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ThoroughBurro Over-Prepares for 2022

I got a very late start on my first season growing chiles this year, so in lieu of processing ripe pods I’ve spent my energy dreaming about next year. I hope y’all’ll forgive me an early start on my glog for 2022.

This is pretty ambitious for what amounts to my first season seriously growing vegetables, but I do have a fair amount of other gardening experience. I also work from home (web development) and have a lot of moments between tasks or entire dead days when I can be gardening. Also, my partner will be growing those marked ‘K’. It’ll be a hustle, but we got this.

My specific goals for the year:
  • Experience growing a wide variety of species and cultivars to establish what grows well here and what is most useful in my kitchen.
  • Flank the front walk with nicely potted decorative peppers, including timed colors for Easter and Halloween.
  • Develop a homemade spin on El Yucateco Kutbil-ik to replace it as my daily sauce (my local source drying up was the impetus for this whole thing, as I previously used half a bottle per day). (a recipe is now in progress)
Links are to my seed source for each cultivar. The numbers refer to number of containers, not necessarily number of individuals; if there are two equally healthy plants in a container after culling, I’m fine with that. I’m planning to have everything in either 2 or 5 gallon buckets; 2 for compact C. chinense, 5 for everything else. Decoratives will be in prettier pots, size depending on placement. I know a lot of these plants will be cramped at those sizes, but they should produce well enough for purpose, and the uniformity will help me manage the large number. In the future, I’ll focus on a tighter selection of favorites and size the pots as needed.

Don’t hesitate to make comments or suggestions, especially if anything seems particularly foolhardy… forewarned is forearmed. And feel free to make a case for any I overlooked (although for this year, I’m staying below 500K SHU; might dive deeper as my tolerance develops).


1 Chiltepin Hermosillo, as bonchi (this formed a really pleasing, tree-like habit and will give me something to tinker with in the off-season)
1 Fish Pepper, as decor K (didn’t care for the taste, even ripe, but foliage too gorgeous for K to let go of)

Starting Sat Nov 13 (for Easter)

6 NuMex Easter, as decor (2 as gifts) K

Starting Sat Jan 1 (~16 weeks before moving outside)

6+ Sugar Rush Stripey (novel and unstable, will start the whole packet and hope for a stripey phenotype to carry forward)
2 Rocoto Mini Olive (sometimes you see a plant and just need to grow it; this little guy is so cool to me)
1 Rocoto Red (it sounds delicious, but uncertain of getting a crop in one season thanks PaulG!)
1 Ají Amarillo (same)
1 Brazilian Starfish
1 Bishop’s Hat
1 Trepadeira do Werner
1 Ají Dulce (PI 260513) (really wish people wouldn’t apply such generic names; eventually tracked it down to its accession number)

Starting Sat Jan 29 (~12 weeks)

2 Lemon Drop
2 Blended Lemon
2 Ají Ahuachapán
1 Ají Jobito
1 Ají Fantasy Sparkly White
1 Ají Fantasy Orange
1 Ají Norteno
1 Ají Cristal
1 Ají Cristal Golden
1 Rain Forest

Starting Sat Feb 5 (~11 weeks)

2 Scotch Bonnet TFM
2 Scotch Bonnet Freeport Orange (one of the three that ripened in my limited time this year; it’s as tasty as everyone says)
2 Habanero Jamaican Chocolate
2 Habanero Orange
2 NuMex Trick-or-Treat
2 (Biquinho Red, Yellow, White) K (two containers of all three; should look nice plus allow us to try them all in less space than singly)
1 Grenada Seasoning
1 Trinidad Perfume
1 Ají Dulce Rojo (couldn’t nail this one down without an origin, but I think it’s either also PI 260513, as above, or maybe PI 543188)
1 Tobago Treasure
1 Bahamian Goat (am aware these are syn. with or barely diverge from Freeport Orange, but want to see for myself and decide which to carry forward)
1 Scotch Bonnet Beth Boyd
1 Scotch Brain
1 Datil
1 Fatalii
1 Ají Panca
1 Machu Picchu
1 Anónimo Roxa (CGN 21500) K (“Portuguese for ‘anonymous purple’, as this variety is part of the ‘roxa’ group but often goes by its accession number.” I’m trying to get this to catch on…)

Starting Sat Feb 26 (~8 weeks)

2 Zapotec Jalapeño (had lots of this green, and one almost red; this should be in the dictionary next to the phrase “that jalapeño flavor”)
2 Chimayo
2 NuMex Heritage 6-4
2 Roumanian Rainbow K (my partner wanted us to grow a bell type, plus she grew up in Romania… seemed fitting!)
2 Bolivian Rainbow, as decor K
2 NuMex Twilight, as decor K
1 Zia Pueblo
1 Alpine Poblano
1 Monkey Face Red
1 Filipino Mexican (I want to regularly grow at least one of each of the domesticated species, plus I find a Tabasco-type sauce indispensible on eggs; that said, C. frutescens doesn’t have many temptingly-described options.)
1 NuMex Centennial, as decor K
1 NuMex April Fools’, as decor K
1 NuMex Veterans Day, as decor K
1 Buena Mulata, as decor K (mixed reports on whether this is a good culinary cayenne or meh outside of decorative use)

Starting Sat Mar 12 (~6 weeks)

(Figured I would include the few non-Capsicums, in case anyone is curious.)

2 Pineapple Tomatillo
2 Cisineros Grande (Tomatillo)
1 Boronia (Dwarf Tomato)
1 Rosella Crimson (Dwarf Tomato)
1 Galen’s Yellow (Dwarf Tomato)
1 Lillian’s Yellow (Tomato) K
1 Golden Gates (Tomato)
1 Sumter (Cucumber)
1 Homemade Pickles (Cucumber)
1 Fengyuan Purple (Eggplant) K

Starting Sat May 7 (for Halloween)

2 NuMex Halloween, as decor K (the appearance of these alone convinced us to embrace the NuMex Holiday series in general; nearly true black ripening to vivid orange with black calyces, c’mon!)
2 NuMex Thanksgiving, as decor K
2 Black Prince, as decor K
2 Purple Jigsaw, as decor K

Who missed the cut??

A few cultivars acquired early or included as generous extras wound up getting bumped for later additions. I have seeds for these, but don’t currently intend to use them. Maybe they’ll see use in the future. Feel free to make a plea for any you think are worthy of a place in the grow.

African Bird Orange
Bird’s Eye Baby
Rocoto Yellow (not different enough from Rocoto Red)
Cheiro Roxa (only want one in this group, Anónimo Roxa seems the favorite)
Fidalgo Roxa (same)
Fresno (it was available at the local grocery once, and made an amazing salsa, but reckon the Zapotec Jalapeño fills that niche)
Habanero Peach
NuMex Heritage Big Jim (would likely be my ideal chile relleno chile, but it’d be too hot for the people I cook for)
NuMex Suave Orange
Puerto Rican Yellow (nobody seems to grow this)
Rocoto Mini Yellow (I prefer the look of the olive, especially if the flavor is as kiwi-like as described)
Serrano Tampiqueño (bought these for my dad, who complained of trouble finding seeds; kept a packet for myself)
Sugar Rush Peach (sorry bud, you’re not Ají Bacon)
Wild Baccatum (maybe PI 260567?) (got this for future breeding projects)
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Wow, very ambitious, @thoroughburro!

If you grow Aji Amarillo in a smaller pot and start seeds
on Jan. 1, you would get some ripe pods first year. I have
grown them successfully here in the PNW, so you should
have success with them in your area. Same for rocotos.

Good luck getting your 2022 grow season underway!
Excellent, thanks! I’ve added them to the grow and updated the post.
Good luck with that, John. The Ajis will get 30-36 inches tall
even in a #2 or #3 nursery pot, so use your 2-gallon ones and cage
them or use support stakes and twine if you can.
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My 2021 garden, such as it is, continues on in the midst of my planning. I have unripe pods of Zapotec Jalapeño, Chimayo, and Zia Pueblo which I’m crossing my fingers will ripen in the week or two possibly remaining.

However, my Freeport Orange has been surprisingly productive. I’ve had five ripe pods off it, and several more that are likely at this pace. Meanwhile the plant is at most a foot high! The pods are about half to two-thirds what you would expect from a mature Freeport Orange, from what I gather.

The pods haven’t all looked this good, but they’ve all had hints of the proper ‘cup and saucer’. They have also all been a rich orange, not peach. I’m looking forward to growing it side by side with the Bahamian Goat next year. I had assumed I would find them identical, since several others have, but now I’m not sure. My seeds were from Refining Fire Chiles.

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I’ve made some tweaks to the plan in response to feedback and further research. I also added estimated pot sizes, as described in the first post, and some stats on the totals.


1 Fish Pepper, decor 2 gal
1 Chiltepin Hermosillo, decor ~1 gal

Starting Sat Nov 13 (for Easter)

4 NuMex Easter, decor ~2 gal (2 as gifts)

Starting Sat Jan 1 (~16 weeks)

4 Sugar Rush Stripey, 5 gal
4 Rocoto Mini Olive, 5 gal
1 Rocoto Mini Yellow, 5 gal
1 Rocoto Red, 5 gal
1 Rocoto Yellow, 5 gal
1 Ají Amarillo, 5 gal
1 Bishop’s Hat, 5 gal
1 Brazilian Starfish, 5 gal
1 Trepadeira do Werner, 5 gal
1 Ají Dulce (PI 260513), 2 gal

Starting Sat Jan 15 (~14 weeks)

4 Ají Fantasy Sparkly White, 5 gal
2 Ají Fantasy Orange, 5 gal
2 Blended Lemon, 5 gal
1 Ají Limon, 5 gal
1 Ají Ahuachapán, 5 gal
1 Ají Jobito, 2 gal
1 Ají Norteno, 5 gal
1 Ají Cristal, 5 gal
1 Ají Cristal Golden, 5 gal
1 Rain Forest, 5 gal
1 Scotch Brain, 2 gal
1 Fatalii, 2 gal
1 Datil, 2 gal

Starting Sat Jan 29 (~12 weeks)

2 Freeport Orange, 2 gal
2 Bahamian Goat, 2 gal
2 Habanero Jamaican Chocolate, 2 gal
2 NuMex Trick-or-Treat, 2 gal
2 Grenada Seasoning, 2 gal
2 ( Biquinho Red, Biquinho Yellow, Biquinho White ), wide pot ~5 gal
1 Ají Dulce Rojo, 2 gal
1 Trinidad Perfume, 2 gal
1 Puerto Rican Yellow, 2 gal
1 Habanero Orange, 2 gal
1 Tobago Treasure, 2 gal
1 Scotch Bonnet TFM, 2 gal
1 Scotch Bonnet Beth Boyd, 2 gal
1 Ají Panca, 5 gal
1 Machu Picchu, 5 gal
1 Anónimo Roxa (CGN 21500), 2 gal

Starting Sat Feb 26 (~8 weeks)

2 Alpine Poblano, 5 gal
2 Zapotec Jalapeño, 5 gal
2 Chimayo, 5 gal
2 Roumanian Rainbow, 5 gal
1 NuMex Heritage 6-4, 5 gal
1 Zia Pueblo, 5 gal
1 Monkey Face Red, 5 gal
1 Buena Mulata, 5 gal
1 Filipino Mexican, 5 gal

2 Bolivian Rainbow, decor ~4 gal
2 NuMex Twilight, decor ~2 gal
2 NuMex Centennial, decor ~2 gal
1 NuMex April Fools’, decor ~2 gal
1 NuMex Veterans Day, decor ~2 gal

Starting Sat Mar 12 (~6 weeks)

2 Pineapple Tomatillo, 5 gal
1 Cisineros Grande Tomatillo, 5 gal
1 Boronia Dwarf Tomato, 5 gal
1 Rosella Crimson Dwarf Tomato, 5 gal
1 Galen’s Yellow Dwarf Tomato, 5 gal
1 Lillian’s Yellow Tomato, 5 gal
1 Golden Gates Tomato, 5 gal
1 Sumter Cucumber, 5 gal
1 Homemade Pickles Cucumber, 5 gal
1 Fengyuan Purple Eggplant, 5 gal

Starting Sat May 7 (for Halloween)

2 NuMex Halloween, decor ~2 gal
2 NuMex Thanksgiving, decor ~2 gal
1 Black Prince, decor ~2 gal
1 Purple Jigsaw, decor ~2 gal

Culinary containers: 69
Decor containers: 20
Non-capsicum containers: 11

Total containers: 100

Distribution of Culinary Capsicums…

…By Heat

Sweet (0 kSHU): 5
Mild (0.5 kSHU): 10
Medium (1 kSHU): 15
Hot (10 kSHU): 16
Very Hot (100 kSHU): 12
Extra Hot (500 kSHU): 11
Super Hot (1000 kSHU): 0
Ultra Hot (1500 kSHU): 0

In my experience, the Scoville scale as linearly represented is misleading to most people. To put it simply, while a 1 kSHU chile needs to be diluted a hundred times more than a 100 kSHU chile to be imperceptible, it will not feel a hundred times hotter on the palate, and it certainly won’t produce a hundred times more pain.

In my system, based on vernacular and clusters of popular chiles, chiles fall into buckets centered on ratings in thousands of Scoville Heat Units (kSHU). For instance, a chile at 200 kSHU would fall into the Very Hot (100 kSHU) bucket, whereas one at 300 kSHU would fall into Extra Hot (500 kSHU).

…By Species

C. annuum: 12
C. baccatum: 22
C. chinense: 27
C. frutescens: 1
C. pubescens: 7
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The list went through several large adjustments recently, but has stabilized enough now to be worth a post.


As nights dropped below 50F, we began moving in our extensive cactus and succulent collection. It never gets less surprising, how much space it takes up; I can’t believe I thought we had enough lighting for 100 indoor starts! I ordered more lighting and “cut back” to 80 indoor starts. I also decided to grow 2 containers of each variety, for ease of isolation (I intend to bag entire containers in tented mosquito netting) and to minimize the risk of losing a whole variety. That means “only” 40 varieties, so the goal of growing a decent sample of every domesticated species must be spread over several years. I’m still growing at least one variety of each, and still sampling around, just not as widely.

Which species, or just pod type really, to focus on first is determined by my second goal: to choose an orange habanero-type for my go-to sauce, currently made with expensive and unsatisfying grocery store habs. In future, I will always grow enough of this selection to make a year’s worth of that sauce (and I use 2-4 oz per day), so I want to get it right. If I missed an orange habanero, and there are seeds available somewhere, please shout it out!


(Week offsets are from May 1st, my average time to begin moving stuff outside.)

(Varieties marked “decor” are grown for ornamental value only.)

(Varieties marked “seeking pheno” will have two individuals per pot to double the chances of desired phenotypes at expense of yield.)

Starting Sat Jan 15 (~14 weeks)
2 Rocoto Mini Olive

Starting Sat Jan 29 (~12 weeks)
2 Blended Lemon
2 Ají Norteno
2 Ají Fantasy Orange (seeking pheno)
2 Ají Fantasy Sparkly White (seeking pheno)
2 Bishop’s Crown
2 Ají Pineapple
2 Ají Omnicolor
2 Ají Cristal Golden
2 Sugar Rush Stripey (seeking pheno)
2 Naga Smooky Rainbow (seeking pheno)
2 Carbonero
2 Scotch Brains
2 BOC X Ají Pineapple

Starting Sat Feb 12 (~10 weeks)
2 Ají Jobito
2 Frontera Sweet
2 Ají Dulce [Peter Merle]
2 Grenada Seasoning
2 Puerto Rican Yellow
2 Funky Yellow (seeking pheno)
2 Datil
2 Habanero St Barts
2 Bonda Ma Jacques
2 Habanero Gambia Orange
2 Habanero Jamaican Chocolate
2 Lemon StarrBurst (seeking pheno)
2 Scotch Bonnet TFM
2 Fatalii Yellow
2 Bahamian Goat

Starting Sat Feb 26 (~8 weeks)
2 Pimenta Diomar
2 Hot Paper Lantern
2 Alpine Poblano
2 Jalapeño Zapotec
2 NuMex Heritage 6-4
2 Jimmy Nardello’s
2 Roumanian Rainbow

Starting Sat Mar 12 (~6 weeks)
2 Rosella Crimson, dwarf tomato
2 Golden Gates, tomato
2 Lillian’s Yellow, tomato
2 Fengyuan Purple, eggplant

Starting Sat May 7 (~1 week after)
2 Boronia, dwarf tomato
2 NuMex Heritage Big Jim
2 Ají Criollo
2 Ise

2 Bolivian Rainbow, decor
2 NuMex Twilight, decor
2 Scarlett’s Chilli, decor (seeking pheno)
2 Purple Jigsaw, decor (seeking pheno)
2 Pockmark Orange, decor (seeking pheno)

Starting Sat May 28 (~4 week after)
2 NuMex Halloween, decor

100 containers in garden
80 starts indoors at once

C. annuum varieties: 12
C. baccatum varieties: 9
C. chinense varieties: 22
C. frutescens varieties: 1
C. pubescens varieties: 1

(Crosses count as mother’s species.)


I should stop buying seeds at this point… but I suspect I’ll sneak in one last order. And I can certainly trade! I won’t list my entire wishlist here, but in particular here are the orange habanero-types I know are missing:

Orange Blob
Habanero Marobie Yellow
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That's a great list can see you've given it some thought and you wishing the best in your growing season forthcoming it's going to be fun.

P.s can you come right my list as I don't no where to start.😂🙂👍
P.s can you come right my list as I don't no where to start.😂🙂👍

I actually need to put together another update; my list has changed yet again. It seems I’m barely able to keep up with myself!

I can say, for narrowing it down, what has helped most is making a list of specific fresh and processed products I want… then matching pepper varieties to those needs. That reveals what you need to grow, as a minimum.
The evolution of my 2022 grow will be the most enduring creative act of my life, at this rate. It feels a bit wishy-washy to make my waffling so public, but I hope it helps other newbies in the future. I know I’ve pieced together good knowledge from similar threads.


To best manage my limited space, each year will focus on a particular species within which to explore new varieties. Other species will be limited to maintaining existing favorites. 2022 will focus on C. chinense.

My selection priorities are, in order:

1. Must-grow favorites
2. Favorites of each required pod type
3. Candidates (within the focus species) of each required pod type without a favorite
3. New varieties of interest (within the focus species)
4. Non-capsicums

Seed Saving

Existing favorites grown each year will adhere to these minimums to (somewhat) maintain genetic diversity. (Just peppers for now, but this will expand in future years.)

Capsicum: four containers per variety, two individuals per container; eight genetic individuals

Must Grow

Rocoto Mini Olive (love at first sight; eventually want that mustard mutation)
Bahamian Goat (it’s not exactly a bonnet and not exactly a hab, so I haven’t decided on its use; but I got to grow and try it this year, so it will serve as a benchmark)

Required Pod Types

These must be intended for specific purposes. If for sauce, a recipe must exist; if fresh, a dish must be in mind, etc.

Mild and hot orange habanero (sauce)
Mild and hot red habanero (sauce)
Mild and hot scotch bonnet (sauce, jerk)
Mild and hot Ají Limon types (sauce, fresh)
Mild, crunchy baccatum (fresh)
Cayenne (sauce)
Poblano (stuffed, chili verde)
Jalapeño (sauce, fresh)
Red and yellow bell (fresh, pickling, frying)
Bleeding calyx (ornamental, sauce)
Halloween types (ornamental, sauce)
Variegation (ornamental, pickles)
Rainbow type (ornamental)

(Numbers refer to number of containers.)

Starting Sat Jan 29

4 Rocoto Mini Olive

Starting Sat Feb 12

4 Scotch Bonnet TFM
4 Bahamian Goat

Mild Bonnet Shootout:
2 Frontera Sweet
2 Ají Margariteno Yellow (from @Harry_Dangler, via the seed train; thanks!)

Mild Hab Shootout:

2 NuMex Trick-or-Treat
2 Habanada
2 Grenada Seasoning
2 Pimenta Luna (aka Pink Habanero)

Hab Shootout:

2 Habanero Marobie
2 Habanero Big Sun
2 Habanero Gambia Orange
2 Bonda Ma Jacques
2 Jamaican Hot Chocolate

Mild Red Hab Shootout:
2 Ají Dulce Peruvian
2 NuMex Suave Red
2 Zavory

Red Hab Shootout:
2 Hot Paper Lantern
2 Pimenta Diomar

Starting Sat Feb 26

4 Ají Fantasy Orange (unstable)
4 Ají Norteno
4 Blended Lemon
4 Ají Pineapple

Starting Sat Mar 14

4 Joy’s Ghost Cayenne WHP
4 Alpine Poblano
4 Jalapeño Zapotec
2 Roumanian Rainbow

Starting Sat Mar 28

2 Rosella Crimson Dwarf Tomato
2 Golden Gates Tomato
2 Lillian’s Yellow Tomato

Starting Sat May 1

(Indoor starts should be moved outside by this point, freeing up space to start the ornamentals.)

4 Bleeding Jigsaw
4 Bhüt X Neyde (unstable)
4 Golden Nugget
4 Scarlett’s Chilli (unstable)

Rainbow Shootout:

2 Bolivian Rainbow
2 NuMex Twilight

Starting Sat May 28

2 NuMex Halloween

Starting Sat Jun 4

2 NuMex Halloween
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You've got some excellent varieties on your list. Good job. If you can .... it's fun to grow out both the Bahamian Goat and SB Freeport Orange just for grins :). The Aji Margariteno Yellow is a fabulous variety .... huge pods, productivity and great taste for us in our Kansas raised beds. I hope it works for you.