growing peppers in Florida

What’s Growing – Fall 2014 Garden

So, what peppers will I be growing for my Fall 2014 garden in South Florida?  Normally I don’t start new pepper plants at this time of year, but this year I have a greenhouse – woo hoo!  I’ll be putting it to use with growing peppers, you can bet on that!

Seeing as this will be my first greenhouse — which is probably more like a “grow house” — and I will not have any heating, I don’t want to chance my hotter-than-hot seeds for Carolina Reaper or Ghost Scorpion.  The super-hot peppers take a long time to germinate, plus they like really warm weather.  That being the case, I’ll be starting those seeds sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Still, even though I won’t be starting my super-hots at the moment, I am trialing some other peppers that have struck my fancy.

Peppers On Deck for Fall 2014

I’ll be growing a mixture of bell, no-heat and ornamental peppers this Fall and Winter.  They are as follows:

  • Flamingo:  This is a bell pepper hybrid, which turns multiple colors on the way to ripening.  It appears to start out as an ivory color, then moves to orange and then red.  Should be interesting!
  • Trinidad Perfume:  This is one of the no-heat peppers.  It’s supposed to taste like a habanero, but without the heat.  Given that I only know what the heat of a habanero is like (and not the taste, LOL), I am looking forward to sampling this one.
  • Sweet Datil:  I love datil peppers, and this is the first time I have seen them with the wonderful taste, but without the heat.  Hooked by the description, I just had to buy ’em so I could try ’em.  😉

For the ornamentals, I am trying out:

  • Sangria:  Upright peppers that are between 2 and 3 inches on a short plant.  Peppers appear to start off purple and move to red when ripe.  No heat, so great for areas where kids or pets might brush against them.
  • Explosive Ember:  This is a purple pepper that ripens to red.  The two big differences between Explosive Ember and Sangria are  that Explosive Ember has purple-tinged foliage (Sangria is green), and Explosive Ember is hot.
  • Black Pearl:  Another purple pepper / purple foliage plant with hot peppers.  These peppers are round (thus the “Pearl”), while EE is cone-shaped.
  • Pretty in Purple:  A long-time favorite of mine (see photo on the right, from the last time I grew it), I want to see how the others above stack up against this wonderful pepper plant.  In addition to the purple-tinged stems and new foliage, the peppers are hot!

Of course I have just planted the seeds, so I won’t have any pictures for a bit.  Stay tuned!

A Bounty of Peppers!

I’ve got a bounty of peppers now, of bell, sweet and hot.  The peppers are in full production mode!  I took a quick break to walk out to the garden for a harvest.

Bell, Sweet and Hot Peppers (Click for larger image)

Bell, Sweet and Hot Peppers (Click for larger image)

Once I got the peppers inside and on the counter, I thought they looked really pretty, so I took a photo.  And keep in mind, this isn’t all of the peppers — many have already found their way into our tummies.  Not to mention there are a ton still on the plants!

In the photo I have Park’s Sweet Banana, Park’s Sweet Pickle, Mini-Belle (in purple and red), Redskin (mostly green), a name-unknown bell and a Cambuci (very hot!).  I’m waiting to taste the Cambuci before writing up a post on it, but it’s a really pretty plant and pepper.

A bounty of peppers indeed!

Still Planting Peppers

I’ve got another round of peppers to plant this weekend.  Here in Florida, there’s still plenty of time to get in a second crop.  So what’s on my agenda?  Here’s what I have in mind, but it’s always subject to change.

  • Datil
  • Aurora
  • Purple Jalapeno
  • Jaloro (yellow jalapeno)
  • Redskin (again — this is one nice bell pepper!)
  • Starburst (ornamental pepper)
  • Giant Anconcagua (again — absolutely huge sweet peppers!)

I might also go with another round of Pretty Purple Pepper and one of the Thai Hot varieties.  I’m also debating adding a larger bell pepper to the list, or maybe Mohawk (the companion to Redskin).

So if you live in a climate where it’s warm (days at least in the 70’s) on up through October or November, come on and plant some more seeds!  Or at least see if there are any plants for sale available nearby.

And for the rest of you who already have peppers out in the garden — may you have a bounty of peppers as well!

Redskin Pepper in the Garden

I decided to try the Redskin pepper, even knowing my track record with bell peppers hasn’t exactly been stellar.  But I have to admit to being impressed with Redskin.  Finally, a bell pepper that actually produces for me in South Florida!

Planting Redskin Pepper

Redskin PepperI had to plant this versatile pepper from seed, as there were none in the local garden shops.   The plant started out a little spindly at first, but started growing nicely once in the garden.

Given my luck with bell peppers, I planted 4 Redskins, hoping at least 1 would produce some peppers.  Whoa!  They all are producing nice little bells.

Now Redskin doesn’t grow as large as traditional bell peppers, but it’s a great “personal size” snack.  My peppers are around 4″ long and maybe 2.5″ wide.  The taste is quite pleasing, even when green.  And speaking of color, this pepper is red when fully ripe.

Low-Growing Pepper

This pepper is a low growing pepper — wider than it is tall.  This makes it fantastic for growing in containers!  In fact, I have 3 of my Redskins in containers and only one in the ground (and yes, they do grow a bit taller in the ground).

For someone who traditionally cannot grow bell peppers, this one is thriving and gets an “A” in my book!  Looks to me like I will have plenty this year.  So if you’ve been having problems growing bell peppers, this is one variety I recommend you trying.