Growing Peppers

Peppers are an extremely popular plant to grow indoors or outdoors anywhere in the world whether you’re in a hot or a cold climate, there is always a chance you will be able to grow peppers successfully and get great tasting peppers.

The choice of peppers in unbelievable at the moment, and with at least 2,500 new species of pepper being created each year and with many of them not even getting time to be named, your perfect pepper cant be far away. To get started with growing peppers you’ll need good soil ( lots of organic matter, and good drainage ),and a warm enough growing season.

Drip watering is the best way to prevent diseases and keep watering to a minimum which is especially best for hot peppers. Mulching is crucial for all peppers especially sweet peppers because their roots tend to be shallow. Regular fertilizer is important or use a slow release type which will last for the entire season. Pepper plants grow best in warm, well-drained soils of moderate fertility and good tilth. The plants are not particularly sensitive to soil acidity, but best results are obtained in the 6.0 to 6.8 pH range.

habanero

Habanero peppers

As peppers are of tropical origin, plants thrive best when temperatures are warm. Being sensitive to the cold, planting should be delayed until the danger of frost is past in the spring. Ideal temperatures are 70 to 80 degrees F during the day, and 60 to 70 degrees F at night.

Spacing can vary by variety but most pepper plants will grow to around 2 feet in diameter. It is ok to have the top leaves touching slightly which will help shade the fruit and roots when the summer temperatures rise.

The best place to get hold of peppers is normally at garden centres or seed specialists if you’re lucky enough to have on close by. These areas will give you a huge choice of seeds for different peppers to grow and each should have a good description on the back of all the things the pepper will need and what the pepper is like taste wise, but in case you haven’t got all the time in the word to scour through endless packets of seeds reading which will be best for you, here are some popular options which should suit most peoples needs and tastes.

Habanero Peppers

These orange or red peppers are extremely hot; if you’re looking to get some really hot and spicy peppers then these are for you. Blocky, wrinklked peppers measure about 2 inches long and slightly less wide, maturing from silvery-green to bright orange on the plant. At about 200,000 – 300,000 scoville units you wont be able to taste too much after eating one of these. Also, a habanero pepper can have as much as 6 times as much vitamin C found in an orange. In medicine, habanero peppers have been known to aid in respiratory problems, to clear your sinuses, act as a decongestant and help you expel mucus out of your body.

habanero-peppers1

Jalapeno Peppers

These are a very popular choice in bottled salsa due to the strong flavour of these peppers, a good choice to grow if like something with bite but not as hot as the habanero, a great tasting pepper. On the “heat index” of hot peppers, the jalapeno is relatively “mild”. Jalapeno peppers are about two to three inches in length and are mostly green or with a red blush. Select jalapeno peppers that are firm and free of bruises, blemishes, and wrinkles.

jalapeno

Bell peppers

These are the sweetest peppers available, very easy to grow and do not have a hot of spicy flavour to them at all, these peppers are great for family meals for kids and within salads, advised for first time pepper growers. They come in many different colors. Green is the most common, but most stores have red and yellow and sometimes orange. Green bell peppers are picked before they are fully ripe and therefore not as sweet and slightly bitter than the the fully ripe ones. The colored ones are a little more expensive than the the green partly because when allowed to fully ripen pepper plants stop making new fruit.


Bell peppers are generally able to grow best where the soil temperatures stay moist and cool in the summer months. The tops of the plants don’t mind getting hot but the soil must remain cooler than the top leaves and branches.

bell-peppers

Cayenne peppers

Another very hot pepper just falling short of the hot and spicy habanero, cayenne’s have 5,000 – 30,000 scoville heat measurement making them the second hottest of the popular peppers, a very nice strong tasting pepper great for salsas. Cayenne Peppers are long and thin with a slightly crinkled shape. They are about the the thickness of a pencil and get to three to five inches in length. They are bright red in color when ripe and very hot. These are the peppers commonly used in Cajun cooking.

Cayenne-Peppers

Thai Hot Peppers

Thai Hot Peppers are fairly small, but very hot. These little peppers are the heat in much of Thai cooking. They are about 1/2 inch wide and 1/2 to two inches in length. They are usually picked red, and are used both fresh and dried.

thai-hot-peppers

Serrano peppers

Serrano peppers look similar to jalapenos but are noticeably hotter and much milder than habaneros.These peppers have very thin walls making them easy to cook and prepare. These are a good peppers to grow for all round taste, heat units, and ease to grow. Best eaten when green and not left to ripen. They have moderate pungency, ranging from 15,000 to 30,0000 scoville units. Serranos are used often fresh, but are also canned as “serranos en escabeche” (packed in vinegar, onions, carrots and herbs) which is used as a popular relish that is sometimes added to sauces. For fresh or cooked sauces, it is used either raw or grilled, chopped, or ground with other ingredients. The seeds are not removed.

serrano-peppers

Hungarian Yellow Wax Peppers (Hot Banana)

Hungarian Yellow Wax Peppers are medium hot. This long narrow pepper is used for stuffing, frying and pickling. Enough heat to add kick to your meals without burning your mouth. Fruits start off pale yellow and ripen to red. They are great for adding a little spice to soups and stews. They are two to four inches wide and four to eight inches in length. They are normally picked yellow, but can be picked red. Fertilize every 2 weeks until fruit appears.

hungarian hot wax peppers

Sweet Banana Peppers

The sweet banana pepper is long and thin and vaguely shaped like a banana. The plants are very productive even in short season gardens. It is usually five to eight inches long and one and one half to three inches in diameter slightly curved and tapering to a blunt point. When immature banana peppers are green and they ripen to yellow and eventually turn bright red. Sweet banana peppers look very much like Hungarian hot peppers, so if you grow both, make sure to label them correctly. Also if you buy them at a farmers market make sure you ask which are which so as not to get a hot surprise.

Sweet banana peppers as their name says are very sweet and many times are used in salads, relish trays, and garnishments. They are also pickled, and the pickled peppers are very often put on sandwiches and hot dogs.

Sweet Banana Peppers

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