In our fast-paced world where everything is pretty much at your doorstep and easy solutions are at the forefront of most people's minds, one question rises from some of our customers: "why grow your own chillies?" 

 

Our first impulse would be to reply that it is cheaper, better and overall a very satisfying experience to grow your own chillies. But our true answer would probably bring on another question: why would you settle for a Big Mac when you can have a proper homemade burger at home, just the way you like with all the trimmings?

 

Not only most chillies are easy to grow and even more easy to maintain as long as you provide them with a bit of TLC, there isn't a better feeling than the pride one feels when, like a dutiful and loving father, chilli seeds start emerging from soil and slowly but surely turn into beautiful plants that bear many tasty (and hot!) fruits to die for. 

 

And make no mistake: chilli plants are beautiful. We were doubters once but that's before we were introduced to marvellous types of ornamental (as well as edible) chillies such as NuMex Twilight, Prairie Fire, Filius Blue or Cherry Bomb. Many of these chillies will go through numerous colours from white to orange, yellow, green, purple and of course glossy red. And it's not just the chillies who like to look their best. Foliage likes to be part of the picture too so whether it is a delicate stem or bushy leaves, light or forest green stems, purple or nearly black branches, a chilli plant will always want to look as good as it tastes... 

 

Let's not also forget that there is a reason why the demand for chillies and more particularly chilli plants has grown by 40% in the UK in the last two years, with famous chefs introducing them to their recipes, garden centres now selling chilli plants and government officials praising their virtues from its high content of Vitamin C and carotene (pro-vitamin A) to the metabolism increase it brings on. So yes, for chilli beginners or amateur growers it might seem a bit daunting to start your own crop of chillies but nobody said you couldn't start small. And whether or not you grow chillies or tomatoes, cooking herbs or potatoes, it is well established that nothing replaces the taste of freshly picked produce compared to usually up to two weeks old supermarket versions. 

 

Last but not least in our arguments for growing chillies yourself is evidently the cost, even more in these dark times of recession when every penny counts. Yes we hear you say there is an initial cost for beginners who will need to get compost and pots as well as chilli seeds of course, but in view of how much fresh chillies cost and how difficult it is to get certain types it is well worth it. It is even more worth it when you see that your chilli plant produces between 20 and up to 100 chillies depending on the variety, therefore offering many a barbecue, salsa, soup, stew and snack in the coming months! 

 

But do not take our word for it. If you want to prove us wrong then get yourself some chilli seeds and do your own experiment but if, like us, you believe that there is nothing better than the taste of the real thing, may it be Naga, Trinidad Scorpion, Douglah, Habanero, Tabasco, NuMex, Roccoto or Scotch Bonnet chilli pepper to name but a few, then make sure you start early on in the year so you can have a long and bountiful crop!


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