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CHAPTER ONE Introduction The Environment and the Use of Peat CHAPTER TWO About Chillies Origins Chilli Heat: the Scoville Scale Capsaicin Heat Measurement Chilli Species and Varieties CHAPTER THREE Growing Conditions Can I grow chillies where I live? Is my house or garden suitable? Temperatures Light What about a greenhouse? Glass Greenhouses Polytunnels Plastic Greenhouses and Covered Shelves Self-Watering Systems Hydroponics and Artificial Light CHAPTER FOUR Choosing What to Grow Variety Names Planning your Year Suggested Varieties CHAPTER FIVE Sowing Seeds What Essentials do I Need? Soil Pots Propagators When to Sow How Many to Sow How to Sow Warmth Watering Germination Airflow Oops! Nothing has happened Growing Kits CHAPTER SIX Caring for Seedlings Pots and Soil Transplanting Light Feeding Watering Spraying or Watering in Sunlight Oops! They all seem to be dying Damping-Off Sun Damage and Hardening-Off CHAPTER SEVEN Larger Plants What Essentials do I Need? Pots and Soil Growing in the Ground Light... again Feeding Why is some plant feed better than others? Fed and Unfed Plants Pruning Flowers Pollination Flower-Drop Fruit Development Capsaicin Levels: Can I make my chillies hotter? Colour and Heat What is Normal and What Isn't? My chillies are going black! Variegated Plants Corking Harvest Time When to Pick How to Pick Don't Delay Picking CHAPTER EIGHT Pests, Diseases and Other Problems Me! Biological Control of Pests Companion Planting Overwatering Slugs and Snails Greenfly and Blackfly (Aphids) Whitefly Caterpillars and Grubs Red Spider Mite Fungus Gnats Viral, Bacterial and Fungal Infections Bacterial Spot Blossom-End Rot Verticillium Wilt Tobacco Mosaic Virus Phytophthora Blight Sunscald Mice CHAPTER NINE Keeping Plants Over Winter Some Varieties are Better than Others Temperature Feed and Water Re-potting Pruning Removing Fruit CHAPTER TEN What to do with Your Chilli Crop Freezing Drying Smoking Pickling Chilli Oil Hot Sauce CHAPTER ELEVEN What's Next? More Difficult Varieties Harvesting and Keeping Seeds Breeding and Cross-Pollination Resources Index Acknowledgments About the Author
Jason Nickels has been a chilli enthusiast since they were forced upon him in early childhood. In his younger days he made all the mistakes a novice grower is likely to make. Luckily he learned from these mistakes and extensive travel to South America in his 20s only served to enhance his knowledge and experience of chillies. His hobby grew and in 2003 he was a founder of South Devon Chilli Farm, a commercial chilli grower and supplier of seeds and chilli plants to domestic growers in the U.K. He has made numerous TV appearances, written magazine features and delivered talks on chilli growing to enthusiastic audiences. His experience and knowledge of the challenges faced by novice and domestic chilli growers is unparalleled. Jason has now retired from commercial farming but still explores chilli growing on a domestic scale whist writing on the subject.