Iive in zone 9b, and we had quite a mild winter, so I started germinating seeds indoors in october. I have a desk with a hutch and a built in Flourescent light... I also have a surround sound system with rather tall speakers that leave about 5 inches between the light in the hutch and my jiffy green house. I started 10 Orange Habs, 10 Long Thin Cayenne, 10 Thai Sun, and 10 Big Early Jalapenos, the seed was not isolated and was collected off my plants from last year. The cayenne was a sad plant, and only produced 3 or 4 pods all summer... The Habanero beside it produced enough to make gallons of puree'd Habs that I love to eat by the spoon full. The Jalapeno likewise produced pound upon pound of pods. I selected the biggest pods from each and saved the seed.
All 40 seeds came up, and this being the first year I've grown peppers out from seed, I was unprepared with something to transplant them into. I called up a few friends and had them save 2 ltr bottles, milk jugs, orange juice containers (plastic and sealed cardboard) and any other container in that size that they would be willing to spare. I also went to biglots and bought a ton of styrofoam cups at 51 cups for 1$. By the time they were ready for transplant I had aquired about 100 assorted bottles in the 2ltr and half gallon to 1 gallon range. So I ordered more seeds from amazon (yeah yeah I know... I ordered from Hinterlands, and it remains to be seen if they grow true or not), PepperJoe, regal seeds (free from posting links on facebook) and picked up some burpee bell peppers. My mother came over to visit one day, and I was re-potting my seedlings... Up till this point I had been using a map to know which seedling was which. Mom offered to help, and within just a few minutes I no longer knew which was which... All I know for sure, is that they are either Jalapenos, Cayenne, or Habaneros.
Feeling pretty confident, I picked up a couple of 72 cell jiffy green houses, and loaded them up with seeds. I had fantastic luck with the Trinidad Scorpions, and Bhut Jolokias (red) but terrible luck with the Chocolate Habs, 7pot, and a few others. I contacted the vendor, and was promptly re-shipped a new batch of seed with a BUNCH of bonus seed. That was about the time I discovered Garden Web, and began trading seeds. This too brought up my variety count.
Currently I have 48/50 varieties germinated at about an 70% success rate (including the bad seed from the one vendor, which for giggles is still in the jiffy green house on the speaker under the flourescent tube). Currently I have 141 plants in the ground, and another 50 or 60 in re-used foam cups.
Then I discovered Amishland seeds (or something like that, I forget the name) but they have an Oh My Aching Back pepper mix for 2.50$, could have as many as 20 amish varieties all with cool stories behind them... That sounded reasonable, so I ordered the 50 seed pack and recieved almost 150 seeds. Those are currently germinating on top of a speaker beneath the flourescent light.
About that time I discovered I had an advantage when it came to hybridization... Living here in sunny florida, I can get two, and possibly even three seasons in each year (it froze 3 nights in total last winter)... Which meant a long multi-year process would take much less time... So I started doing research into hybridization. I decided to cross my Habanero with my Thai Sun hoping for a couple of specific traits to pop up. These seeds are currently germinating along with some of the others. I then learned of making graft hybrids. My first attempt (of four thus far) was to graft a Trinidad Scorpion (scion) onto my orange Hab (host). Following the protocals of the mentor graft method (but lacking grafting tape) I used packaging tape turned inside out (so the sticky parts only touched the tape, not the plants). I did not yet know the full difficulty that one has when grafting pepper plants. This first graft failed. The second graft failed. But my third graft (approach grafted a scotch Bonnet onto an orange Hab - used these because I have the most of them, and if they failed, I had lots of seed/seedlings to replace them with) seemed to be successfull. the scion had begun growing a new leaf, and the host had put out blooms (which I snipped). However I left the project too low to the ground (apparently) and my neighbors Dog mangled it badly... It might or might not survive, however after discovering this, I approach grafted a Scotch Bonnet onto an unknown Annum - likely a Cayenne. The second graft is doing well - but it remains to be seen if it will take. It has only been two days thus far.
I had two Chile de Arbols come up today, which is faster than any of the amish (or my hybrid) seeds germinated. I started this last batch in a combination of peat pellets, and the starter trays that require soil on the 25th of Feb. I currently have expanded my varieties to nearly 100, and am expecting to plant about 400 before I finish.
I live in an area that is extremely high in lime. IE you can't dig without pulling up huge lime rocks, or hitting even larger lime stone beds. With that in mind I needed to work to bring my PH down. I picked up a bale of peat moss (low ph), coffee grounds (un used), hard wood ash (burned oak to get this), Black Cow, Egg Shells, and my sister found a 3cu bale of perlite in the garage of the house she purchased... She had no use for it, so I put a good bit of this in as well (after tilling the rest Together, I ran the hoe the length of where I would be planting, and placed a little of the stuff across the bottom of the hoe'd row, then pushed the dirt back over.... for each 10x20 garden, I mixed in 1 cu ft of Peat, 12 40lb bags of composted black cow, about 1/8th inch covering of oak tree ashes, 1lb of coffee (sprinkled everywhere), and of course the perlite rows. My PH meter says that the soil is now 6.8, and I am hoping it holds. I suspect the egg shells aren't needed in light of all the lime in the soil... But I save and use them any way.
I did have one frost AFTER I had planted about 65 plants... I really didn't have anything to protect them with, so I cut down a few pieces of Bamboo and made a bivouac with a sheet of painters drop cloth (the edges held down by rocks). It worked out pretty well, except the wind blew a section of the middle back and exposted 3 plants to the elements. all but one look like they will make it. Here is the bivouac:
. Finally I noticed that I have pods on one of the plants that I started back in October. It is nearly twice as big as anything around it. I think it could be a hybrid because of its speed of growth, however, I'm told that cayennes are just a particularly quick growing variety. I took the rest of these pictures on my iPhone, so please excuse the depth of field... Any way, here is my first Pod - I saw it on the 25th of Feb.
See the size difference between this plant, and the plants around it?
The pod is probably 10x larger now, nearly the diameter of my pinky. and around 4 inches long.
*UPDATE 3/8 updated grow list*
Aji Limo Rojo
Billy Goat (habanero type)
Dominican Red Habanero
Peruvian White Habanero
PI 260595 (Chinense)
Habanero de Arbol
NMSU Bhut Jalokia
Yellow Bhut Jolokia
Bhut Jolokia / Naga Morrich
Trinidad Scorpion Butch T
Jamaican Chocolate Hab
T.S. Moruga Blend (brain strain?)
Chocolate Bhut Jolokia
Hot Lemon Hab
Red Congo Trinidad
sonoran Chiltepin (hand picked in Mexico)
Habanero de arbol
Hawaiian sweet hot (possibly Wailua)
Pulla Pepper (bolivia or Brazil)
Sunset (F1 hybrid)
Cascabel Chili (rattle, mirasol, bola, Ball. From Mexico)
Thai Super Hot (hybrid F1)
Florida Wild Bird
Numex Lumbre - 1-5k scu
Giant Sweet (bell?)
Numex Big Jim Legacy
Sandia A -Anaheim Type
Santa fe grande - usa
Ciliegia Piccante (Baccio di Satana aka Satans Kiss) - Italy
Chilhuacle Rojo (Chilguacle) Pablano type - Mexico
Black Scorpion Tounge
Wild Texas (Tomato? from the swap)
Big Dipper (bell)
Big early Jalapenos,
Long Red Thin Cayenne
Pretty in Purple
Purple Glow in the Dark (possibly the same as black pearl)
Yatzy aka Yatsufusa
Chili de Arbol
Peppermania's Big Ass Cayenne AKA Pepper Joeâ€™s Cayenne
Punjabi (Cayenne type I think)
Hot Banana Pepper
Sweet Banana Pepper
Super Heavy Weight
Bangalore Whippets Tail
WM Brand Chili Peppers
WM Brand Mammoth Jalapeno
Hot Cow Horn
Pimiento de Padron
Guam Boonie (guam)
zimbabwe Birds Eye Chili
Aji Yellow (Peruvian)
Bolivian Wild (TALL)
Inca Red Drop (peru)
Aji Lemon Drop (aka Kellu Uchu - Long Season. Origin: Peru)
Birgits Locoto (Bolivia)
Thai Sun x Orange Habanero F1
Orange Hab x Scotch Bonnet F1
7pot Douglah x Butch T Scorpion F2
Thai Super Hot F1 (parents unknown - seed swap)
Sunset F1 hybrid (Parents unknown - Seed swap)
**After the 3/8 update I now have 108 varieties**
The list is bound to grow! I have a number of varieties on their way that are not yet listed (but I will update the post as they arrive).
Also non-pepper plants I have green beans, canteloup, coriander, watermellon, summer squash, kale, lettuce, eggplant, and tomatos.
Edit: Changed tags, updated growlist 3-8
Edited by jsschrstrcks, 22 August 2012 - 11:10 PM.