Chilli Pepper ‘Sivri Biber’

Family: Solanaceae

Countries: Europe, Turkey

Chilli Pepper ‘Sivri Biber’ (Capsicum annuum) produces long and slender chillies that are a popular ingredient in Turkish cuisine.  ‘Sivri Biber’ chilli peppers are blessed with a sweet and mellow flavour.  They are usually considered as mild flavoured chillies, but heat levels vary; older ‘Sivri Biber’ peppers and mature peppers that have ripened from green to red can sometimes be surprisingly spicy!

‘Sivri Biber’ chilli peppers are tender plants that are killed by frosts and cold temperatures.  I garden in the UK.  From the beginning of January to the end of February, I sow ‘Sivri Biber’ seeds inside my home or my glasshouse, as these plants require a warm and protected environment with stable temperatures.  When sowing ‘Sivri Biber’ seeds, I find that 18-21C (64-70F) is an ideal temperature to achieve germination.  I’ve grown ‘Sivri Biber’ chilli peppers successfully on my window sill and inside my greenhouse. I always use peat-free compost for growing chilli peppers.  Find more tips on sowing chilli peppers in this article.

Towards the end of May, I’ll start to harden my ‘Sivri Biber’ chilli peppers off by moving the plants outside in the daytime and then bringing them inside my home or inside my greenhouse in the evening.  Then when all risk of frost has passed (the last frost date varies in the UK but tends to be from the start of June until the middle of June), my chilli pepper plants are moved into the garden.  Although, I have found that a larger harvest of ‘Sivri Biber’ chillies can be achieved if the plants are grown inside a glasshouse or polytunnel from the seedling stage through until the last chillies are harvested in autumn.

I prefer to water my chilli peppers first thing in the morning, as these plants really don’t enjoy sitting in wet compost over night.  I collect rainwater from my roof, which I use for watering all my orchids and houseplants.  Whenever possible, I will use rainwater for watering mature, fully grown chilli pepper plants late in the season, but I never use rainwater to water seedlings, as the pathogens that cause damping off are often lurking in water butts.  Damping off eliminates seedlings; to avoid this risk, I only use tap water for watering seeds and seedlings.

‘Sivri Biber’ chilli peppers can be cooked and eaten whole (seeds and all) while the peppers are immature and the seeds within are not fully developed; at this stage this type of chilli pepper tends not to be hot or fiery.  To prepare ‘Sivri Biber’ chilli peppers in this manner, it’s important the peppers are harvested whilst they are new and youthful, when the young green fruit measure just 10-15cm (3.8-5.8 inches) in length.

When left to grow on and reach maturity, ‘Sivri Biber’ chilli peppers can attain a range of sizes from 15cm to 25cm (5.8-9.8 inches) or more in length.  These chilli peppers ripen from green to red in colour.  When ‘Sivri Biber’ chilli peppers age and ripen so their heat intensifies.  Red ‘Sivri Biber’ chilli peppers are hotter than green chillies; the seeds are the hottest part of the chilli pepper – so remove the seeds before cooking or eating, if you desire a milder flavour and make the most of the seeds if a hotter chilli pepper is your preference.

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