Chilli growing challenge results

The marketing team's chilli growing competition, which was launched back in February, has now been judged. Marketing coordinator Siobhan Sandel gives a final update on her plants and shares comments from the team about their experiences.  

Siobhan Sandel, marketing coordinator

“A while has passed since my last update, and thanks to a heatwave in September, more of my chillies successfully sprouted. This included another actively growing habanero plant and few more chillies on my cayenne plant.

Mid-September, I picked ripe habaneros and a second harvest of cayennes and put them into the freezer ready for when I want to start using them. This is a great way to preserve them for later use and works well. Other options to make them last include drying them or adding them to jars of oil or vinegar.

Key learnings

This has been an amazing experience and I’ve learnt a lot as I’ve gone along. For one, naming the pots when you plant the seeds is certainly useful, so that it’s not a surprise when they start producing chillies.  

Another learning is that you need patience to grow them, as they take their own time and it’s not an over-night job.  

Although I’m not a ‘green fingered’ person as such, I do seem to have the knack for growing chillies and I’m really pleased with how I’ve done.”

Team thoughts:

Marketing Communications Manager, Janine Heath: “Growing capsicums can be harder than it looks, and isn’t a speedy process. Although I’ve grown them before, this year I had a major problem with resistant aphid infestations, which certainly affected the yield and quality of the chillies. But I’ve persevered and most importantly, had a lot of fun along the way sharing the journey with my colleagues.”

Marketing Coordinator, Carolyn McIntyre: “My habanero seems to be slowly getting there, but I’m happy with how the cayenne chillies turned out. I’ve got the growing bug now and I’m going to extend my herb garden next year and have a go at growing sweet peppers too.”

Digital Marketing Manager, Chris O’Kane: “After a summer spent nurturing chillies as if they were my own, I’ve reached the end of the marketing chilli growing competition, with cayenne chilli being the most succesful of the three varieties grown. Somewhat defeated by what can only be described as an aphid invasion in mid-July, the naga and habanero plants took the brunt of the attack (despite best efforts from some very helpful ladybirds). Neither plants bore fruit, but thankfully the cayennes have soldiered on.”

Marketing Events Coordinator, Sarah Greenhaff: “Although I had a promising start, my chillies became a bit leggy around June time and also suffered a fall from the window ledge. I was advised that they were nitrogen-hungry and to use tomato feed, however I didn’t fancy braving the queues in town, and they were out of stock on a leading online retail site. Sadly, my chillies died a death. I have a new-found respect for chilli growers and will be sticking to shop bought chillies for the foreseeable.”

The winner

“As mentioned in my last blog, we’d planned to have a formal judging session, but due to social distancing, we sent photos of our chillies to the Glasshouse team for feedback and comments, and for them to select the winner.

The winner was declared as Chris O’Kane due to his excellent vegetative growth to fruit crop ratio. Well done Chris!”