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“Is it feeling a little chilli in here?”

Find out about our chilli plant growing race (including tips)

Here at Etch we love a little healthy competition (and socialising). We've had numerous bake-offs, we have the Etch IMDB club, D&D, Cinema Club... You name it, we probably have a club for it ;-)

 On the 30th of March, Tim came up with an awesome idea for yet another one: The Etch Grow Off.

“Just to see who can grow the biggest and bestest." - Tim Drake

These are the rules set out by Tim:

  • each team has some chilli seeds in a pot
  • we will monitor progress over the course of... however long it takes for a plant to grow :-)
  • we don't take them home or let them live in our parents greenhouse*
  • we are not allowed to buy established plants and swap them out

All the teams assembled, placed their chilli seeds in their pots, added a little water and... the waiting began. Some of us waited longer than others. In fact, the developers thought their plant was dead by about the second week. Back then the designers had at least five seedlings growing already! I have to admit, for a while I suspected they had stolen our chilli!

Chilli tip #1: Patience! You need lots of patience!

Here are some highlights from various teams along the way:

Stu's pic - lift off!

Day 7 Stu's pic

Day 13 - Katie's pic

Chilli tip #2: once potted, water your chilli, cover with a plastic cup or bag and leave in a warm place to germinate (it doesn't need light just yet). When the seedling appears, uncover and place on a windowsill.

If you fail at tip #1, you may uncover your pot before the seedling appears and put it on the windowsill anyway. It should still appear in a few days.

Day 34 - developers and designers

Chilli tip #3: Don't over water them, but give them some water every 2-3 days.

For those of you who think this is boring - it wasn't without dramatic plot twists: at one point someone took all of their sticks with the seeds out - meaning they had nothing to grow! Don't worry though, like in any good Hollywood movie, they were within inches of losing, but someone did manage to get some new sticks and they are back in the game again! Phew!

Day 33 - producers trying really hard

Chilli tip #4: Soil doesn't produce chilli. Once seeds are in the soil, keep them there!

Some of us cared for our plants more than the others. But we've all had lots of fun so far. There was a small gardening movement in the office - some people even grew their own veg at home.

Chilli tip #5: Growing chilli is contagious. Consult your doctor if someone in your surroundings starts growing chilli.

Chilli tip #6: "The worse you treat your chilli, the hotter it will become. If it survives" - Niall McCabe.

Day 40 progress

That's it so far! We'll let you know the progress (if there's anything to show) in a little while :-) Here is what we're all aiming for: 

Red Hot Chilli Peppers by Ben Geach (under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic)

Stay tuned!

*Bonus Chilli tip: If you're lazy / irresponsible, let your chilli live in your parents greenhouse. Hopefully, it will be safer with them than with you.

To get you in the right mood for growing chilli (hopefully you will get inspired by this post!) here's a link to some chillout music. Enjoy!