~ Some special HOT PEPPER Seed (Chilli or Chile Peppers) ~
We have tried huge numbers of early hot peppers, and here offer the best. Peppers for every taste, in many different colours and shapes! Again, many are very early to help with short British summers, and some are of more unusual species such as Capsicum pubescens and Capsicum baccatum.
A note about Germination rates - beginners may not realise that as a matter of course, chilli and pepper seed doesn't have as high a germination rate as other vegetables, which is why packets contain a few more seed than you might need. However, all our seed is really fresh and we don't send anything out unless at least 80% of the seeds germinate when we test them before packing.
TIP: The biggest cause of problems is lack of moderate heat. An electric propagator is ideal for starting chilli seed,but if you don't have one, you can still get excellent results by improvising with a warm airing cupboard, a radiator shelf or anywhere that is around 25-30C for at least a few hours in each day. Once germinated, the seedlings will grow on at lower temperatures. We find we can grow excellent plants when our propagator is full by starting seed on the counter next to our Rayburn & then growing on in a sunny windowsill.
'Lemon Drop' LEMON FLAVOURED
The fruit are very, very hot, with a strong lemon flavour. When you cut them they really do smell - and taste - strongly of lemons! It makes a fantastic change to your chilli sauce or salsa.
Its not super early, as the fruits ripen in early autumn - but it is very productive and decorative - and can sometimes do well in a big pot on a sunny patio, or of course it will be very happy in your greenhouse or polytunnel.
Note that the Ajís are only semi-domesticated - some of the seed is always dormant, even with good heat - but you should get plenty of plants from 20 seed, which is loads as the plants are really quite big and vigorous.
Lemon-flavoured Aji from Peru. Although normally really rare and therefore one of our most expensive peppers, we've had a great harvest of fresh seed these last two years, so we have reduced the price.
Order HPLD - 20 seed SPECIAL PRICE: £2.10
Bartlett's Bonnet' Chilli
The plants are big, up to 4 ft tall in a good year, and make lots of fruit that are very hot indeed when ripe to red. This variety was originally sent to us by Anne Bartlett from Portugal, who now grows the seed for us each year.
Hot hot hot. Greenhouse or Polytunnel only. This seed grown for us by Anne herself.
Order HPBB - 18 seed £1.98
'Wenks Yellow Hots'
It is a quite-hot chilli that is a bright lemon yellow, as you can see, and it is one of the prettiest we've ever grown. (It eventually ripens through orange and then to red.)
The unusal thing about it is how thick and crisp the walls of the chillies are (they are best described as a blunt sort of jalapeno shape), and with a beautiful shiny yellow skin.
Both yellow and orange are displayed on the plant at the same time, so it is quite ornamental.
It is really pretty early to fruit , and good for making pickled peppers as it keeps its 'crunchiness' well.
Yellow, jalapeño shaped.
Order HPYH- 20 seed £2.25
'Biala Shipka' Very Hot Red Chilli
This rather unusual chilli was given to us 10 years ago by a Bulgarian law student we met.
We managed to grow some plants from his battered sachet of seed and were pleased to discover that did really well in our trials. It makes very fine medium-sized bushes covered in little red conical peppers.
These develop unusual corky striations on the skin as they ripen, much like a jalapeño pepper does. It is very early, very productive, and horribly hot!
Order early - rarely available, only a very few packets produced this year from our annual seedbank grow-out.
Order HPBS - 12 seed for £2.65
We grow it as an annual pepper in the usual fashion, and get lots of ripe fruit in October.
(But note you can also grow it as as a perennial, overwintering indoors, & plant can fruit for several years. This is moderately easy - if you can overwinter fuschias or geraniums, you will have no trouble with this beautiful plant. )
We use the fruit to spice up pasta sauces and keep some in vinegar for later in the year. They are pretty hot but it is a warming rather than burning heat, and they have lots of flavour too.
Very, very rare. A different species! Limited stock - order early. Seed produced in Wales by our grower Matthew Stephens.
Order HPAL - 12 seed £3.55
'Palivec' Medium-hot chilli
We also really like this long 'goats horn' style chilli, which starts out pale green and ripens to a dark red. It is unusually productive, making loads of peppers (even in the useless summer of 2012!) with a good flavour.
Because it isn’t stupidly hot, you can actually cook with it without worrying that you will overdo things, and as the heat is mostly concentrated in the seeds, and you can easily adjust its bite by leaving some of them out (or putting them all in if you prefer!)
Order HPPC - 20 seed £2.03
Nigel's Outdoors Chilli
From Nigel Green of Halesworth, Suffolk, this chilli really will tolerate growing outside in the UK. We were sceptical, but it does indeed ripen outdoors with no protection here in Wales. Indeed, the picture on the far right is from our back garden in Newport, where it has ripened properly red despite being swamped by a trial squash plant.
It makes wedge-shaped 2-inch hot green fruit that later ripen to red if we have a hot summer. They are medium hot, and very sweet, making a fantastic chilli chutney, or we like them sliced on top of pizza.
Although it really does fruit outdoors, you will of course get far more chillies if you grow it under cover. It is quite a small plant, and will also do well in a container on a sunny patio.
Just a few packets available this season from our grower Anja Van Hees, seed grown in Pembrokeshire.
Order HPNO 12 seed £3.55
Early Green Jalapeño
Finally, a jalapeño pepper that will mature in the UK! We were really excited to discover this extra-early strain to grow in your greenhouse or polytunnel.
Jalapeño peppers are fleshy with distinctive blunt-tipped, cigar shaped fruit with the traditional 'jalapeño' corky marks on the skin.
Easy to grow, and quite hot, too. Mmmm!
Early variety - traditional shape, just really quick.
Order HPEJ 18 seed £2.04
'Koral' VERY HOT
A very good and hot red cherry chilli, bred in Europe, making lots of rounded, very pungent fruit with an excellent flavour. Quite early, this ripens red before many others. The plants are a sensible size and this is a very good choice for a pot on a sunny patio.
It is best used red for greatest heat, though also tasty when green. Very spicy though, so beware!
Order HPKO - 20 seed £1.98
Ohnivec STUPENDOUSLY HOT
A chance discovery by our seed grower Ian Hearn. This large chilli from the Czech Republic is undoubtedly the biggest hot chilli we have ever had - loaded with fruit, almost a foot long and 2 inches wide, starting out a wonderful pale yellow, and ripening through orange to red.
They are completely mild when yellow, but don't say we didn't warn you - they really are extremely hot once ripened to orange.
Photo taken near Newcastle Emlyn on the west coast of Wales.
Order HPOh - 20 seed £2.03NOTE: If you can't take the heat of this one, but fancy trying out this type of pepper, then over on the sweet-peppers page we also have its less-evil twin, a very similar but sweet pepper called 'Semaroh' from the same breeding line (both are descendants of "Palivec").
Saving Pepper Seed:
Here Kate is collecting seed from 'Lantern' chillies.
After that we pick out any empty or misshapen seeds.
Chillies are great but the effort (and pain!) involved
in seed production
Chilli peppers will cross with one another, and also with any sweet peppers growing nearby, so either grow just