Chilli Tip, Hay Fever, Germination Rates, Food Supply

Listening to GQT last Sunday where Bob Flowerdew was talking about chilli peppers. He stated that they don’t like hot roots and black pots get hot in the sun. Well, it seems odd that a heat loving plant wouldn’t like warm roots but Mr F. does know how to grow, so I’ll take his advice on it.

Protecting the pots from the sun to keep the temperature lower for the peppers.

Now I’m not growing any chilli peppers this year just some sweet peppers. I assume they’ll be the same and prefer cooler roots so I’ve wrapped the pots in aluminium foil to reflect the sun and keep them cool. Will it make a difference? I don’t know but it can’t cause any harm and interesting to see if it gets better results..

Hay Fever

The last month there’s been high pollen levels. People with runny noses and itchy eyes moaning but I’ve been fine. Our willow trees seem to have been the main cause for it. Now they’re OK and it’s hit me.

Funny how we’re triggered by different pollens so are hit by hay fever at different times. Hope whatever is getting me stops shedding soon.

Germination Rates

I’m getting a lot of emails about poor seed germination across the board. Some are blaming peat-free composts but others are experiencing low rates with peat containing composts and direct sowing.  I’ve seen awful germination rates on French and runner beans this year – as low as 10%. And those seeds from a company who are normally excellent.

My guess is that it’s the weather – far hotter here than normal which cooks seeds and seedlings or colder than usual for other areas of the UK. Whatever the cause, it’s annoying and concerning.

There’s an article on seed germination and viability testing here


The destruction of the Kakhovka dam and the subsequent flooding and other effects has already caused a jump in world wheat prices. It’s effectively taken 2,254 square miles of prime farmland out in one go by destroying the irrigation systems. The area doesn’t just grow wheat; sunflowers (for oil), soybeans, tomatoes are all cropped in the area hit.

Couple in the effects of the war on the rest of the Ukrainian agricultural lands – it’s hard to work land with mines and cluster munitions scattered around. Then add the restrictions of grain exports imposed by Russia. Finally the general problems caused by men away in the forces and women evacuated. It’s clear Ukraine, a major agricultural exporter, isn’t going to be back to normal production for years whatever happens.

Expect more food price rises and shortages.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
3 comments on “Chilli Tip, Hay Fever, Germination Rates, Food Supply
  1. Susan Whiston says:

    I have experienced hopeless germination rates with carrots this year.
    It’s been with a number of varieties too.
    I’m going to try again with some later ones this week, but I’m not holding out much hope.

  2. David Arnold says:

    My runner beans have germinated ok. But my pea seeds i only got two out of 12 seeds germinated and my dwarf french beans nothing germinated. Never experienced this before.
    Has been frustrating.

  3. Brian Douglas says:

    I’m relieved to see that others are having the same problems with germination. It was frustrating trying to discover what I was doing wrong. It is very disappointing to sow a row of carrots and see nothing!

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