain in the polytunnel. The plant grew to a little over a metre tall and has yielded 1415g of fruit.

 

bihjolokia szdoct09 1415g 1

Vivigrow 1
Friars Hat:          330cm     135 fruit picked
Portugal:             245cm     65 fruit picked
Georgia Flame: 245cm     35 fruit picked

Vivigrow 2
Pasilla Bajio      210cm      34 fruit picked
Pusa Jwalia      195cm      135 fruit picked
Nepali Orange  175cm      245 fruit picked

Vivigrow 3
Front plant 225cm
Rear plant 230cm
The Joes Long plants have produced 78 chillies

 

  17th November 2009 (week 36)

We dismantled Vivigrow 1 this week recording final harvests. The Friars Hat really didn't disappoint with a final harvest of almost 4000g! The average Friars Hat fruit weighs 18g.

 

harvests

Final Harvests:

Friars Hat:         3900g
Portugal:            794g
Georgia Flame: 380g

The Georgia Flame has been the poorest performer but I suspect that that is partly due to the amazing vigour of the Friars Hat.

Chillies 2 and Joes Long fruit continue to be harvested gradually and will be throughout winter.