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Stefan_W's Great Big Beefy Pepper Adventure: Grow List

Grow list overwinter bhut tabasco Mako Akokasrade atomic starfish rocoto

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#1 Stefan_W

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 09:50 PM

Had a rough time figure out how to post pictures at first, but that was corrected (see pod porn below).

Edited by Stefan_W, 11 October 2012 - 09:11 PM.

Peppers are great. And sex is really swell.

#2 PIC 1

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 10:01 PM

You need to be able to paste the photo (img)over...........there is a thread on posting photos, try a search

#3 Stefan_W

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:02 PM

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Thank you for the tip, Smokin' Hot!

Ok, now that I have figured out how to use this thing I'll keep going. This is a picture of the giant jalapenos the day after they were planted in their summer home outside. The white stuff on the leaves is epsom salt from being given a foliar spray.

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I normally fertilize with a q-tip if a plant flowers indoors. When I take them outside I snip the little pods off to get the growing process going. These pods are then taken inside and chopped up along with garlic from last year's garden to make the first nachos of the season.

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Every year brings a little surprise. When I was moving the green pot shown in the photo I discovered that a frog was living underneath it. I can't imagine how because the pot is freaking heavy, and there is literally a sliver of room between the bottom and the patio stones. He must have somehow spent the winter there.

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Things took rather well in the garden. By May 27th the ghost peppers were showing some buds, which got me excited because this is my first time trying to grow them. I figured that if the buds were coming out in May they should be red and ready to pick before it gets cold at the end of August.

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Along with the ghosts, the flourescent purples my wife picked out are doing great and growing like weeds. I never would have picked them on my own, but I have to admit they are spruce things up in the garden with a splash of purple.

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The cayennes also got off to a good start, with pods shooting out within days of the first set being plucked off. I have to admit that cayennes are my favourite to grow because they produce a great harvest, they are tasty, and the health benefits of eating them straight off the plant are phenomenal.

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Having said all of that, things did turn out perfectly so far. I put the plants out when I figured they were safe, but the overnight temperatures have been pretty low for the past few days. We had several days with very high winds that beat the crap out of the plants, and the rain has been ongoing for the past few days with several more days of rain in the forecast. As a result, although my tomatoes and other plants have been awesome the peppers have suffered a bit. This is a picture of my tabasco that shows its leaf curl.

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And of course the ghost pepper has not appreciated the sudden drop in temperature lately. His leaves started to wilt and brown, especially toward the bottom. However, he has tons of new shoots up and down his stem (which will drain energy for him to grow, but that is another story), so I know he will be fine once the weather improves. I also noticed the first flower on him today, but I have not snapped a picture of it yet.

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I'll leave it here for today. Comments and advice are always welcome :P
Peppers are great. And sex is really swell.

#4 PaulG

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:16 PM

Hey, Stefan. Your plants look great! The pods on the
florescent purple look like spear tips pointing up!

That ghost will be one bushy plant. Pod heaven!

:dance: Every Pod a Victory!  Life Force is Strong!

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#5 SuperHot

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 05:37 AM

Nice looking plants!!
I see some sun burn, but they're cranking out new leaves and will be just fine.

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#6 Stefan_W

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 10:58 PM

Thank you for your comments! I just realized that I did not include a grow list. Because I don't have much room in my backyard garden, I try to divide peppers out into assorted uses when I pick them out. Having said that, all of the different types of peppers eventually find their way into salsas and sauces, and are turned into nacho toppings. Due to very low germination rates this year I did not actually get my choice of breakdown for the numbers of different types of peppers.

Hot peppers: Giant ghost (X2), atomic starfish (X2), flourescent purple (supposed to be one, but seeds were off and ended up with three)

Peppers for drying and grinding into powder: assorted cayennes (I think I have 8 but was supposed to have 10, seed issues yadda yadda yadda), paprika (X5)

Sauce peppers: tabasco (X1)

Peppers for pickling/making into banana peppers: giant jalapeno (X2), long red (X5), yellow wax (X4)

Peppers for oriental cuisine: kung pao (X1)

Ornamentals (with a kick): filius blue (X8)

Salsa fillers: 5 king of the north and 5 mini bells.
Peppers are great. And sex is really swell.

#7 Beehunter

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 02:08 AM

Awesome awesome start to the season. and cool grow list. keep the updates coming.

#8 PaulG

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 01:10 PM

Right on! Nice List and great organization!

:dance: Every Pod a Victory!  Life Force is Strong!

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#9 Stefan_W

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 03:42 PM

The sun is peaking out for the first time in a while, so I snapped a few pics. The weather has been crazy with cold nights, and I haven't had to water in over a week with all the rain. More to follow later, but here are some atomic starfish hanging around in the afternoon sun.

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#10 slashroot

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 04:12 PM

Honestly I feel like Tabasco plants are so sensitive to leaf curl, every Tabasco plant I've had has been doing similar to yours. Doesn't seem to disturb the plant though :)

#11 Stefan_W

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 04:36 PM

I'm glad to hear that Slashroot, because I only have tabasco plant and this is my first time growing tabascos. I was worried it may turn into a bust this year, especially with the crappy weather
Peppers are great. And sex is really swell.

#12 PaulG

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 05:01 PM

Sounds like you have the same weather we do, Stefan!
That Atomic Starfish has some great looking pods on it!
Hang in there, bro, I just know summer temps are coming!

:dance: Every Pod a Victory!  Life Force is Strong!

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#13 Stefan_W

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 07:49 PM

I decided to include a panorama of my backyard to give people a sense of where the peppers are, and why I make the decisions that I do. First of all, my backyard is TINY. For that reason, large parts of my garden are built in a way so that veggies can grow vertically. The peppers are put in large pots, and for many varieties I put 3 or 4 plants in a single pot. I haven't had any issues with this so far. Last year, for example, I had two pots with five cayenne plants in each. When the peppers started to really go in mid July we picked 125 one day, and then another 80 two days later. And that is only two pots out of the 9 that I had last year. If you are skeptical about how well this can work, keep checking back and see the photos of how everything develops in my garden this year.

I'll start with the panorama. This picture is facing west. In the near pots on the right hand side are the paprikas (yellow pods), jalapenos (far pot), and to the right are the yellow wax peppers. In the pots on the far left are cayennes, flourescent purples, atomic starfish (the tall ones), and long red (near right). Along the white fence housed one per pot are two ghost peppers on the left, a tabasco, and a kung pao. The kung pao was put near the ghost because I am considering saving the seeds to see if I can make those peppers hotter for next year. The trellis on the left beside the dill on the box that I built is for the cukes, and growing upwards like this makes them produce like crazy.

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This view is facing south, from where I would exit the house. You can see the garlic, which is a must for sauces and salsas, and some of the tomato plants. Peas and beans are in the boxes along the back fence.

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Facing East you can see the non-hot peppers that are the base for salsas and assorted other things. You can also see the zucchini, strawberry, rhubarb and rasberries along the side fence and the other part of the tomato section on the right hand side of the photo. The jalapenos are on the left, along with some of the ornamentals and some of my basil.

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As you can see from these pictures, space is at a premium and I don't like to waste a square inch of it. To this end, as I said earlier, I put multiple peppers in most of my pots. Here are a couple of pictures of how it is going. Please keep in mind that the weather has been supremely crappy, and things will look significantly better in a month or so. Shown in this photo are the paprikas, with 5 in this pot.

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In this pot are two giant jalapenos and what I thought was a black jalapeno, but what is some type of cayenne.

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And, just to close out this update, a picture of the buds starting to form on my tabasco. This plant has some leaf curl, but I am really crossing my fingers that I get enough peppers out of it this year to make up a nice batch of sauce.

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That's it for this time, I hope you enjoyed the pictures!
Peppers are great. And sex is really swell.

#14 Stefan_W

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 09:47 PM

After 9 straight cold, rainy, windy days the weather finally improved today. We have been getting overnight lows of about 10 degrees (50 in the farenheit scale), which has been quite hard on some of my peppers. The continual big wind gusts and lack of sun didn't help things either. But today was hot and sunny, and tomorrow will be more of the same. The overnight lows will start to improve starting tomorrow which means, going by what I've experienced in past years, this should be the point where the peppers really take off.

I snapped a few pictures today of where things are at. They are mostly closeups of the actual pods and flowers.

This is a tabasco that I have been watching carefully. It is the only pepper I am growing that has not flowered yet, but as you can see in the photo the buds are definitely there and ready for action. If you look even closer you'll see a mosquito who is probably also ready for action.
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The kung pao peppers started off setting flowers like crazy, but have slowed down considerably with the cold weather. Hopefully they will pick up where they left off. Here are a couple of the 6 or so pods currently on the plant.
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I got up to 30 pods on this pepper joe cayenne before I lost count. One thing I love about cayennes is that they are huge producers.
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Every garden I have will always have a place for jalapenos because they are so versatile. These are giant jalepenos, which are actually growing pretty well all things considered. I have about a dozen pods or so per plant so far, with quite a few flowers.
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I'm not sure what to make of the hot yellow wax peppers. They came as a freebie, and have grown really well. This picture doesn't do justice to how many pods there are per plant, and the cold has not slowed them down at all. They started off pointing upwards, but as they grew the weight of the peppers pointed them down toward the ground. I'm curious about whether they taste good, because they are fun enough to grow to plant some more next season if I can put them to good use.
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I'll stop there. My next set of pictures in a week or two will be mainly full plant shots. I like to toggle back and forth to keep things interesting.
Peppers are great. And sex is really swell.

#15 PaulG

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 09:59 PM

Looks very nice, Stefan. Very tidy and well organized.
I like the way you have grouped your plants by use.
Do you find the multi plant containers produce bushier plants?

:dance: Every Pod a Victory!  Life Force is Strong!

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#16 Stefan_W

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 10:14 PM

Now that you mention it, I think the plants may end up bushier. I went into last year's mid-August photos to check it out (2 included here) and I can definitely see that there is quite a bit of foliage on all of my peppers.. I have always focused on what I believe is a myth, which is that plants bunched like this produce less. That may be true for some peppers, but the pictures below show I still got pretty good yields.

This is a portion of my cayenne haul from last year, and the plants were set five per pot. My daughter and I picked 225 off of these plants in the span of a couple of days.
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These filius blue plants were given to me as a gift, and there are four of them in this pot. I knew nothing of these little critters when I planted them, and they did not seem hot at all as they changed from one colour to another through the year. Then one day when I was watering I noticed a red one, and I just popped it into my mouth like I had been doing all along. I thought I was going to die! I'm not sure if this is from a pure strain, but someone did something to make them volcanic.
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Peppers are great. And sex is really swell.

#17 pepperjoe

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 10:30 PM

Hey Stefan,
Your plants are all looking awesome!
Great job.
I think the Filius Blue is under rated....so I'm glad you posted some pics. It is as hot and tasty as it is ornamental.
I'm glad my Atomic Starfish looks so realistic...we try hard on that one to make sure there are no crosses. One grower I have only grows that one variety to keep it pure..
My Giant Jalapeno seems to be living up to it's name....and THANKS for showing my Pepper Joe Cayenne....it is absolutely loaded with Chiles.
Stay in touch on Facebook. We enjoy your posts and pics.
Ottawa is a tough area to grow peppers...especially the super hots. Between you and my customers in Alaska, you prove you can successfully grow peppers ANYWHERE if you plan and get ahead of the process. We even have a few customers in Iceland.
Hey Stefan....do yo have any tips and advice for our Newbie growers?? THANKS.
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Fiery REgards,
Pepper Joe

Fiery Regards and Great Gardening, Pepper Joe
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#18 Stefan_W

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 11:15 PM

Hey Stefan....do yo have any tips and advice for our Newbie growers?? THANKS.


I think two bits of advice helped me the most. The first is to be a sponge and take in all of the knowledge that other pepper lovers are willing to share. The Internet makes it easy to connect with people, and most chiliheads are happy to be able to talk about how they do what they do.

The second bit of advice that I often have the hardest time following is to know when to just leave your plants alone. Nature has taken care of peppers wonderfully for thousands of years without all of the products and concoctions that are now available. Take a few minutes and really think about whether you want to apply a given product/fertilizer, or even water in some cases. Don't even get me started on how badly I overwatered my peppers when I first started out.
Peppers are great. And sex is really swell.

#19 jsschrstrcks

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 11:49 PM

I agree on the fertilizer note...

You are growing an item you are eventually going to consume. Bargain fertilizers (and soils) contain a lot of weird crap. Literally and metaphorically. Some even contain human fecal waste - this may not make much difference to some, but for those of us who make our own hotsauce, and meals with the things we grow, this means E-Coli is now a threat.

I've gone completely organic this year - I've had no problems with bugs, used fish, kelp, and blood based ferts, didn't foliar feed, and so I have absolutely no problem eating anything fresh off the plant in the garden.

#20 Stefan_W

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 06:43 AM

I've gone completely organic this year - I've had no problems with bugs, used fish, kelp, and blood based ferts, didn't foliar feed, and so I have absolutely no problem eating anything fresh off the plant in the garden.


Thank you for your comment, Jsschrstrcks! I definitely agree with what you have to say. I am snipping this part because of the reference to not using foliar feeding, which I have had no issues with to this point in time. However, I just use epsom salt, which I don't have any concerns with in general. Is your concern with foliar feeding in general, or doing that type of feeding with chemical products?
Peppers are great. And sex is really swell.





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