Category Archives: Vegetable Gardening

Growing Hot Peppers

Growing Hot PeppersGrowing hot peppers is a very rewarding experience and a culinary delight!! That is if you like the heat.  Personally I can’t eat hot peppers but my husband loves them so we grow a lot of different kinds.

You do have to wait until the fall to see the wonders of growing hot peppers. Peppers take a long time to mature. So, even though, we were harvesting hot peppers at the end of the summer; they are truly bountiful now in October. That is if you live in a place where it stays warm until November!! You can see from this picture of Habanero peppers that they are prolific and what I mean about bountiful hot peppers! And not only are they so plentiful. They are truly beautiful as they shimmer in the fall sunshine! If you like hot peppers I recommend that you try your hand at growing them next spring.

Peppers need really good soil to grow well.  This Habanero pepper plant was gorgeous.  The one growing next to it didn’t do nearly so well.  It was a little scraggly with much fewer peppers and the plants were only 2 feet apart.  The soil was different just two feet away.  I would recommend that you dig a deep hole before you plant and amend the soil with compost, worm compost and rabbit manure if you have some available.  Of course, you can always use fertilizer.

Experiment with Growing Hot Peppers

There was another pepper plant that did very poorly at the end of the garden.  I am going to do an experiment this winter and put Bokashi compost and rabbit manure in the hole that I dig.  After the first frost when the pepper dies, I will dig this hole.  I will also do this with the scraggly Habanero pepper and see if we have better luck next year.  To the left is one of our Jalapeno harvests!  The Habanero peppers are the hottest that we grow.  The Jalapeno peppers are not as hot. Here is more info on the heat in Hot Peppers.

We grew all kinds of peppers including 2 sweet peppers (Green and Lunchbox Yellow).  I am listing the hot peppers below.  We bought some as seedlings at a nursery and we grew some from seed.

 

  1. Habanero
  2. Serrano
  3. Red Chili
  4. Dragon Cayenne
  5. Jalapeno
  6. Thai
  7. Garden Salsa (not too hot)
  8. Giant Jalapeno
  9. Fish Peppers
  10. Tabasco
  11. Plain Chili

After we pick the peppers we cut them up.  We use latex gloves to protect ourselves from the heat!  Then we dry them using this which we bought from Amazon:

Then we grind them up and make all kinds of hot pepper mixtures! We gave one mix for a gift and it was greatly appreciated!

Early Blight is Killing My Tomatoes

Does this happen to you?  In the middle of the summer do you think “Early blight is killing my tomatoes?”  Do you know what early blight looks like?  Check out this post on tomatoes and early blight for a picture of beginning early blight on the tomato leaves.  It just gets worse from there on in.  The leaves turn completely brown and die.  I have written a few posts on tomatoes and early blight.  I want to encourage you now: not to give up on your tomatoes when they get early blight in the summer time.  Each year I supplement my tomato plants with lots of compost.  They always get some early blight but most of the time the tomato plant does not die.

Don’t Give Up: Early Blight is Killing My Tomatoes

It has taken me a few years to fully realize this.  If you plant your tomatoes with lots of compost, they will re-grow after they are attacked by early blight.  I have never had a tomato plant fully die from early blight.  There is something about our humid hot summers that encourages early blight.  Then towards the end of the summer the tomato plants start to rejuvenate.  Tomatoes are very hardy plants.  If they lay on the ground they will sprout new roots.  Once they start to re-grow they do very well.  In the early fall you will see all kinds of new growth.  The leaves and stems killed by early blight shrivel away and become inconspicuous amidst all the new growth.  And you can get lots of cherry tomatoes right up until the first frost.

early-blight-is-killing-my-tomatoesIt is really amazing how a tomato plant can come back after early blight.  I used to cut off all the leaves that were damaged.  This year I didn’t do that and still the tomatoes came back.  By the end of fall I had so many cherry tomatoes on lush, green, tall plants.  The ones in particular are the plants that my father gave me which I have no name for and this year I planted Amy Apricot Cherry tomatoes and they were prolific!  They are an heirloom and very delicious. Well worth growing!  Above is a picture of the Amy Apricot tomatoes in the fall.  You can see the new green growth.  You can also see the leaves and stems that were killed by early blight all dried up and brown.  It is quite a contrast so don’t give up on your tomatoes in the summer if they are dying.  It is possible that they will rejuvenate for the fall.