Hello gardeners and hot pepper fans. It’s time for the sixth update for the 2008 garden season.
When I posted Garden Update #5, we had just about completed the final transplant for most of the peppers, going from cell packs to styrofoam cups to 7-inch pots, and finally landing in assorted 5 to 7 gallon pots.
It has been about six weeks since then, and everything is going very well. Vigorous growth continues on most of the plants, bacterial spot has been kept mostly at bay, and insect pests are almost non-existent.
And man oh man have we already harvested a ton of peppers! We’ve given them to three of our neighbors, the owner of a local restaurant where we eat, and all of Jaime’s coworkers. We had a hot pepper taste test with my my nieces and nephew (age 8,9,10– and they all loved the peppers, the hotter the better). We’ve cooked a ton of hot food, and we’ve made some tabasco-style hot sauce (only 10x hotter).
Time for the photos.
First up, my makeshift drying station. Yeah, yeah, it’s a card table and a black trash bag. But hey, it’s going to be 101 today. It seems like a good time as any to start drying the paprika peppers, and the other peppers we harvested over the weekend. Since we harvested these a few days ago, I can’t send them out to friends because they would be rotten by the time they arrived. I can’t stand to let my peppers rot in the kitchen, so time to dry.
Working from top to bottom, left to right:
Hungarian Sweet Paprika (2 rows)
Spicy Mustard Habanero (far right)
Long Red Slim Cayenne
Grocery store variety (but homegrown) Scotch Bonnet
Once the Paprika peppers are dry, I plan on smoking half of them before grinding, leaving me with hot paprika, sweet paprika, smoked hot paprika, and smoked sweet paprika. Mmmmmmm…!
These next two shots are of the main pepper rows, one from each end:
I had some shots of the fluorescent purple pepper, but they didn’t turn out too well, as were the pictures of my medusa pepper. I’ll get some new shots soon.
And by the way, if my pepper plants look wet in those pictures, that is because I had just completed my weekly spraying. I’ve made my own special spray that I’m trying out. 2 tablespoons liquid copper as an anti-fungal, 2 tablespoons paraffin oil as a pesticide, and 2 tablespoons fish emulsion as a foliar fertilizer to one gallon of water.
And by the way, if you’re interested in my soil mix, I ended up settling on:
5 gallons potting mix (Miracle Grow or Sta-Green)
1 gallon perilite
2 tablespoons controlled release fertilizer with micro-nutrients
2 tablespoons bone meal (for calcium and phosphorous).
That’s all for now. Update #7 coming in the semi-near future!