Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The 2011 Pepper List

This is a list of the various peppers we are growing. All are in containers. (A full list of all the vegetables we're growing this year can be found on the tab titled Growing This Season).

First the bell/sweet peppers:

Bell peppers (from seed): I planted a some bell peppers from a seed packet called "carnival mix." The packet contains a variety of red, orange, yellow, white, and purple peppers. It's fun because you don't know what you're going to get until the peppers start to turn colors. The seeds I planted have produced yellow and orange bell peppers. I was hoping for white or purple, but no luck. I planted these last year too, and didn't get white or purple peppers then either.

Golden Bells (bought as young plant): I guess this will be the year of the yellow pepper! In addition to the yellow ones popping out of the carnival mix, we bought a yellow pepper plant. We have harvested one already, plus a couple of green ones that fell off when a branch broke off. It is taking them a long time to turn yellow, though.

Sweet Chocolate (heirloom, from seed): This is a new variety we're trying this year. As the name implies, they are supposed to taste sweet, and the flesh should turn a rich dark brown color when ripe. They're said to ripen early. We started them from seed months ago, and they've grown so slowly! I'm anxiously waiting to see what they look like.

Purple Beauty (heirloom, from seed): These were started at the same time as the Sweet Chocolates, and at first they were growing slower than the Chocolates, but slow and steady is winning this race. There are many buds on the plant, and I spotted the first purple pepper over the weekend hidden under all the leaves.

Choricero (from seed): These seeds were a gift from my friend Emily. {Thank you, Emily!} I've never grown them before but I'm very excited to see and taste them. Emily said that in cool climates they should be sweet, but in warmer climates they'll be hot, and I read that they're supposed to grow to about three inches long and about an inch wide.  It has taken these plants a loooong time to grow, but I have one fruit and many buds, so I'm crossing my fingers that they continue to grow.

Cherry Peppers (from seed): We had these last year and liked them so much we decided to do it again. These peppers are cute and compact and ripen to a beautiful bright red. They're sweet and taste very good grilled (like on a kabob), baked, or sauteed (which we did the other night with some chicken).

Now the hot peppers (aka, Husband's Section because I am a Wimp):
Cayenne peppers (bought as young plant): We're growing these for the first time, and it's fun! I love their shape and color. We've harvested quite a few of these already and they are hot. Well, to me they are. I have a pretty low tolerance for spicy food. This pepper is definitely my Husband's plant.

JalapeƱo (bought as young plant): This is our third summer growing jalapeƱos. They are very easy to grow, although this plant has grown slower than some of the others peppers. I do see many buds and we have fruit now, so it looks like it will produce nicely for the rest of the summer.

Serrano peppers (from seed): Another new addition to the garden. We started these as seeds and have lots of fruit. Now we're just waiting for them to ripen. 

Spanish pepper (from seed): I saved the best for last. This is my Most Special Plant. I started it from seed in March 2009 and it has produced a lot of fruit for three growing seasons now. I will do a separate post on it with more details later this week because I think this guy deserves his very own post.

So these are the peppers we're growing this year. I see a lot of salsa in our future.

One final picture--The Mystery Peppers
I do this every year. I forget to label my seeds, and I always think I'll be able to remember what I plant in each pot. For the most part, my memory is good. My Sweet Chocolates and Purple Beauties are in identical pots, but I know which is which. And I was able to tell the difference between three almost identical kittens. But I totally forgot what's in these pots. Actually, I know at least two (maybe all four) of these are Jupiter bell peppers. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what grows. Garden surprises seem to be a theme in my garden this year.

A few pepper growing tips: All of our peppers are in containers, and they have grown extremely well in pots. We've noticed that the bell peppers tend to suffer from blossom end rot, so we put eggshells in the soil for added calcium. As they grow tall, the plants need to be staked, similar to tomatoes. And of course, they need plenty of sun and water. We mulch all our containers to keep moisture in and weeds out. One of the benefits of growing hot peppers--the spider mites, bugs, birds, squirrels, etc., seem to avoid them.

What pepper varieties are you growing this year?


  1. Your peppers look so healthy and beautiful. I am growing the purple beauty, Cajun belle, Thai peppers,...just to name a few. I always mean to grown more...maybe next year...

  2. Angela I'm moving towards heirloom varieties for everything I grow in the future. I'm wondering if the weather plays a part in the heirloom peppers slow growth or if It's the norm for these varieties....

    Any-who I like the varieties of vegetables that you grow, they are fun and interesting.

  3. @Sage Butterfly--I can't wait to see what your peppers look like. I looked up Cajun belle. It may have to go on my list for next year!

    @Vetsy--Oh, thank you! Hmmm...not sure if weather plays a part. I didn't start all the seeds at the same time, so that may account for something. And the hot peppers seem to grow faster than the sweet ones. I'm trying to experiment more with heirloom seeds. I'm really just now learning about all the fun and different vegetables out there. It's a shame I can't find them in the store. :)

  4. I'm not growing any peppers but have grown them in the past. They love hot weather! Instead of egg shells, which take quite a while to break down enough to leach calcium into the soil, try throwing a few Tums into the planting hole. They will supply enough calcium to get the plants through the summer w/o any calcium-deficiency related diseases. It also works very well with tomatoes.

    My 'Chocolate' eupatorium has a brownish-purple tinge to its leaves so I think that's how it earned its name. :o) I have a lot of seedlings if you want any. They are native plants that will grow in our clay!

  5. If you stake them like tomatoes do you also pinch out the side shoots? I find they tend to get a bit top heavy otherwise. I didn't grow any this year as the season tends to be just too short here. I'll have to emigrate! Your peppers look wonderful and I love the variety.

  6. I wish my peppers looked this good. My cayenne and Hatch green chiles from seed are the best which makes me want to grow my sweet from seed.

  7. You have quite a variety of peppers there, and they all look great. I love the purple, and will add that to my mix next year. I grew red, green, and orange bell along with a chili, banana, and jalapeno this season. I finally picked an orange and 2 red yesterday. I'll be dicing and freezing those for chili this winter.

  8. so many peppers! i'm really happy the choriceros are doing something for you now. i'm growing purple beauty bell pepper too and mine looked just like that...maybe a little darker when i picked them, but that same small size. are you leaving it for a bit? mine's setting more now and i'm going to let them grow for a long time.

    my varieties this year are: black hungarian, fish, bulgarian carrot, TAM mild jalapeno, joe's long cayenne, purple beauty, mystery-color bell, corno di toro giallo and marbles.

  9. Thanks for taking the time to comment, everyone!

    @Emily--I want to let mine grow more too, but I worry that the bugs will get to them the longer they sit. That's happened to a few of them. I can't wait to see your peppers!


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