The surprise I felt earlier in the summer at learning that my tomatoes had sunburnt shoulders (as covered in an earlier post), was surpassed earlier this week by the astonishment I felt when I discovered that some of my Ohnivec chillies appear to have developed a suntan! Yes, you read that correctly, some of my chillies have a suntan, albeit a streaky one!
You see a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that a few of my beautiful, pale green, monster chilli peppers were developing purple streaks. Perplexed, I turned to good old Google to try and discover if this was anything to worry about but my research at that time, seemed to suggest that this may be a part of the ripening process and, as I haven’t grown this particular variety before, I thought this was a plausible explanation.
So I left well alone and kept a watching brief.
Since that time, I have noticed that the chillies with stripes still haven’t ripened and in fact not all the chillies have the purple on them. But I still wasn’t unduly worried, as nothing I had read indicated a crop destroying problem and I just assumed that the cooler weather was slowing the process down.
Then yesterday I noticed that one of the Ohnivecs at the very back of the rows was developing a pretty orange tinge! Further more, this particular chilli was streak free (although it has sustained damage of another sort – possibly a snail nibbled on it)! Of course this development knocked the original explanation for the purple marks soundly on the head and sent me scuttling back to Google for further research. After a short while I happened upon a forum entry on this very subject and after reading the responses it would appear that, as with the yellow and green tomato shoulders, this was a reaction to an environmental issue and the chillies have a suntan (although I also read that cooler temperatures can cause the same thing).
Either way, as the chillies ripen the streaks should fade away, leaving me with beautiful, long, bright red chillies to pickle. I hope so and will keep you posted on their progress.