First job was the eviction of the infested plants and their relocation into the compost bin, with the lid left off for a while to allow any passing birds unimpeded access to the feast. The empty pots were then stacked and left outside of and away from the greenhouse until I could clean them.
Next, I picked all the remaining chillies and took them into the kitchen where some were immediately frozen and the remainder were placed with earlier pickings and left to dry out. Although I also have the option of drying them using the warming oven section of our Rayburn, I prefer to air dry my chillies in a basket or on a plate, as this then lets me use the vibrant colour of the chillies to brighten the house, during the dismal, damp autumn days when everything looks a tad grey and dull.
Back in the greenhouse, I chose the strongest looking plants and gave them a bit of a trim. These were then sprayed with an organic whitefly killer and I have left them in the large greenhouse to give the organic spray chance to work but they will ultimately be spending the winter in the bubble wrapped Small Greenhouse.
The rest of the chilli plants joined the raddichio in the compost bin.
I haven’t yet managed to successfully over winter chilli plants but I’m not one to give up at the first sign of failure and I hope that the insulated greenhouse, together with the fact that I have lifted the pots and tubs off the concrete which gets really, really cold as the winter nights (and days) plunge below zero and also takes them out of the draughts, will give these plants a fighting chance.
I am told that chillies that survive the winter and grow for a second year, produce a more bountiful crop in their second season …… I really, really hope I get the chance to find out for myself this time!