A real rarity, Aji Delight™ is a Capsicum baccatum cultivar with a full baccatum flavour, but no heat. It produces a vigorous plant carrying a good crop of sweet tasty chillies which have no heat. The no heat mutation is very uncommon in Capsicum baccatum.
The plant is vigorous, easily grown, and produces a huge crop of good size bullet shaped red chillies. The fruits are fairly thick walled and ideal for adding a new flavour to salads or as a garnish to a whole range of dishes. In fact, they can be used with advantage to replace bell peppers in the kitchen.
Aji Delight is an invaluable variety in the kitchen, the baccatum equivalent of a sweet pepper, they can be used sliced in an omelette or in stir fries. With light green unripe fruits that ripen to a glossy deep red the tapered peppers have a small core and sweet, fruity flesh. The flesh remains remarkably firm when cooked, so if char-grilled the skin can easily be removed leaving the flesh intact.
Delicious when raw, Aji Delight can even be used fresh in salads like a sweet pepper. You can bite into one without burning your mouth or destroying your digestive tract.
The distinctive flowers of C. baccatum cultivars make them easy to recognise. Interspecific hybrids exhibit the same markings, and the baccatum fruit shape seems to be equally dominant as does the fairly open plant habit. These hybrids often have rich complex flavours combining the tastes of both parents.
Baccatums are generally easy to grow, but do tend to take up quite a lot of space due to their open growth habit. They compensate for this by fruiting fairly early in the season, being very productive, and having rich fruity flavours, frequently with citrus overtones. Most baccatums have no more than medium pungency, are thin fleshed and dry well; these make excellent chilli powder.
Storage of Seeds:
Store seeds away from children, sealed in their packaging in a cool, dry, dark place, or in a fridge. Never store them in a freezer as the sudden temperature drop is likely to kill them. Don't leave the seeds in direct sunlight as the heat generated may kill them.
Sowing: Sow from mid Jan to mid April
Fill small cells or trays with a good sterile seed compost and sow the seeds on the surface. Just cover with a fine sprinkling (3mm) of soil or vermiculite.
Keep the compost moist - don't let the top of the compost dry out (a common cause of germination failure) If you wish, spray the surface with a dilute copper-based fungicide.
Cover the pot or tray with plastic film or place in a heated propagator, south facing window or a warm greenhouse. The ideal temperature is around 18 to 20°C (65 to 72°F)
When the seedlings have produced their first pair of true leaves they can be potted on into individual 7 to 10cm (3 to 4in) pots. Use good quality potting compost and mix in some organic slow release fertiliser. Pot the chilli on again before it becomes root-bound.
Water the seedlings regularly, but don't let them become waterlogged as this encourages rot. Don't let them dry out as they rarely recover at this stage. Water the soil, not the foliage. Once the plants have established, it is better to water heavy and infrequently, allow the top inch or so to dry out in between watering.
Seedlings should be grown in good light, but should not be exposed to direct sunlight from late spring to early autumn. Weaker sunlight from autumn to spring is unlikely to do them harm. Once seedlings have put on some growth they need lots of light. Growing them under a grow-light produces excellent stocky plants, as will a warm sunny windowsill. Adult chilli plants need lots of light. However, more than 4 hours or so in hot direct sunlight will dry them out quickly.
Acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 2 to 3 weeks before they are moved permanently outside. Plant them into rich moist soil. Flower do not form and fruit will not set if the temperature is much below 17°C (62°F) for most of the day, so wait until June/July for best results with outdoor planting.
After the first flowers appear, feed every one or two weeks with a half-strength liquid tomato feed. You could also add some Seaweed extract to the water once a week.
Pollinating Flowers: (optional)
Chilli plants are self fertile and will generally pollinate themselves. However, if you want to give them a helping hand to ensure that lots of fruit are set indoors, use a cotton wool bud to gently sweep the inside of the flowers, spreading the pollen as you go. The flower's petals will drop off as the green middle part of the flower starts to swell slightly. This is the chilli pepper beginning to grow.
Chillies will take a few weeks to develop and a further couple weeks to turn from green to red. You may pick them off the plant any time after they are fully developed but the longer you leave them on the hotter they will become. Do not leave them on for too long, as delaying after the chili is ready for harvest will result in a decline of further yields.
After picking, if you aren't going to eat them fresh, dry the peppers by putting them into a mesh bag, hang the bag up in a dry, airy, but not sunny spot. When they are completely dry, you can make paprika by grinding the peppers. Don't grind the stalks. You can regulate the spiciness of the result by including more or less of the seeds and veins.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 10 Seeds Common Name No Heat Other Common Names Peppers, Capsicum, Chilli, Chile or Chilli Family Solanaceae Genus Capsicum Species baccatum Cultivar Aji Delight Hardiness Tender Perennial Fruit Bullet shaped, tapered red chillies. Height Spreading Plants, 70 to 80cm (28 to 32in) tall. Position Grown in good light, but should not be exposed to direct sunlight Soil Rich moist soil. Time to Sow January to April Harvest July to October Time to Harvest 85 to 90 days Notes The no heat mutation is very uncommon in Capsicum baccatum.