Many supermarkets and open markets sell chillies for eating. They can also be used as fertilisers and pesticides. Researchers at the soil science department at Makerere University found that when chillies are mixed with kitchen ash, they kill farm pests like banana weevils.
A concentrated mixture should be poured at the base of the banana. When mixed in water, hot chillies can also be used to spray vegetables and kill pests.
There are a variety of chillies in Uganda. Seed companies like Elgon Seed Company and East African Seeds have the seeds.
Here are some varieties
About three inches long and more often available in dried form. They are bright to dark red and are used in flavouring oils and vinegars
Small colourful fruit, about 1.5 inches long. When ripe turns from dark purple to orange to red. Can be easily grown in a pot
These chillies will grow to about three inches long. Have a hot flavour and are good for cooking
It is a good variety, about four to five inches long, with a fruity flavour
Three to four inches long, they are a dark reddish brown with a wrinkled surface and fairly mild.
Measure between three and four inches long, they turn from pale yellow to orange/red when they ripen
About six inches long, crisp, thick flesh, and mild to medium hot chilli.
Used in sauces or can be roasted and stuffed
Harvest and storage of chillies
Fresh chillies will stay fresh for about two weeks if kept covered in the bottom of a refrigerator, dried chillies should be stored in airtight bags in the dark.
Tips for best results
Get your seeds from a good supplier. It is not advisable to take seeds from a chilli pepper you have bought or grown and plant them. One problem with this is if the parent plant has been grown around other varieties, it may result in hybrid plants. Another common problem with doing this is that germination rates of second generation seeds tends to be lower.
Plant your chilli seeds at the right time. Depending on your agro-ecological zone, you will be able to know the rainy seasons patterns. Around Lake Victoria, peak seasons start around March and stabilise in April, then also around October.
Do not over-water your plants. Chillies like it dry. Over-watering is one of the most common mistakes people make when looking after chilli plants.
Mint cash from chillies