So who am I, owner of Homegrown Peppers?  And why am I writing about growing peppers?

The short answer is that I wanted something different than what was available at the grocery store.

The longer answer is below.  :)

My Name is Gail and I Love Peppers of All Kinds!

I’m Gail Nettles, the owner of this site, chief writer and pepper-eater.  Here’s how I got started on my pepper-growing journey.

Let’s see, about 16 years ago, my husband (David) and I moved into this house.  We have a bit of land, so I figured it was time to grow myself a garden.  Not only for the great-tasting produce, but also I wanted to grow my veggies as organically as possible.

So I read and read and read more about growing vegetables.  I noticed in my reading that peppers love a warm climate (South Florida is indeed warm), they caught my interest.  So I started perusing the seed catalogs and haunting the garden shops for different varieties.

I never realized there were soooo many different kinds of peppers!  I mean, I was used to the ordinary — bell peppers, jalepenos, the occasional banana pepper.  But wow, there were so many others out there to explore!  Sweet, mild, hot — they came in all shapes, sizes and colors.  Some were absolutely huge, and others were the size and shape of small marbles.

Some were even quite ornamental, with beautiful foliage and multi-color peppers dotting the plant.

Along the way, as I shared some of my bounty, friends were asking me how they could grow their own peppers.  After trying to tell them a few times, I figured that I may as well share my knowledge with everyone.

So, welcome to Homegrown Peppers!  Glad you could stop by, and I hope you enjoy your stay here.  Come back often, send friends, link to me…just get the word out on how easy it really is to grow your very own peppers!

6 Responses to About

  • Larry says:

    Hi….just wanted to say thanks for putting such a good and useful site on the web! My wife and I decided to get into pepper growing this year, on a whim We knew NOTHING when we started; we didn’t even know what the seeds looked like. Now we’ve got grow lights and heat mats and raised beds and ph-tested soil mixes, and all that stuff. We’ve managed to get around 70 seedlings going in eight varieties and they’re growing fast; we’ll be transplanting in a few weeks. It’s hard to find well-organized info on pepper growing, and your site is very helpful. Thanks!

  • Gail says:

    Hi Larry, and thanks for stopping by! I’m really glad that you found this site useful.

    Hey, good luck with growing your peppers! It sounds exciting, growing so many (you have me beat, I’m only growing about half your total this year). Let us know the varieties and stop by again later and post on how your plants are growing (not to mention producing). 🙂

    May your peppers prosper!

  • Larry says:

    Hi Gail, here’s what we’re growing this year:

    – Jalapeno Early – lots and lots of them, since we eat them in almost every meal!
    – Biker Billy (a Burpee-distributed Jal that’s supposed to be extra hot and extra large)
    – Holland Red Chili (like cayenne but milder heat, popular in Indonesia and Holland, oddly enough)
    – Serrano
    – Orange habanero (I picked the seeds out of a supermarket pepper; I hope they fruit)
    – Aji omnicolor (more of an ornamental than an eating pepper, I’m told)
    – Godfather, a Burpee Italian sweet pepper hybrid
    – Mariachi, which I think is a Santa Fe hybrid

    It does seem, as you say, like the hotter they are, the slower they grow. My sweet pepper and the milder chilis are taking over the whole growing space, while the habs, aji’s, and biker billys struggle to keep up. It’s actually kind of frustrating, waiting on the hot ones to get moving. You wonder what they’re waiting for. It also seems like the hottest ones have kind of an aversion to water that the mild ones don’t.

    An interesting side-note to this every-expanding project is that we spent weeks researching and debating the soil alternatives. We are putting in 65 square feet of brand new raised beds next week to grow the peppers (and the usual other suspects, too: tomatoes, herbs, lettuces, etc) but with a definite bias toward peppers. We are so new to this hobby and it got frustrating trying to get our heads around the soil options: whether to go peat moss – compost – vermiculite (i.e. Square Foot Gardener style), or 30 bags of Miracle Grow, or 100 % compost, or…or….or. As hard as we tried, and we tried hard, we could not find a real “consensus” strategy representing what most people do, other than that most do not use 30 bags of Miracle Grow. We heard a lot of “It just depends.” It left us with the predictable question, “Depends on what?” But nobody gave us a good answer to that question. In the end we decided to hedge our bets by putting in a little of everything. So we’re going with 2/3 Sta Green vegetable planting mix and 1/3 organic compost from two different sources, then a big big bag of Pro Mix BX, and finally a few handfuls of vermiculite thrown in. That, I think, is the best we can do at our current level of ignorance about soil.

    I read your comments on the liquified worm poop yesterday, and we found a few bottles of it today at a store. I think it might be just what we need. Over the next two weeks, I’m going to run some experiments on a few of my more advanced seedlings to see if the worm poop does anything for them versus the untreated ones. A local commercial grower told us to just use TomatoTone and nothing else for the tomatoes and peppers, but I think we’ll supplement with the worm poop to give it some extra kick.

    The funny thing is, we’ve now spent around $2,000 to, hopefully, produce peppers that you could buy for $0.30 at the grocery store (mostly for the raised beds). I’m hoping the peppers come out so totally mind-blowing that the economics and effort of it all suddenly makes sense, once we have the fruit in our hands.

    So I’ll continue to run those worm poop experiements and post when I have some results. And, of course, I would love to come back later to brag (hopefully) about how our plants are growing and producing!

    Thanks again,

  • Gail says:

    Wow! And I know what you mean, about spending lots of money for veggies you can buy for a few dollars at the grocery store. Still, the work you do this year with the raised beds will serve you for years to come, so if you take the long look, the cost really does become more reasonable.

    You might want to check out my http://www.planning-a-vegetable-garden.com site for more information on raised beds and soil. I think the only other thing I would add to the raised beds is some kelp meal and a soil activator — I did that in my original raised bed and the plants have taken off!

    (Now for some reason I am building more raised beds…can’t leave well enough alone.) 😉

    And one more thing — I’ve done the same as you, picked seeds out of grocery store veggies. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s always interesting!

  • Lawrence J Handley says:

    Hi, Gail,

    I am a complete newbie – fell in love with Padron peppers in Portugal so am trying to grow some. Started with the seed tray with three seeds per peat cylinder. Maybe 12 of 72 have sprouted. Would you expect all 72 to sprout? How long should I wait before going to the next step?

  • Gail says:

    Hi Lawrence,

    I don’t generally expect all seeds to germinate, so I usually plant more seeds than I need. That being said, 12 our of 72 is kind of low — unless it’s been less than 3 weeks. I have planted some peppers that required 4 weeks to sprout. Usually they sprout within about 10 days.

    Keep in mind several things effect germination — soil that is too damp or dry, environment too cool, seeds planted too deep — things of that nature. It’s also possible that not all the seeds were viable.

    Peat cylinders need some careful observation, as they can dry out pretty easily — which of course the seeds don’t like.

    Best wishes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *