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When and why you started growing peppers

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#1 texas_pepper_man



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Posted 18 March 2019 - 09:22 PM

I started about 42 yrs ago with 180 thai plants in back yard of my new house..learned what horn worms were a couple months later.. ate 1/3 of the plants..peppers were grown for cooking.. then it started as a hobby,,hotter the better and was hard to find hotter ones..did the super cayannes etc and then then the peter peps,, next came the savinas..brutal at the time and a friend and I ordered a 1/2 pound of fresh peppers for just seeds from Mo Hotta Mo Betta,,I guess this was my start into the crazy pepper world.

Edited by texas_pepper_man, 18 March 2019 - 09:24 PM.

#2 Ruid



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Posted 18 March 2019 - 10:17 PM

I've yet to grow but do save seeds from the pods I order.

I haven't tried the Savinas but have wanted to for a long time.

#3 rghm1u20


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Posted 19 March 2019 - 12:32 AM

Don't remember exactly when, probably around 25 years ago, when I had a place in my wife's grandma garden.

Why? To eat them! :P

I was completely noob, I mean no idea that there are so many peppers in this world, I was thinking there are only annuums, and no idea about over wintering peppers.

Later I have got some black peppers from my parents, wow, what a wonder! That time the beauty of peppers was a reason more to grow them.

And somewhere around 2011 I have met the first habanero. Maybe is a classic, but same day I have learned a lesson: wash carefuly your hands before using the bathroom.

From that point the virus hit me for true. I was like in an adventure to search for more and more peppers, grow and taste them. Found THP when I was searching for seeds, ajijoe was the one who "lured" me here, BTW, no sign of ajijoe since a while, also I see others missing here, Wicked Mike, KingDenniz, AaronTT, and others....

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#4 Mildfruit


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Posted 19 March 2019 - 01:33 AM

3-4 years ago I bought two plants at a nursery. Orange habanero, and a Hot Banana. Back then my only gardening skills would consist of "plants need water whenever I remember it". Nevertheless they produced like crazy and I immediately say my raw talent. I later learned my previous GF both watered them and gave them nutrients. 


But the feeling of at least thinking I made them produce was great, and that's why I still grow today :D 

#5 willard3


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Posted 19 March 2019 - 07:01 AM

I started growing many years ago when the best you could get in a store was zippo. I like picante food.

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#6 Harry_Dangler



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Posted 19 March 2019 - 07:27 AM

Since my mid 20s, we had always grown sweet peppers ("Bells and Italians"), then about 20 years ago we started growing hot peppers after significant traveling in the Caribbean and Mexico and after being exposed to more ethnic foods.  My wife is a chef and she wanted to expand into different cuisines.  We started with the Jalapenos, Anaheims and Poblanos.  Worked our way into the Habaneros and Scotch Bonnets.  Got obsessed with the New Mexico chiles.  Continued growing under the umbrella of becoming more self sustaining by freezing, dehydrating, saucing and canning.  Progressed into the superhots and now dabble into small market sales.  

Many people have eaten food from my kitchen and have gone on to lead normal, healthy lives. 

#7 Edmick


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Posted 19 March 2019 - 10:13 AM

Started in my early 20s taking care of my neighbors pepper plants when he was gone at boot camp and started growing my own soon after that.

#8 dragonsfire


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Posted 19 March 2019 - 10:15 AM

Dont recall when I started, grew for variety and better taste from the bland store crap.

#9 The_NorthEast_ChileMan


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Posted 19 March 2019 - 10:15 AM

I started growing many years ago when the best you could get in a store was zippo. I like picante food.


I started growing in 1995 when I bought a house with some land and like Willard3 this was when there might be some Jals at the grocery store and you had to ask for hot peppers at pizza shops because they were not left on the table for the unsuspecting novice. 


Speaking of which Willard, I found below when I recently dug up my original email account....






I blocked out part of your addy for security reasons as we now live in a different era. ;)

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#10 ShowMeDaSauce


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Posted 19 March 2019 - 10:23 AM

Been growing mostly jalapenos since the mid-late 1970s. A few others too like bells, hot wax/banana and cayenne. Back then they were simply a garden staple. Now its because i cant buy most of what i grow. Even our best international markets dont have much in the way of uncommon peppers. In season the farmers markets charge more for "exotic" peppers than a good steak cost. I aint paying $8+/lb for bonnets when i can grow better pods. I aint paying $20/lb for supers when a plant cost me about $4-$6 and seeds are a tiny fraction of that.


Last year i found out i loved aji panca. You wont find them even in our best markets. No rocotos either but i can get manzano occasionally. Paste and canned no problem if you dont mind the tons of salt, preservatives and other crap they add. Same thing goes for many Chinese exports...you got no idea how that product was handled or produced. Quality can be all over the map including dangerous in some cases. My Sichuan peppers i grew last year were killer compared to the stuff at the Asian market.

Edited by ShowMeDaSauce, 19 March 2019 - 10:28 AM.

#11 wrinklenuts


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Posted 19 March 2019 - 01:42 PM

Since college in about 1993. My dad grew jalapenos before that. I started growing habanero's in college and they were super hot to me at the time. I fell in love with habanero's after trying some habanero mash made by lotta hotta store back in the 90's. 

#12 alkhall


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Posted 19 March 2019 - 05:22 PM

Only since 2011.


A buddy had some Habaneros and Jalapenos growing at his house. I thought; 'I can do better than that', and... well, here I am.

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#13 Crazy Monkey

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 06:03 AM

A few years back my wife bought me one of those make-your-own hot sauce kits off of Amazon that had a few bags of dried peppers, powders, bottles of vinegar, and 2 Woozy bottles with caps. Now I'm up to my ears in Dutch buckets, deep water cultures, grow bags, and seed starting trays.

#14 Nulle


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Posted 20 March 2019 - 12:53 PM

I blame it all on Lotte!! ;)

I think it was the year before I joined THP that my friend Lotte came to visit and brought me an Aji Amarillo plant that she'd grown herself  I took some seeds from it and was hooked. Then came the 'seeditis" (the need to get every type of pepper seeds you read or hear about) and that was that. :P

#15 Marruk



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Posted 20 March 2019 - 01:14 PM

In 2010 I got a novelty "grow ghost peppers in a can" kit. It grew, and I managed to not kill it.

In an effort to find a use for the peppers, I started making salsas, then hot sauces. Then I got into fermented hot sauces last year, and decided I needed more peppers (both quantity and variety).

Last year I grew about 20 plants in real containers, and liked it so much I've gone to 50 plants this year.

Edited by Marruk, 20 March 2019 - 01:14 PM.

#16 Bicycle808


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Posted 20 March 2019 - 08:38 PM

Wow a few years back now, maybe 7 years, I was working as a job coach and one of our sites was a "farm;" really more like a big garden than a farm, but we were only growing food using quasi-organic methods and we had access to a decent-sized greenhouse and a spooky old farmhouse for restroom needs and basic kitchen appliances. I didn't know much about growing plants, but the other job coach did. I knew more about job coaching and supporting the clients. But, whatever.

We grew a lot of different stuff, but some of the most fascinating ones, for me, were the chiles. Both years that I was helping with the farm site, we grew Bells, Jalapeños, Serranos, and Hungarian wax peppers. We didn't have much luck with the Bells; I can't even guess why, but the others grew like weeds and I started getting into eating them and cooking with them and stuff like that. Prior, I was a complete wuss about heat and I thought I was badass but I'm embarrassed by how pathetic I was....

So, that put me down the road towards trying to cook with more heat, and my other job was at a cafe (which was also a job site for ppl with special needs, plus it was a real functioning cafe. The Farm wasn't a real farm, at least in regards to the fact that it didn't produce anything commercially, and no one depended on it to survive.) I started bringing more and more recipes onto the menu that involved chiles. . .and I fixed the gawdawful veggie chili recipe and replaced it with something decent. I started making a few varieties of hot sauce in-house, and we sold them by the point and kept some in ketchup bottles for customers to squirt on their eggs and sandwiches. I got into ordering dried pods and flakes/powders online and, as I fell more and more in love with the chiles' flavor, my tolerance to heat increased.

One day, a friend of mine dropped some orange Habs off at the café and told me that he had grown millions of them and he hoped I could do something with them. I'd had Habs and Scotch Bonnets a looooong time ago, and I was terrified to mess with them again, as they had totally kicked my ass in the past. But I felt a little more confident now, so I made a Habanero, Egg & Cheese sandwich to get a sense of what the flavor was like.

Long story slightly shorter, the Hab and egg sandwich kicked my ass hard all over again, but not too much before I got a taste of that skanky chinense skunk. I hadn't noticed it all those years ago when I tried to cook with Bonnets, bc I was actually dying from the heat then, but when I tried that Hab in that sandwich, it drove me wild. I ended up making a sauce with the rest of the Habs. When that was gone (it went quick), I bought Habs at the local mercado, but I was disappointed with the condition the pods were in. The Habs at the gringo supermarkets were just as bad, and 4 times the price. I realized I needed to grow these things...

I'd already been on THP, just lurking and stealing ideas for sauce recipes. I started digging into the growing content, and I became obsessed. And, as I saw pics of all these esoteric chile varieties, I knew this was a hobby I'd have to fuck with. That was maybe 3 years ago. Too late to grow that season, but I became a registered user, ordered some SFRBs, and got plenty of excellent advice. Same time, I ended up moving from an apartment to a house, in a town with a community garden. 2017 was my first year growing. 2019 will be my third. I'll be amazed if anyone reads this far, but the summary: I have been growing for two years, and I started doing it bc of a chinense fixation, and a desire to obtain fresher pods and more varied strains for cooking. That has worked out 100% but i wanna add that I have kept on growing for some other unintended reasons: the plants themselves relax me, and I've met a lot of great ppl thru gardening... Folks on THP and other online communities, folks at the community gardens, and other local growers who are just awesome ppl.

Sorry to write such a huge novel. I'm just freaking out about my grow this year, and this thread has been therapeutic for me. Chilled me out a bit.


Edited by Bicycle808, 20 March 2019 - 08:45 PM.

You are entering the buttocks with the spicy hand of Chinese pepper? And pleasure from this low pepper? I am not sure but the scorpion pepper musk when raw, is the sexual experience. This is granted, and evident in the taste, and the woman jealous. 

#17 MtlPeppah



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Posted 27 March 2019 - 05:55 PM

The year was 2007. Had just about the Red Savina Habanero, but could find any seeds as everyone was sold out. Then heard about bhut Jolokia - here too had a hard time finding seeds. Finally ordered some from Nicky's Nursery in Great Britain. Planted all ten seeds - only nine sprouted. Gave five plants away and my four plants died a couple of weeks later. What a disaster. Later that Autumn one of the people whom I gave a plant to called me to tell me that he had so many pods he did not know what to do with them. The next day I had a bunch of pods to deseed for next season! Have been growing them since!

#18 MarcV



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Posted 29 March 2019 - 06:27 AM

Back in 2013 or 2014 I guess, I had dinner at my sisters house. My brother-in-law made a stew in which he used madame jeanette. I had no clue what it was back then, but got curious and I started reading about chiles. I got interested and started growing some varieties myself. It didn't work out very well because of lack of knowledge, but that's how I got started.

...but I might be wrong...

#19 Chorizo857_62J



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Posted 11 April 2019 - 03:59 PM

I have been gardening since the '80s.  Have had good luck with most outside, in-ground "farm-style" gardening, in decent soils, peppers included.  When I moved to N. C. Florida, the soil I have where I am now is basically builder's sand overlying stiff clay.  Devoid of nutrients.  I went to garden boxes, and was successful for a few years.  Then nematodes would get into the garden box soils and screw up much of my crops, and also fire ants and termites.  Pests are always an issue anyway, but my peppers would start off good, even while still in pots, but soon fail.  We get lots of rain in the summer, which did not help.  Finally, a few years ago, I stumbled on this website, and began studying the forums and guidance of growing etc.  I realized I was over-watering and watering unfavorably (top soak to the hilt).  Because of the soil pest issue, I decided to switch to pots, and bottom watering.  Last year I had amazing results of thousands of peppers from just a dozen plants.  Successful overwintering (who knew there was a thing) of several plants to the second and even third year for some was totally unknown to me until accessing THP.  Thanks so much to all who contribute to the educational guidance on this website. 

#20 Ghost Pepper Revolution

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 10:04 PM

Very kool thread here :hot:

My journey started as a boy who loved tobasco and burritos (a lil too much) and tried growing a Bonnies jalapeño that did well back in 2007. I loved growing plants (Mary Jane included) and got into growing again at my first house in NJ with hot and sweet banana peppers until we moved. Tried again in Florida but the bugs killed every jalapeño and banana pepper so I gave up until last year my cousin who grew Bhuts needed more for his bangin sauce so I said ok lets try again. THP has definitely helped me figure it out and now I got like 40 varieties and probably starting couple more this month 👻
Put down the pot and pick up the pod

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