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Although there are five domesticated species of pepper, most are Capiscum anuum. Bolivian hairy chilllies are a different species, Capiscum pubescens which is perennial. Chillies were domesticated in South and Central America at least 6,000 years ago. All wild chillies are hot and sweet peppers are a result of domestication. 


Growing

Peppers and chillies, enjoy lots of heat and water, and grow well in a greenhouse or polytunnel. The seeds need a warm place like a propagator, or kitchen windowsill, to germinate. The seedlings will be killed by frost and will not thrive when nights are cold. So unless you have a heated greenhouse or conservatory, restrain yourself from sowing them till February or March. Prick out the seedlings into 10cm pots when they have a couple of real leaves and keep them cosy until they are planted out in their final positions in April or May. Here we dig a trench in the polytunnel in spring and fill it up with well-rotted FYM. The trench is covered up with soil again and then with ground cover. The ground cover has holes 60cm apart and the plants are planted through these holes. Peppers can be used green but their flavour and sweetness improves as they ripen to red.

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Mixed Hot Chillies
Mixed Hot Chillies
Our Price: €2.50

In an effort to find, or breed, the best chilli for Irish conditions, we trialled a number of different chillis and have mixed the results. They may be both physically and genetically mixed as we did not isolate the plants. The varieties in the mix are Hungarian hot wax, Padron, Bolivian Hairy, Czech Black, and Goat Horn. Average 20 seeds/packet
Czech Black
Czech Black
Our Price: €2.50

An early and productive medium-hot pepper maturing from glossy black to a glowing red. Much earlier than most other hot peppers. Juicy, thick walled, and perfect for pickling. Great eating quality in all colour stages. A new favourite. Although we grew them in the polytunnel, they might mature outside in a good summer. They are only germinating at about 60% so we are putting 30 seeds in a packet
Lemon Drop
Lemon Drop
Our Price: €2.50

Capsicum baccatum A yellow chilli with a fruity flavour. It is pretty hot, we wold only use one in a dinner. We have all used it to make fermented chilli sauce. This chilli ripens late, (starting to turn yellow in September), but produces a massive crop of fruit. Sow as early as possible in spring but keep warm until May. Plant out 60cm apart. Slow to germinate but give them time. Average 20 seeds per packet.

Love Apple (Liebesapfel)
Love Apple (Liebesapfel)
Our Price: €2.50

A very early and productive variety we sourced from Adaptive Seeds. It produces masses of thick walled, sweet, red peppers on compact plants. It even managed to fruit outdoors this year. We translated the name into English as we find that things sell better that way, especially if the name has words like sweet, delicious, butter, golden or love in it. Average 20 seeds/packet
Pixie Hat Paprika
Pixie Hat Paprika
Our Price: €2.50

Abundant and early yields of smooth tapering pepper. The real name of these is Paprika Rocni Korinova pro pole Hodiniska Sladka Vzprimena which means sweet upright from Hodenin, but that is a bit of a mouth-full, These are peppers for making paprika powder. Of course you can also eat them fresh too. They are sweet, in the sense that they are not hot. To make your own paprika, dry them until they are crisp. (I did them in a dehydrator and then finished them off in a slow oven. (A window sill in a warm room might do it), then grind in a coffee grinder. They were quite early to ripen, we grew them indoors but they might be worth a shot outdoors.
   
 
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