This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Pinched Peppers and Tomato (Red Cherry)

The peppers and chilies seem to be doing well and are flowering. I counted 25 flowers on one of the plants. My pepper growing (so far) has improved from last year.... when I harvested maybe 2 or 3 peppers per plant!

Variety: Pepper California Wonder, Thompson & Morgan Seeds, £1.50. Sown 20 Feb 2011.

Variety: Pepper Hot Cayenne, Mr Forthergill's Seeds, £1.89. Sown 20 Feb 2011.
I read an article that said to 'pinch' your peppers. I wasn't really sure what I was doing but I went pinching back in April. Some of the plants seem happy enough from their grow tip 'pinch' and have branched, whereas two of the plants dwarfed - as per small plant in photo.

The plant (far left) is Pepper Hot Cayenne.
Mostly flowers at this stage on the pepper plants but a few little peppers can be seen forming.
My 'indeterminate' tomato plants are growing and one or two tiny clusters of flowers. I have 5 plants and I often look at them and wonder what to do with them. I've never really grown tomatoes before. I want to pinch off leaves so occasionally I do (a bit randomly)... not sure why I can't get the concept of tomato growing.

Variety: Tomato (Red Cherry), Mr Fothergill's, 50 seeds, £1.89. Sown 3 April 2011.
Left: Tomato flowers forming.


  1. Kelli, I am very impressed with your diligent efforts on both the tomatoes and peppers. I have considered growing tomatoes indoors, or to at least start them indoors but have yet to remember to do this in Jan/Feb. I also like the pots you've placed them in. Very decorative. Will you be moving either outdoors? And is your weather badge on your blog correct that it will be 32 degrees tonight? That's's nearing the summer equinox!

  2. Kelli, Your peppers and chillis are looking good (love those mauve-coloured pots!). I only pinch out the growing tips of my chillis if they look as if they are going to be too tall and lanky. They usually just branch-out naturally.
    With the tomatoes, you shouldn't remove too many leaves - they contribute to the plant's energy production - only take off any that go yellow (and of course the sideshoots in the case of indeterminate plants grown as cordons). Once the plant produces fruit, it is normal to remove leaves from BELOW the fruit trusses, to allow air to circulate more freely around the ripening fruit. My tomato plants are doing well outside, but then it seems to be much warmer here than in NI. Once you have grown your own toms it gets addictive. The flavour of a fresh-picked tomato is just irresistible!

  3. It's so cold here in Melbourne, Australia. You've made me miss my summer chillis and tomatoes. How I miss the smell of the tomato plants as they grow.

  4. Your peppers look really good. I am guilty of breaking many pepper branches while harvesting (not purposely it just happen because of my carelessness and clumsiness)but they never mind. I admire your pot very much. They look good beside your sunny window.

  5. I'm just getting some flowers on both my tomatoes and my peppers. I love growing tomatoes, my favourite thing to grow, and love the smell of the leaves when you touch them.

  6. I can already taste the salsa! I planted jalapenos for the first time. Hoping to preserve salsa at summer's end. Your plants look very healthy. Interesting that you are growing them in pots.

  7. They're looking very happy and the flowers mean lots of fruit! Are you hand pollinating them? On your windowsill indoors not many bees about? Freezing here.

  8. Hi Jenni / Mrs Bok - The peppers and tomatoes are growing indoors. I'm likley to keep the peppers growing on the landing of the stairs where there is good air circulation and a sunny position. My garden is quite exposed and the plants get battered outside. The tomotoes I plan to keep in the conservatory/glass house. Although it may get too hot in there over the summer so not sure how that is going to work. I have a shady corner in the glass house so might position them there.

    The plants have been 'touching' in their pots and I suppose this is how they are pollinating as they haven't been outside.

    Thanks Mark for your tips on growing. Suppose I will learn by my mistakes but so far I'm doing better than in previous years. I had a tomato plant one year someone gave me - I got no tomatoes and it ended up covered in greenfly and died.

  9. Mrs Bok... just thinking about the pollination question (glad you asked it). Maybe I need to have a better think about that one as perhaps I should hand pollinate? Hmmm.

  10. Kelli, your window garden looks very attractive and I love those pretty pots. With all the comments on how to grow tomatoes and peppers and pollination and such, I think I need to get a gardening book and do some reading! I have always gardened "hit or miss" and sometimes everything is good, sometimes not so good! Your plants look just great!