The sunshine is here at last – but don’t let conservatory and greenhouse chillies frazzle in the excessive heat. Temperatures hit 48C in my south-facing conservatory yesterday and I’m expecting even higher temperatures today. Luckily I had the foresight to move my chillies outside onto the patio before I left for work, where a fresh breeze kept them cooler in the summer sunshine. I’ve done the same today and given them a good drink to get them through the day.
If you can’t move your plants outside during peaks of hot weather, make sure to water them heavily in the morning during hot spells – check them again in the evening for dryness. In a greenhouse you can ‘dampen down’ to raise humidity and lower temperatures, this simply means wetting all surfaces – floors, glass, benching etc.
This isn’t practical in a conservatory. But you can do a couple of things to cool things down and raise the humidity. Firstly, spray foliage with a fine mist of water to keep them cool. You can also sit your pots on a tray of damp gravel or clay pebbles (hydroleca) this will create a humid micro climate around you plants, reducing the risk of leaf frazzle during the midday sun.
With the sun out, I’m bringing a touch of Spain to my dinner tonight. My first lot of padron peppers are ready to pick tonight, so I’ll be making a classic tapas dish to eat alfresco this evening – padrons lightly fried in olive oil, sprinkled in salt and eaten hole (minus the stalks!) – Simple but delicious!
Kris Collins works as Thompson & Morgan’s quality control manager, making sure customers new and old are kept up to date on the latest plant developments and company news via a wide range of media sources. He trained in London’s Royal Parks and has spent more than a decade writing for UK gardening publications before joining the team at Thompson & Morgan.