So what’s new with the peppers in the garden? We’ve had a cold winter here in South Florida, which has affected the peppers (sweet and chile). However, the days are warming, and hopefully we won’t have any more nights in the 30′s!
So what’s with the peppers in the garden — and what about another pepper germination update? Here goes!
What’s in the Garden?
The biggest plant by far is my (oldest) jalapeno. Even though I have it growing in a 5-gallon container, it looks pretty happy, and already I see tiny peppers being born!
The plant most unhappy is a tie between my Thai Hot and a generic yellow bell. Both have gone through some mighty cold weather that the jalapeno didn’t, and they are both showing stress. However, the yellow bell does have one pepper on it, and it starting to sprout more leaves, so maybe it’s turning the corner. The Thai Hot has had a lot of flowers, but so far no peppers.
Some of the peppers that are just humming right along are Anconcagua, Park’s Whopper (a sweet banana type) and Corno di Toro. Also doing well are Pretty Purple Pepper and Purira (both chile peppers).
What’s in Staging?
My staging area is for plants that are too big to be inside anymore, but still a little too small to be in the garden proper. I have them in 1-gallon pots in a spot that gets about 6 hours of sun a day.
So here’s what’s in staging:
- Bhut Jolokia (one of the hottest pepper in the world).
- Cambuci Hot (2)
- Sweet Pickle (1)
- Redskin (2)
- Nardello Sweet (2)
- Mini Belle (2)
I had two Bhut Jolokia plants, but one of them I think I put out in staging a little too soon — it kind of melted away. The larger of the two seedlings seems to be doing fine, though.
Waiting in the Wings
I have a few more Redskin, Sweet Pickle and one Mustard Habanero. For some reason, the other one failed to “take” after it sprouted. This one waiting in the wings has taken it’s own sweet time, and it will still be another week or two away from moving out to staging.
If you’re wondering about the Peter Pepper I mentioned in my last report, alas, the peppers didn’t make it. They sprouted, but never grew strong enough to shake off the seed coat. I’ll try again sometime later this year.
Upcoming Chile Peppers
I’ve got some more chili pepper seeds that I’ll be planting over the next few weeks. They include:
- Fish Pepper
- Early Scotch Bonnet
- Purple Jalapeno
- Jaloro (a yellow jalapeno)
Still debating on if I should plant some Starburst, Medusa and Riot. All three are chile peppers, but more ornamental than for eating. I probably will, seeing as the front garden (which faces the street) could use some color.
I’ll go out and take some photos in the next week, so you can see how pretty the large jalapeno is. Pretty Purple Pepper is also neat, as it has varigated foliage.
Meanwhile — gotta take care of the peppers! Which brings me to ask — what are you growing, or planning to grow?
If you’ve purchased seedlings, or if you’ve grown your own, here are the steps for transplanting the peppers. You’ll need:
- A shovel or trowel (for planting in the ground).
- A suitably large container (for growing in a pot).
- Soil and soil amendments (compost, aged manure, etc.).
- For larger pepper plants, a “cage” or a post (to help keep the peppers off the ground).
- Your pepper plants.
For container growing, the general guide is that you need a container that will hold 3 or more gallons of soil and amendments. Very large pepper plants require at least a 5 gallon container, and 7 gallons is even better. Fill the container with the soil and amendments, about 1/2 way full.
If you are planting in your garden, dig a hole at least 18″ across and a foot deep (two feet deep is better). Place soil and amendments in the hole, filling it up about 1/2 way.
Pepper Planting Technique
Spread your fingers and place them over the top of the seedling container. Turn the container upside-down and gently tap the container until the pepper plant comes out. Place the plant in its final container or in the ground. Add soil and amendments until full, and gently firm the soil around the plant. Place the cage or the post in place (large varieties only).
Give your plant a good drink of water, and add more soil, if necessary. Finally, mulch the pepper; this helps prevent weeds from popping up, helps to regulate the moisture in the soil, and also helps to control soil-borne bacteria.
Fertilize your pepper plants after about a week; but only fertilize at 1/2 strength. Once the pepper blossoms appear, you can begin using fertilizer at 3/4 to full strength.
Wasn’t that easy?