Author Archives: gringeaux

Pictures say 1,000 words

Hi-ho there pepper friends!

I’m gonna keep the word count low and the pixel count high today.  Not much to say really, all the pepper plants are doing great.  The old plants are starting to produce ripe peppers, some of the new ones are in larger containers, but most are still in solo cups.  I’ll need to repot again soon.

This is one of the purple jalapenos, look how beautiful that color is

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Some nice ripe scorpion and naga peppers

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The older plants are full of peppers

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And here are some of the bigger new plants in larger containers

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And some still in solo cups

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“green jalapenos” looking good, perfect bacon delivery devices

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And some different perspectives

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That’s it for today, stay spicy!

Census Time

Well chile peeps, its time to get a count of the plants.  All have sprouted that will sprout, so we’ll grow what we got.  My 2nd batch of seeds wasn’t as bountiful as the first.  I let the jiffy pods get a little drier than I should have, but I still have at least one of all varieties I planted, so I’m ok with it.

Here is the official census of April 2015:

Kung Pao: 4

Chocolate Fatalii: 4

Purple Jalapeno: 4

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion (overwintered): 2

Naga Morich (overwintered): 2

7 pot Jonah: 2

Trinidad Doughlah: 2

Pablano: 2

Golden Cayenne: 2

Jalapeno (overwintered): 1

Thai Bird: 1

Hungarian Wax: 1

Peruvian Aji: 1

Scotch Bonnet: 1

That’s 29 total plants!  I should have my hands full this season to say the least.

The older overwintered plants are doing fine as well, they continue to grow, but the ones that I didn’t prune back have a lingering spider mite infestation.  It doesn’t seem to be seriously affecting the plant growth, but I’m trying to get rid of them either way.  I’ve sprayed them down a few times with a mixture of Dr Bronner’s peppermint soap and water.  The mites hate the soap, or so I’ve heard.  They also hate moist environments, and we just had a whole week of rain, so here’s hoping they don’t stick around.  Below you can see a hint of webbing:

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Here’s a shot of the first round of new plants:

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And here I put the finest examples of each variety up front, from left to right they are: Thai Bird, Hungarian Wax, Kung Pao, Chocolate Fatalii, 7 Pot Jonah, and Trinidad Doughlah

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I’ve got the 3 new Purple Jalapenos, and a baby Scotch Bonnet for your viewing pleasure as well:

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I’ll probably need to start pruning/topping the largest new plants soon, and then start potting them up into their permanent containers.  And then deciding which ones I need to put up for adoption, 29 plants is alot of mouths to feed!

Stay Spicy!

Moving on Up

Howdy Pepper Fans!

As you’ve already seen if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I’ve re-potted the peppers into solo cups.  I cut a few little holes in the bottom of good ol red solo cups and use a mix of potting soil and perlite (helps the soil not get too moist) as a growing medium.  This is an in between stage until they move into their final homes. I’m keeping them indoors for another week or so, to let them settle in to the new digs, then I’ll start hardening them off.  Hardening off is basically just slowing introducing them to the outside world.  You start with about 30 minutes of sun, then the next day, an hour, and so on.

Here are some before/after pictures of the re-potting, note that only one of the Purple Jalapenos (left-most column) sprouted, and it was weeks after the others.  I have multiple of all other varieties.

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I also have been able to leave the mature plants outside, as spring is in full swing here.  I did prune one of the Moruga Scorpions and one of the Naga Moriches.  I left 2 un-pruned so we can compare, the pruned plants should ultimately be more bushy, and perhaps produce more fruit.  We shall see.

Pre-pruning:

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Pruned plant

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The pruning allows light to reach the lower parts of the plant, and encourages new growth there.  Notice in the before picture there is a nice canopy of leaves at the top.  This blocks light from the lower part of the plant.  We should see new branches form lower on the pruned plant in a couple weeks.

I have also just sewed the seeds for the 2nd batch.  Since the Purple Jalapeno’s from Pepper Joe didn’t sprout, I got some from Baker Seeds.  I also got some Golden Cayenne seeds from them, and i have some Scotch Bonnets and Peruvian Ajis from pepperlover.com as well as some Pablanos from Burpee.  Its going to be a crowded farm this season!  But I like it!

Thanks for reading, I keep Instagram and Twitter updated with some good stuff every couple days, so give me a follow!

Stay Spicy!

Seeds are Sprouting!

Howdy heat lovers!

Just a quick update, but an exciting one.  I have, as I write this, about a dozen seedlings that have popped up!  Kung Paos are in the lead with 6, next up is Chocolate Fatalii with 4, the a couple Garden Birds, and one 7 Pod Jonah.

I removed the top of the greenhouse, as it seems like the condensation was dripping from the lid onto the seedlings and weighing them down.  I put the whole tray under a set of fluorescent lights, which should help them grow up enough until they are ready to do outside.

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I’ll post another update once more start popping up!  Keep an eye on the Twitter and Instagram accounts as well!

Stay Spicy!

A New Season is Upon Us

Greetings friends,

In south Louisiana, Mardi Gras is over and the golden rods are blooming.  That means 2 things:  Its crawfish season, and its pepper growing season!

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I ordered my seeds this year from Pepper Joe (www.pepperjoe.com) and I still had some left over from last year’s order (from http://www.pepperlover.com).  I highly recommend both sites!  The seeds from last year (Moruga Scorpion and Naga Viper) sprouted quickly, and the plants were very bountiful.  Also included as a bonus in last year’s order were some 7 Pod Jonah and Trinidad Doughlah seeds.  I am planting those this year along with the 5 varieties I got from Pepper Joe:  Purple Jalapeno, Kung Pao, Chocolate Fatali, Hungarian Wax, and Garden Bird peppers.

Before I get to the sowing of the seeds, I’ll touch a bit on how to keep plants over winter (known as “overwintering”).  Pepper plants like warm weather, but are pretty tolerant of the cold.  Being in south Louisiana, I can get away with leaving them outdoors a good bit, but i bring them in for a couple weeks at a time if the low temperatures are below the mid 40s.  Its best to prune the plants back a little bit, since they go somewhat dormant.  They also will stop producing peppers.  The goal is just to keep them alive, as they will take right back off once spring arrives.

Here are some pictures of my overwintered plants:  2 Moruga Scorpions, 2 Naga Vipers, and 1 Jalapeno (now my oldest at 3 years).  You can see how the bigger leaves from the summer drop off, and smaller ones replace them, this is part of the plants “dormant” stage.

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I am planting 5 varieties of seeds (for now), which is the most I’ve done so far.  Here are the seed packets:

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And a close up (but blurry) view of the seeds:

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I’ve had great success with starting seeds using Jiffy pods and greenhouses.  The pods are a form of peet that has been dehydrated.  Just add water and they puff up to about 4 times the original size.

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After they are hydrated, I “till” the soil a bit with my fingers, and then create little holes where I put the seeds.  I’m putting 2 seeds in each pod, hopefully I get 3 seedlings of each variety, then I’ll decide how many I’ll keep and give the others away as gifts.  (so be nice!)

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The lid is on, now the wait begins.

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This is the earliest I have started seeds, but later than alot of people do.  I’m lucky to have a long growing season.  The plants will be inside and under lights for the early part of their life, and hopefully the weather will be nice and warm by the time they need to move outside.

I used a grid system to keep track of which seeds are in which pods.  ABCDE down one axis, 12345 down the other.  So A1 is a Purple Jalapeno, and B2 is a Kung Pao, etc etc.

I’ll update as they sprout, stay spicy!

-Papa

Pepper Porn

Hola amigos,

I’ve been stockpiling peppers in my freezer, preparing to make a batch of hot sauce.  I have a one gallon ziploc full as of this post.  I am still too scared to eat one, after tasting a tiny sliver of the first ripe scorpion.  The temps are dropping into the 40s (F), so I have the plants inside right now.  I’ll do a more in depth post on how I keep the plants over winter soon.  I also just got a new camera, so I present to you some high quality pictures of some peppers I just picked.

Here we have 2 red Moruga Scorpions (bottom left), 2 red Naga Vipers, and 3 yellow Naga Vipers:

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Of the 2 yellow Naga plants, one plant seems to be putting out “bumpier” peppers:

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A close-up of the scorpions:

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That’s all for now, up next, hot sauce!

-Stay Spicy

Almost Ripe

What’s popping pepper lovers?!

I’ve got some peppers that are in the process of ripening and they are looking absolutely gorgeous!

I had one scorpion last week that started to ripen, but fell of the plant (it must have been dying and ripened a little early), and I tried a small piece.  It was extremely spicy.  I now have no idea what I’m going to do with these things.  They scare me.

Here are the Scorpions:

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And the Naga Vipers, which I assume are going to stay yellow:

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That’s about the size of things.  It feels good to finally see the fruits of my labor.  Now I must grow some cahones and eat them!  Stay tuned, I might try them out on some friends a post a video…

PEPPERS!

Just a quick update, but a pretty big one.  I am proud to announce that I FINALLY have some Moruga Scorpion Peppers growing!  And some Naga Vipers!

Scorpion – you can see the little “stinger”:

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Naga

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I probably have at least a dozen of each, all still very small, but growing everyday.

Ripening is another issue.  I have observed that the first batch of peppers a plant puts out tends to take a longer time to ripen than the subsequent batches.  I believe both should turn red, but we will see.

I’ll update next week some pictures of the peppers as they grow.

Stay tuned and stay spicy!  Vaya con fuego

Buds, Flowers, and… Peppers?

Greeting pepper fans,

Its been a while since the last update because frankly, not much has happened.  I know that’s boring, but it’s a good boring.  The plants have just been growing, and they are quite big and healthy.  But now, we have something.  The plants are all putting out buds, flowers, and as of now one potential pepper pod has formed!

Below is the farm, as you can see some of the new plants are almost as big as the cayennes.  

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Here’s a shot that shows how many buds and flowers are popping up on the biggest Trinidad Moruga Scorpion plant:

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Here’s a good look at a flower:

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And a potential pod, that little straight thing poking out is usually a sign that the flower was pollinated and has dropped off, and a pod is coming!

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So things are happening!  I’m keeping a close eye, and I’ll post another update, hopefully with a baby pepper!

Thanks for reading, stay spicy!!

Topping

Its almost like I know what I’m doing.

Well folks, the peppers are growing very well. I’m going to get kind of technical in this post, so grab a cup of coffee.

I now have all 5 of my superhot plants in larger containers. I am doing some experimentation with a technique called “topping.” This consists of cutting off the very top of the plant when it is young, to encourage denser growth. By denser growth I mean more branches forming lower on the plant, instead of a tall plant that branches higher up. I have some good pictures to illustrate.

I was afraid to try this last year (who would want to cut off part of a plant that they worked so hard to grow?!), but now that I see the results I am amazed.

Below are the 3 plants that were still in solo cups, these are the ones I topped. Below is immediately after topping, I just cut off the few leaves at the very top, leaving the main stalk and bigger leaves.

 

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You can see on the bottom plant that some small leaves were already starting to sprout.   Topping allows more light to reach these leaves and encourages more leaves and branches to form on the main stalk of the plant.

Here is a shot from a couple weeks later comparing a topped plant to an un-topped plant:

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Un-topped:

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As you can see the un-topped plant has a pretty barren stalk, while the topped one is much bushier.  This should lead to more branches, which hopefully leads to more peppers down the road!

Another topic I mentioned in previous posts is the roots of the plants.  I put some plants into reusable grocery bags so the roots will “self-prune.”  This is more similar to how they grow in the ground.  In a solid pot, the root will reach the side of the pot, and then make a turn and keep growing.  In these bags, when the root hits the side it can sense the air (since the bags are porous) and will stop growing.  This is “self-pruning.”

Below is a picture of the roots of a plan when removed from the solo cup.  You can see how the roots keep growing along the side of the cup:

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That’s enough technical jargon for one post, hope you learned a thing or two.

Here are the 5 plants all together:

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And a nice harvest today!:

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Stay tuned and stay spicy, there will be more to come!