Chili Cultivation Diary 2013
Accompany a Trinidad Scorpion Butch T from the seed to the harvest
Day 1: 3. February 2013
Soak the seeds in water overnight. This enables the seedling to break through the seed shell more easily.
Day 2: 4. February 2013
Germ-free growing soil is very important in order to avoid fungi and pests damaging the seed.
Use suitable pots made from plastic or peat
A mini greenhouse keeps temperature and humidity within the desired range.
A heating mat ensures the optimal germination temperature.
The fluffy growing soil is pressed firmly into the pots and a little water is poured over it several times. The chili seeds are placed in approximately 0.5cm deep wells and covered with soil. Chilies germinate in the dark.
Put the mini greenhouse in a warm place, e.g. on a windowsill over a heater. Important: Ensure that it is not too moist, and open a small gap for ventilation.
Day 9: 11. February 2013
Over the weekend 2 seedlings of the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T have appeared. However, over the course of the weekend, the growing pots have become severely dehydrated. Hopefully the seedlings will not be damaged. So don’t leave them unsupervised for more than 1 day. We always have the ventilation flap open 1 cm, so that nothing becomes mouldy or too warm. You can use the heating mat with a timer, e.g. only turn on every 30 minutes if the temperature is too high.
Day 10: 12. February 2013
Since yesterday, the seedling has grown into a 3 cm large plant. Additionally, 2 other seedlings have appeared. After 10 days, a total of 50% of the seeds have risen.
Day 19: 21. February 2013
After 19 days, from 8 seeds, all 8 have germinated, although one looks a bit puny. All the others are growing stronger day by day, and you can already see the beginnings of the first few leaf pairs. It is important in this stage to give the small plants a lot of light, otherwise they will stalk into the air in their search for light. They are placed at a very large living room window, and the heating mat has already been removed. The room is a constant 20 degrees.
Day 29: March 3, 2013
The plants are developing well. You can now clearly see the difference between the seed leaves and the first real leaf pair.
Day 38: March 12, 2013
The second real leaf pair is well-formed and the third is already beginning to appear. The Butch T grows considerably slower than, for example, the Serrano chili or Inferno, which we started with 2 weeks later. The Butch T grows similarly as quickly as a Habanero plant, and does not tend to grow high in its search for light, instead it tends to grow wide. The Habanero and Butch T need a lot of sunlight, which we will hopefully have soon.
Day 60: 3. April 2013
Due to a private holiday, the plants were taken care of by other people for the past 2 weeks. The plants developed large, healthy leaves and a strong root ball. Unfortunately a few plant lice had settled in, but we got rid of them with a single spray. We used an environmentally friendly spray against aphids. I don’t usually like to use sprays, but in this phase of growth there are little alternatives. In the coming days the first re-planting will occur.
Day 74: 17. April 2013
At the weekend, the 7 Trinidad Scorpion Butch T plants were re-planted in larger pots. They are still in the house behind a large windowpane with a lot of sunlight. From now on they will be fertilised once a week with our Chili Fertiliser (1% solution). Our Tip: Plant any surplus (too small) chili plants outdoors. If the plant survives 1-2 weeks outside without any damage, the others can also go outside. During the day you can put the plants outside and get them used to the sun.
Day 117: 30. May 2013
First of all, I must apologise for neglecting the diary. The shop relaunch at the beginning of May took up 120% of my time. Parallel to this, the damp and cold weather hasn’t been beneficial to the chillies, which have been outside for 5 weeks. The slug damage to the plants is not beautiful, but is not dangerous in this amount. The dark spots on the leaves are due to excessive moisture. We deliberately left the chillies outdoors to show the problems of chili cultivation. In the coming weeks, we will nurse our Butch T plants back to health again. Info: The Butch T doesn’t tolerate bad weather as well as, for example, an Inferno Chili (see next image).
Day 135: 17. June 2013
After the long time outdoors in cold and damp weather (since the middle of April), the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T plants are now enjoying the warmth of the sun. The heavily weather-battered plants are recovering slowly, and are forming their first flowers.
Initial flowering of a Trinidad Scorpion Butch T. Very late due to the bad weather, and in comparison to other varieties such as the Inferno Chili (see next image).
Flowers of an Inferno Chili. The chillies are already forming, although the flower still stands in all its glory.
Day 148: 30. June 2013
The 7 Trinidad Scorpion Butch T plants stand on the grill to receive the last evening sun (until around 20:15). The plants are bushy with many flowers. It will be exciting to find out if the summer is sufficient enough for the ripening of the chillies. Due to the cold spring, the plants are at least 6 weeks behind schedule.
Promising flowering !
For everyone’s enjoyment, a 3-year-old Fatalii Chili plant with 200-300 flowers. The plant measures approx. 70 cm from the edge of the pot and will be pruned back after the harvest. The overwintering is carried out at approx. 20 degrees at the window.
Day 170: 22. July 2013
The heatwave of the last 2 weeks has helped our Butch T onto its feet. The first approx. 2 cm large chillies are forming.
The birth of a Trinidad Scorpion Butch T...
You can see what can still come from a really poor plant (see above) after a cold spring.
Day 186: 6. August 2013
The chillies are developing the typical pointed spike of the Trinidad Scorpion.
The plants are growing very strongly in the warm weather, and are constantly forming new branches. However, we must accept that new chillies will find it hard to ripen in time. We plan to overwinter at least one plant, and will report about it.
The Inferno plants must be supported, as the numerous, heavy chillies could snap off the main stem. The chillies are beginning to take on colour, and in approx. 2-3 weeks they should be red. More chillies are forming - it is always fascinating to see what this chili variety produces. The test of a chili produced an unusually high level of spiciness. It may be that the Inferno has crossed with the Butch T. In the first generation, chillies can take on characteristics of other chillies if they pollinate each other.
Day 202: 22. August 2013
The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T plants are now approx. 6 cm long and are beginning to take on colour.
The plants have abundant fruits, despite only being in 20 cm pots.
This Habanero Chocolate has already done it...
...likewise this Fatalii on a 3 year old plant.
Day 212: 1. September 2013
The first Butch T has become red. Due to the low night temperatures, it is difficult for the chillies to ripen. All plants carry many chillies, but at the same time have countless flowers on the young shoots. We will probably bring all the plants indoors at the end of September and overwinter at least one.
Day 230: 19. September 2013
230 days after the start of our cultivation, our plants are full with numerous bright red Trinidad Scorpion Butch T chillies. The year 2013 was a very difficult year for chili cultivation. We are really happy and thankful to be able to produce such a great result. At some points we doubted whether any fruits would ripen at all. We will prepare at least one plant in the coming weeks to be overwintered, and will report about it. We hope that you enjoyed our Chili Cultivation Diary, and that it has inspired you to cultivate your own chillies.