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Hothouse Shelves for my Chilli Collection


By darren8


I’m fitting my bedroom window with simply put up shelves for my mild-heat chilli collection

I’m growing:
Tangerine Dream
Lemon Dream
Trinidad Perfume
Black Hungarian

Not for everybody of course, but if you’re okay sacrificing domestic space to plants?
I’m going to put up two shelves which give a vertical gap of 15 inches per shelf across the window. Enough room for chillis if I try to keep them bushy? & I can still open the window easily.
I used ‘No More Nails’ to put the supports up & once it’s all dry & well stuck (24hours) I’ll paint the sides matt white so the light bounces around as much as possible to give even growth without having to rotate pots daily.

I needed to make a good surface for adhesion but that made up for my lack of woodworking skills!
More experienced people commenting pointed out that I shouldn’t trust the adhesive to hold & should add screws to the supports.

Given how rubbish my DIY skills are with all the drilling & screwing complications I thought that if I put up a vertical support in the middle of each shelf that would help take any excessive weight & avoid a big collapse if one support gave out.

Got a broom handle that I can cut to length & paint as a support :-) It won’t take up much space, it’s sturdy & it didn’t cost me anything!

Having trouble getting any wood off a non-euro pallet, only need 2 × 6 inch x 48 inch planks but that wood is rubbish! Online advice is that I should lever up the wood with a crowbar, then knock it down in the hope of revealing the nails that can be removed. This wood is so poor that I’m going to use a chisel to take out space around the securing nails & then pull them with pliers.

Gave the new, stripped window frame & supports a good lick of primer/undercoat in preparation for a gloss finish that will make the area easy to wipe down & also bounce the light around. Which is important…

Finally found some scrap wood to make the shelves at no cost. Bit of measuring & cutting to do.
I saw some sort of spidery webbing on the plants, hopefully not a return of the red spider mites. They won’t win this time if I prepare the environment to foil them.

I’ve used silver Mylar to reflect light back onto the plants thinking that chillies can take any levels of light & heat but that’s wrong. I scorched a few plants even this late in the year by using it. But I think I’ve also learned that, as a very general rule, the hotter the chilli fruit you’re hoping for, the more light it’ll enjoy/tolerate. I’m growing mild, seasoning fruit & some of the seedling’s leaves are as tender as coriander or such like…

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Now I just need to keep things growing?
Not always a given...
I'm sure any one could overwinter all sorts of exotics if the space is prepared a bit? But it's not that challenging?

11 Sep, 2018


Great idea Daz but I would place a few screws in each of those blocks of wood for when your plants get big as when watered the plants do get heavy I have many times used no nails over the years it's not reliable for heavy weights.

12 Sep, 2018


I would've drilled & used screws but there are metal plates under the plaster

12 Sep, 2018


You would need a special drill it to go through the metal.

12 Sep, 2018


I'm lucky as this house has a conservatory, from about February all the sides get taken up with seed trays till it is warm enough to put out in greenhouse. Greenhouse not heated. Hubby does get fed up with them all after a while that don't think he would put up with me going upwards as well lol, but it's a good idea for using a small area for lots of plants but as Thrupennybit says, I would be a little worried that glue gave out. Got my fingers crossed for you that all goes well.

12 Sep, 2018


Thanks! Had a closer look & the metal doesn't look too thick might get a drill through it. Or some big nails...

12 Sep, 2018


It's good to make use of every available space for plants.

12 Sep, 2018


Thanks Hywel, I'm in a small urban space in Manchester.
Making a good place for plants in my tiny flat might actually be good for my health? Put a bit of oxygen into the room while I'm sleeping & some goodness when I eat an indoor crop eventually

12 Sep, 2018


Its a brilliant way to make use of the space you have Darren ,I have a very good recipe I always use for making Chilli jam it last for ages I opened a pot which was 2 years old the other day its still as good as new ...

2 Feb, 2019


Thanks Amy. Snap on the still edible, year old chilli jam!
Just wish the plants hadn't had a plague of bugs. Oh well, live & learn, I can always add to the remainder of the collection

2 Feb, 2019

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