How to grow your own chillies

Over at Mak Tok, we’re all about chilli. We absolutely love chilli- It’s what our little start-up is all about!

So maybe you’ve decided you want to make your own chilli paste, or you want to see how much heat you can handle, or maybe you just want some fresh chillies to add to your meals.

Either way, we wanted to offer you up our top tips on growing your own chillies, so that you can do everything you need to with them!

Our first tip would be to start early. If you want chillies ready for plucking by the early stages of summer, then get your seeds planted in January or February. In terms of what seeds to start with, I’d always say that Bishops Crown is always a good place to start. It’s fairly mild and relatively low maintenance.

If you want to jump in slightly further up the deep end, then Demon Red is always a good option. It was bred especially to be grown on windowsills.

Make sure that you grow them in a warm environment, too! Chillies thrive in hot temperatures, if it’s too cold they won’t grow, and if they do they’ll be lacking in flavour. Try putting them in the airing cupboard and watch them flourish!

But it’s not just about keeping them in the sun. Like any other plant, these tiny little pockets of heat need food to exist! Water them frequently with a small amount of water.

Once the chillies have started to flower, use a high potash tomato feed to keep them healthy. You can buy specialist chilli feed, but it’s usually overpriced and the difference between the two is negligible.

Patience! Too often people get frantic and start to use their chillies long before they’re actually ready to be picked. Give it enough time so they’ve developed. Otherwise they’ll be too tough, or lacking in flavour.

So, if you’re thinking of looking at growing your own chillies, now is the best time to start thinking ahead for next summer! Research what you think you can grow best, and then prepare yourself for planting the seeds early in 2019!