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Ah, the 2012 Chile pepper season is almost upon us.  I am getting very excited this year as I will be growing all new strains that I have never worked with.  I’ve collected over 20 varieties of seeds over the winter and have a pretty good idea of what I want to grow.  I will not be growing Bhut Jolokia this season.  Instead, I have decided to grow the Buth “T” Trinidad Scorpion variety that I acquired from Pepper Joe @ Pepperjoe.com.  This pepper originated in Trinidad and Tobago.  The seeds were propagated by Butch Taylor hence where this pepper got it’s name.  The pepper tested by the Guinness book of world records was grown by Marcel de Wit of the Chilli Factory in Morisett, Australia.   This pepper not only packs one of the hottest punches known to man, the flavor I heard is irresistable.

I will also be using 5 gallon containers again.  The drip system was more of a pain than anything I have ever dealt with in gardening.  I will be using the same timer and install sprinklers or sprayers instead of the drip.  This should solve all of the problems I had with the drip system.

The seeds will be started the usual way in peat pellets under a humidity dome with a heat mat.  They will then be transplanted to 4 gallon pots under a 400 Watt HID light.

More later.

The Pepper Freak

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So I haven’t posted in a while.  All of my chile’s are doing wonderful.  I’ve harvested around 20-30 Bhut Jolokia’s, 15 Turkish Cayenne, and multiple banana peppers.  The drip irrigation system is one of the greatest things I’ve ever purchased.  It works like a charm.

The 2 tabasco plants I moved outside have around 100 peppers on them looking good.  I just recently purchased a fermentation bucket with an airlock so I can make my own homemade tabasco sauce.  I plan on using more than just tabasco peppers in it and I plan on aging it around 6 months.

I will have a pictorial on that as well as one on Bhut Jolokia Vodka, Chile Brownies and a whole tutorial on freezing and drying.

For now, here are just a few photos from the last few months.

Fluorescent Purple:

Bolivian Rainbow:

Hot Banana:

Small Bhut Jolokia peppers:

Turkish Cayenne Getting bigger:

Yes I know, I am getting behind on my weeding. Way behind! :

Small Tabasco peppers:

Ripe Bhut Jolokia:

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I started re-potting and moving everything into the basement.   I am putting them all under a 400 watt high pressure sodium bulb to pre harden them for the summer sun.

Here are some photos…

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So I decided to change my setup slightly.  I took away the Compact fluorescents and added tubes.  The light didn’t spread out enough with the CFL’s and the tubes allow me to hover the light 2 inches above the foliage. So, no more stretching sideways to reach the light…

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It’s amazing to me how beautiful Chile plants can get, and how much different Chile plants look as they start to get bigger.  When all the genes start kicking in, the plant turns to different shapes, sizes and colors.  Here is just a few photos of different varieties of the Chiles I have started growing this year.

Pepper Joe’s Long Slim Red:

Fluorescent Purple Chile (This one is really cool)

Atomic Starfish:

Bolivian Rainbow :

Bhut Jolokia :

Tabasco Pepper : These are much smaller than any other variety I grow

Peter Pepper :

Turkish Cayenne :

They are looking great.  Some of the browning tips are from the change I made to their climate.  They got to tall to be under the humidity hood, so I removed it.  I didn’t really harden them off to this and it was kind of a shock for them.  This was a lot worse but they are coming back just fine.

More tomorrow,

The Pepper Freak

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I came home today and saw a few photo opportunities after lifting the lid of the germinating hot house. I was able to snap a few photos of some of the varieties that are sprouting already.

Here is a great shot of the first Bhut Jolokia to pop up:

Here is a very cool photo of an italian pepperoncini pepper just barely poking it’s head out:

Here, you can see that my Peter peppers are growing strong. They are tall and lanky and the leaves are still pointed skyward. All of the Peter pepper seedlings I observed are doing this.

Only 2 of the Atomic starfish are poking:

A few shots of my most prolific strain so far, the PepperJoe Long Slim Red:

Hot Banana Pepper:

And last, another Bhut Jolokia:

In all, I sowed 2-3 seeds each in 64 spots. 8 spots for Bhut Jolokia, 8 spots for Turkish Cayenne, 8 spots for Tabasco, 8 spots for Peter peppers. 4 spots for Atomic Starfish, 4 spots for Hot Banana, 4 spots for Long Slim Red, 4 spots for Fluorescent Purples, 8 spots for Atomic Starfish, 8 spots for Bolivian rainbow, and 4 spots for Italian pepperoncini.

So far, the Bolivian Rainbow, Turkish cayenne and the Tabasco varieties have not germinated. I am keeping my fingers crossed because I was really looking forward to the Bolivian Rainbows and Tabasco.

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Wow, what a winter in Michigan.  At this point right now we have only received half the amount of snow that fell last year at this time.  We actually had more snow fall than Anchorage AK last year.  I am actually kind of glad that we had a mild winter.’

Spring couldn’t come any faster.   I am starting to prepare for garden season already.  I ordered a vast amount of pepper seeds from pepperjoe.com and started germinating them indoors last week friday.

This year, I will be growing only peppers as we plan to buy a house in the middle of the summer.  I can grow my peppers in containers and just bring them with me.

The peppers I chose to grow this year are Bhut Jolokia (The hottest pepper in the world) Which looks like this poking through:


 Tabasco, Peter Pepper, Bolivian Rainbow, Turkish Cayenne, Fluorescent Purple, Hot Banana, Long Slim Red’s, and Atomic Starfish.  Yes, I know, this is a plethora of peppers.  Just how I like it.

I will probably transplant 2 of each variety into 2 gallon containers except for cayenne and tabasco.  I will grow 4 of each of those for hot sauce and cayenne pepper powder.  I will choose the most vigorous of each and then just give the rest away. 

I am quite disapointed that I can’t have a larger garden this year but with my new house I will be able to have as big of garden as I choose which will be nice.
Bee season is also coming up.  I gotta take a trip out to Saranac and check on the hives out there and supply feed as needed.   The bees in my backyard did not survive the winter.   They were a late swarm I took out of a tree and didn’t have enough time to build up enough honey stores.  I will clean out the hive in march and get it ready for new bees.

Look for more posts as spring gets busier and lots of photos as well!

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