This annual plant originating from Mexico can be successfully grown in a sheltered, sunny position outdoors but will benefit from growing in a greenhouse to aid fruit ripening especially in cooler summers.
Once the seedlings are large enough to handle transfer them into 7.5-9cm (3-3½in) pots using a mutipurpose or John Innes no. 2 potting compost. Do not allow the compost or soil to dry out and apply a liquid tomato fertilizer weekly once the first fruit has formed. Plants can be planted outdoors in late May once the danger of frost has passed, spacing the plants 60cm (24ins) apart. In the greenhouse grow in the border soil or pot as neccessary until a final pot size of 25-30cm (10-12ins) is reached.
The plants will grow to a height of approximately 1.5m (5ft) in height and therefore require wire or cane supports. Tie in the lax growth to the support as required and if necessarry stop any side shoots to keep the plants within their alloted area.
Pick the fruit when the husk starts to peel away from the green fruit, discarding the husks. Wash the fruits under warm water to remove the bitter, waxy coating prior to eating or cooking.