Greenhat pepper grower from da U.P., Eh!

Hello everyone!
I'm super happy to  have found this forum. Last year I planted a few pepper plants and was quite pleased with having fresh peppers. Subsequently I planted about 36 plants this year, with varying results. I did no research and no maintenance. Now I am starting to get more mentally involved and have been doing a lot of research and setting up an indoor operation so I can not only have fresh peppers over the winter (Zone 5) but also have a super bountiful harvest next year. 
These are the first peppers from my garden this year. I planted Habaneros, Serrano, Jalapeno, Super Chilis, Cayenne, Cajun Belle and Cherries. 

I also planted some Carolina Reaper seedlings later in the season that didn't take well so I moved them indoors. I've also been rescuing poorly performing plants from outside and moving them in to really cultivate them. My biggest issue was rabbits eating nearly every leave off my plants. 

As you can see I had no idea about plant spacing, nutrients, topping or pretty much everything. After two days of constant research I'm happy to have found this forum and look forward to learning and sharing whatever I can from/with you guys! 
First planting:




I also make my own hot sauce which is a big motivator for wanting to keep peppers around all year. This is a housewarming present I made for a friend of mine when he bought his first house earlier this month. It's a Habanero/Mango/Peach creation. Also pictured in the second picture is a jalapeno/kiwi I made. I included a rundown of the recipe below. 


A good base is 5 Habs, 3 peaches, 1 mango a half bulb of garlic pureed with apple cider vinegar. From there you can take small amounts of that and add in different ingredients to really get a feel for the taste. My first batch ever I just threw everything in. Garlic, bell pepper, carrot, onion, pineapple. It was good but I didn't truly appreciate the subtleties the different additions introduced into the sauce until I made separate batches.
From left to right in the back row of this picture is that base:
1: #2, 3, and 4 mixed + Reaper, Ghost and Scorpion.
2: Base Sauce described above
3: #2 + 1/8 of a large red onion. This turned out to have a very strong onion flavor. Excellent for certain dishes.
4: #2 + 1 medium green belle pepper. I never knew how sweet a belle pepper was until I did this.
The front row is #2, 3 and 4 with 1 each of the listed superhots added.
The 5 Hab/3 Peaches, 1 Mango and half a bulb of garlic made all this sauce + another 3-4oz of the all three.
Another excellent super simple base is equal parts Jalapeno and Kiwi + garlic and apple cider vinegar.
My best advice is to take a very basic base sauce and experiment in small batches. I've only been making sauce for about 3 months now and it goes very quick. The difference between the flavor profiles of my first batch and the latest batch is incredible.
Welcome! I'm also keen on making sauces with peppers I grow. Are those sauces fermented or fresh?

P.S. what is U.P?

Thawing the frozen north one chili at a time...
CanadaChili said:
Welcome! I'm also keen on making sauces with peppers I grow. Are those sauces fermented or fresh?

P.S. what is U.P?

Thawing the frozen north one chili at a time...
Thanks! Those sauces are fresh. I haven't experimented with fermented sauces yet. 
The U.P. is the upper peninsula of Michigan. We're an interesting bunch. 
Thanks for the support guys. Getting a late start on the garden this year. Had a bad year and lost all my overwinters so I'm starting from scratch this year.
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