December 2012 newsletter

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Special feature: Overwintering Chilli Plants


Dear Fellow Gardeners,

If you think about it, December is a great month for vegetable gardeners. There’s no sowing to do, and the only other work is the small amount of weeding and watering needed by the crops grown undercover. So sit back, relax and take advantage of the break.

Yet again, this week’s temperatures have gotten low enough for ice to form on the puddles in our market garden. Rather than curse the cold, however, we welcome it – the swedes start pumping out the sugars that give their flesh such a lovely sweet taste, and the resident population of slugs and snails (the bane of our existence) is reduced.

In fact, we wouldn’t mind a little more cold weather. But at some point, enough will be enough, and the cold will only add to dreariness of the rain and short days. Luckily, Christmas will be here soon, lifting our spirits and helping us survive until the lightness of spring.

Winter frost on a cabbage

Frost on a winter cabbage.

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Christmas gifts and season greetings

Christmas is coming up, and we feel compelled to make a sales pitch. Apologies for the hard sell – especially since we made a similar pitch last month – but we think we can make your seasonal greetings and gift-giving both creative and fun, so here we go again ...

Christmas cards
  • Want to make your Christmas greetings a bit different? Then check out our selection of chilli-related cards. They’re bold, colourful and perfect for giving your season greetings a bit of pizzaz.
Christmas gifts
  • Check out our chilli-themed t-shirts for the hard-core heat geeks on your gift list – they’ll love them.
  • We also sell a carefully-chosen range of chilli plug plants that make great gifts. Order the plants now, and they will be delivered to the lucky recipient in late April/early May.
  • What about a pepper growing course? Aptly named "What's hot, what's not", we highly recommend these for the aspiring chilli gardener.
  • And finally, we offer Sea Spring Seeds gift vouchers that let the receiver choose what he or she wants for themselves.

Well that’s it. Hopefully, the sales pitch was helpful rather than being intrusive.

Chilli plug plant var. Fairy Lights Chilli plug plant of a Capsicum annuum Chilli plug plant of Capsicum chinense

Order chilli plug plants now (delivery end of April 2013) to make a great Christmas present for your husband/son/friend. Above: Fairy Lights (left), Rooster Spur (middle) and Dorset Naga (right).

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We have a winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered our ‘Name the Chilli’ competition. If there is one word to describe the entries, it is probably ‘diverse’, which is why we had a great time sorting through the names. There were some great ideas, and some that really made us laugh.

After some deliberation and arguing, we decided to name the chilli "Devil's Rib". We really like the name and wish we’d thought of it ourselves. Congratulations to the winner, who has won £20 worth of seed; you will be contacted very soon.

Now that it has a name Devil's Rib is already available to buy on our website. Click here.

Chilli that needs a name

The newly named chilli:

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Overwintering chilli plants

One of the most frequent questions we get asked at this time of year is "How do I overwinter my chilli plant?". The truth is, it is a nuisance to do, but we have drawn up a set of instructions, and for those of you who want to try, click here.

Stumpy chilli plant Chillies make very good ornamental houseplants

Chillies make very good houseplants, but what to do with them in the winter?

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'Mr VegHead says'

‘Mr. VegHead says’ is the name of our blog that was started about a year ago. Michael was going to write something new at least twice a month, but his short attention span and need to be in the garden put a quick end to that schedule.

His guilt, plus Joy’s nagging, have coerced him to start the blog again. He promises it will be both entertaining and informative, though not necessarily at the same time. The first topic? Bolting in root and leafy vegetables. Though we know this was the main topic in last month's newsletter, we feel the subject is important enough to mention again. So read and learn – you will be quizzed next month. Please click here.

Mr VegHead, Michael Michaud's blog character

"Mr VegHead", Michael's blog alter-ego.

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Portesham United

Great news – after winning their last two games the Possums are now second in their division, only behind group leaders, Lychett Red Triangle. They had a match today (Saturday) against Piddlehinton United, but we haven't heard the result yet.

Go Possums!

 

The next newsletter will be in January, so until then, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

Joy and Michael Michaud

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