Since we don't get frosts, I kept my chillies over winter, replanted them into beds, and most have survived very successfully. I was excited to see them flower early in spring, however the fruits turned a ripe colour much quicker than they did in their first season, and the size of each fruit is only about 1/3 of the size of the summer crop.
I cut one of the fruit in half (please excuse my blurry picture), and it looks like there is a green 'pea' in the centre, where the seeds should be. The flesh still has some heat, but they taste bitter.
Should I pick and discard the dwarf fruit and hope that a better crop turns out later? It looks like my jalapenos are also turning out tiny, although my other chillies haven't started flowering yet.
After picking off all the
miniature chillies, about 2 to 3 weeks later, new flowers fruited and the fruit is again full-sized, albeit taking much longer (5-6 weeks) to fully ripen.
A similar thing happened to my jalapenos - I had tiny jalapenos which turned red within 2 weeks of the fruit first forming.
I would still be interested to know why this happens? Early spring cold snap? Nitrogen in the soil perhaps?