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  • lukeathompson

Dodgy Seed and New Arrivals

Updated: Mar 17

Out of the soil the buds come,

The silent detonations

Of power wielded without sin

RS Thomas, 'The Garden'

16th March

I have a problem with the seeds. I bought them all from an online retailer who had mixed reviews but I used them because I could buy all varieties in one place, which was convenient, but, well, here are the germination results:


·       Cayennetta. Brilliant. 10 out of 10. 100%

·       Orange Habanero. Poor. 4 out of 9. 44%

·       Rocoto. Okay. 7 out of 9. 78%

·       Ring of Fire. Awful. 0%


You’ve got all and nothing and everything in between.


Ring of Fire should have been up with the Cayennetta. Before this failed batch, the previous Ring of Fire seeds I bought were from Tamar Organics and I had 100% success with them. The Orange Habanero are slow to come up so it’s just possible one or two more will emerge, but we’re a month on now so I'm not holding my breath.  


So I’ve made an emergency trip to the South Devon Chilli Farm and to an online seller from Wales. I’ve picked up more Ring of Fire and Habaneros from Devon and I’ve also decided to try a couple of weirdos from Wales. There’s a great grower up there, Chris Fowler of Red Dragon, and I’ve picked up some of his own new varieties, like the Sugar Rush Peach Stripey, which looks amazing. 

All of these seeds are going in now and if they all germinate I’ll have loads too many. I’ve also sown the remainder of the seed stock from that less-than-perfect online seller. They may not sprout at all, but if they do I’m going to be drowning in 

habanero plants and will probably need to give some away.


It’s such a basic error and I hope I don’t do it again.


The seedlings themselves are at very different stages. The Rocoto (grey pot) are looking robust and healthy and thriving, even in this gloomy, grey March light and cold. The Cayennetta (black tray) are skinnier and slightly less well-developed but they’re coming along and I think they’ll be okay. The Habanero (orange pot) look really weedy. They were slower to hatch, are a little less happy about Cornish weather, but I think they’ll catch up. And hopefully by the time this next bunch germinate we’ll be seeing a bit of sunshine.

For now, I’m keeping an eye on moisture levels, making sure the seeds don’t dry out too far and that the seedlings don’t get too wet. I used a mulitpurpose compost so probably won’t need to feed them just yet. When I do, in this early green phase it will be with something nitrogen rich made from my worms. Maybe that’s a post for next week. First I’ll need to find a good worm poem…

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