An update on Agrovista chillies

The marketing team’s chilli growing competition was launched back in February and now it’s time to push through the final month in preparation for judging. Marketing Coordinator Siobhan Sandel gives an update on her plants and how she’s been getting on.  

Siobhan Sandel, Marketing Coordinator

“A few months have passed since my first blog on the chilli competition, so I thought I would give an update on my plants and how the team has been getting on.

Despite aphid infestations and a slow start, my chillies had a good growth spurt in June and were looking healthy. Later in the month my first chilli plant started to produce buds, and this was followed by the rest of the plants the week after.

Once July came, two of the plants had flowered, so I helped to pollinate them by taking a fine paint brush out of my husband’s miniatures that he paints, in hope they would then start to produce some chillies.

Pollination success

I must have pollinated them correctly as by mid-July, my first baby chilli had appeared on one of the plants. Because I’d been using the brush, my son Leo had been watching and asked why I was ‘tickling the flowers’, and whether he could help to tickle them too. 

Later in July I shared some photos of my chillies with the team. After initially forgetting to label the pots, I was able to identify the types as the chillies all look very different. It would appear I’ve successfully grown habanero and cayenne chillies, but unfortunately, none of the naga plants survived.

Getting ready to pick

Now we’re in September and my chillies have started to ripen with some cayennes already ready to pick. I also have a couple of habaneros turning a dark yellow.

During our last marketing meeting, it was decided that we’ll email photos of our chillies to our colleagues in the Glasshouse team for feedback and comment. Originally we were going to have a formal judging session, but due to social distancing we’ll be doing it online. We’ll then share the photos on social media and maybe even ask the public who they think should win.

Nearing the finishing line 

Good luck to all of the marketing team members putting their chillies forward in the competition. Hopefully there won’t be any cheating now it’s online judging!

Once the competition has finished, I plan to make chilli oils and sweet chilli jams for Christmas presents. It’s certainly been a real experience growing them and looking after them.”