Last year I had great chilli crops in Air-Pot containers, mainly of a variety sold to me as Nigel’s Outdoors, so I was inspired to try more types. This year I have had success with Fresno, which appears to be identical to Nigel’s Outdoors. Other good performers have been Cayenne, Bulgarian Carrot and Hungarian Hot Wax, along with Aji Benito and Piri Piri, which had good early ripe pods.I was pleasantly surprised that Caribbean Antillaise and Komodo Dragon did well because these are Capsicum chinense, varieties which generally need a long hot growing season.
Too many chilli plants crammed into limited greenhouse space meant many did not get potted on soon enough, but even in the 1 litre Air-Pot prop-pot I was impressed that plants grew well and fruited despite being somewhat “bonsaied”. The optimum Air-Pot container for most chillies grown as annuals is the small 3 litre size, but very vigorous types and overwintered plants can benefit from a bigger pot. The cool tolerant Rocoto chillies (Capsicum pubescens) will go into the 9 litre medium pots next year if they survive the winter; apparently they can grow into quite substantial bushes over a few years.
I am resolved to grow fewer plants of the best performing varieties and improve my growing methods, give them more space to flourish, pot-on sooner, and perhaps spread reflective foil on the staging, to boost light levels. However it will be hard to resist trying a few more new varieties, and my 2017 chilli list is already lengthening.
A Peruvian White Habanero plant produced enough aromatic fruity pods to make an excellent Habanero Ketchup for which I found an excellent recipe on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzsbMzv7ygk
Like you, I have resolved “in theory” to grow fewer but better chillis next year. Will it happen? I doubt it!
Well it is a struggle resisting trying loads of new varieties, especially when kind chilli growers send little lucky bags full of tempting chilli seeds! But seeing how much more productive plants are in larger pots makes me realise that fewer really good plants is best. Now I have more understanding of the different types it should be easier to avoid growing several very similar types, for example just one multi-coloured compact ornamental type should suffice, rather than Numex Twilight AND Numex Centennial AND Prairie Fire.