Project Helios – Growing and Heat Testing Chillies

by Matt on July 13, 2012 · 0 comments

in General Information

This summer we (Sea Spring Seeds and Simpson’s Seeds) are cooperating with Greenhouse Sensation in an experiment to see what is the hottest chilli in virtually identical conditions.

Project Helios at Simpsons Seeds

Eight superhot varieties plus the generic Orange Habanero as a bench mark are being grown in the monstrous 3,000 sq foot tunnel at the Walled Garden Nursery, Simpson’s Seeds. In this tunnel they will receive the heat that they would get in an equatorial zone with temperatures up to 45 degrees centigrade (or more).

The plants are being grown in hydro kits, known as ‘Chilli-grows’, these have been supplied by Greenhouse Sensation. The idea behind using these kits is to ensure that the plants are given a fair treatment. It would be very easy to bias the results, by intentionally stressing one plant, and spoiling the others. In the kits, this is very hard to do.

Ideally all 9 plants would be in the same kit, but one does not yet exist. The selection of plants per kit, 3 kits with 3 plants in each are being used was a random selection. As the plants share the water/nutrient supply through capillary wicks, this should be a fair experiment.

Ideally this experiment should be run in other parts of the country, this would validate the data.

Members of the Clifton Chilli Club have agreed to make some random visits, whilst on their chilli travels, to examine the project for fair play.

The list of varieties is as follows:-

  • Bengal Naga
  • Dorset Naga
  • 7-Pot Habanero
  • Fatali Habanero
  • Orange Habanero (benchmark)
  • Moruga Red
  • Trinidad Scorpion
  • Naga Viper
  • Bhut Jolokia

The same criteria for Britain’s Hottest Chilli will be applied to the testing of pods from the experiment. The pods which are left after testing, will be converted into a special limited edition sauce by Alex Duck from the Upton Cheyney Chilli Co.

Project Helios at Simpsons Seeds

There are new types being bandied about the internet, but this experiment is aimed at the UK grower, and varieties available from registered UK seed merchants have been selected. It would be unfair to include varieties which were not available to the UK grower.

For those who are interested in this project, all the involved folk are posting on the facebook page.

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