Growing a giant Dorset Naga plant

Many growers find Dorset Naga a difficult chilli to grow.

But, given the right environment Dorset Naga can be very  productive.

So, to show what can be done, in 2013 we (brashly) claimed we would grow a Dorset Naga plant with over 1,000 red chillies

The seed was sown in mid January. We raised three plants and on 9th November, when they were 9.5 months old, we picked the chillies.

Three giant Dorset Naga plants

And the result...

2,407 red chillies

were picked off the largest Dorset Naga plant

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How did we do it?

The growing

We grew three large plants; one in a 160 litre pot (which got the nickname "Nigel"), the other two in 100 litre pots. The plants were sown around 20th January 2013; and pricked out into 1 litre pots in February. They were kept in a heated greenhouse until the end of April, and then in an unheated polytunnel for the rest of the year. In May they were repotted into the large pots. The compost was mostly peat-free municipal compost, but we did use up old bags of other multipurpose compost. Dried chicken manure pellets was mixed into the compost.

The plants were well watered throughout the season. Miracle Gro fertiliser was added very dilute normally about two or three times a week. In June the plants suffered a bad aphid infestation. Control was by washing plants down regularly, and the release of natural predators.

 

The picking and the count

On 9th November the lads from Clifton Chilli Club – Chilli Dave, Jim Booth and NickLump BurChilli – arrived to do the official count, along with Matt from Simpsons Seeds who very kindly came to help pick.

We also had Jack, Jason and Matt our regular Saturday workers there to do the picking.

Counting the chillies from the Dorset Naga chillies Picking the Dorset Naga chilli plants The team to pick and count the Dorset Naga chilli plants The 1407th chilli picked off the giant Dorset Naga plant

The results

And the final result were

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Plant 1 ("Nigel") in 160 litre pot:

Number of chillies picked:

  • 2,407 red chillies
  • 116 green chillies

Yield in weight:

  • 9.535 kg red chillies
  • 0.265 kg green chillies

Plant size:

  • 172 cm high
  • 256 cm wide

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Plant 2 (in 100 litre pot):

Number of chillies picked:

  • 1,101 red chillies
  • 4 green chillies

Yield in weight:

  • 4.570 kg all chillies

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Plant 3 (in 100 litre pot):

Number of chillies picked:

  • 1,147 red chillies
  • 13 green chillies

Yield in weight:

  • 4.060 kg all chillies

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Picking the Chillies

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How we grew the plants

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