Monty Don shares ‘key thing’ for growing chillies – pick once ripe for more fruit

Gardeners' World: Monty Don advises on growing chilli

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On the latest episode of Gardeners’ World, Monty Don shared how to harvest tomatoes and prune roses. The lead host of the show also shared how to grow chillies. Alongside his tomato plants, the 67-year-old is growing chillies in his greenhouse.

Like tomatoes, chillies are also starting to ripen at this time of year.

Monty said chillies need to grow in similar conditions to tomatoes but require a “key thing” in order to thrive.

He said: “Chillies share the same sort of conditions as tomatoes.

“But what I’ve learned over the years is they just need maximum light.

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“That’s the key thing and as much heat as you can give them.

“So they’re always going to do better in a greenhouse or on a window sill.

“But if it is a window sill, go south-facing – the brightest one you can give them.”

Monty puts his chillies in the centre of his greenhouse so they get the most light.

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The gardening expert also shared his tips for harvesting chillies so gardeners can get the plants to produce more fruit.

He explained: “It’s important to pick chillies as and when they ripen because once they’re ripe, they will inhibit the production of flowers on the rest of the plant.

“So if you want to keep the production going, keep harvesting even though the plant looks lovely when it’s festooned with bright red chillies.

“So that not only will give me the heat of a chilli, but also because it’s ripe, that touch of fruitiness which is really important.

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“I will go through these and pick a selection, some of which I’ll keep and some of which I will freeze.”

If chillies are left on the plant, fruits will change colour and have a hotter flavour.

Chilli peppers, also known as chillies, come in a wide range of colours, shapes and flavours.

Gardeners can sow chillies from seed in February, March and April or buy plants from supermarkets or garden centres.

The plants usually need harvesting from July through to October.

Chilli plants are relatively easy to grow, requiring feed every two weeks, lots of light and good watering.

Gardeners’ World is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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