How Did You Get Started Growing Peppers?

tsheets(5)January 24, 2013

I saw a couple of posts in another thread that got me wondering how everyone got started in growing peppers, how long you've been growing, etc..

I started just growing bell peppers and tomatoes about 6-7 years ago. Then as I expanded my space each year I tried Cayenne and Serranos from the local garden center. Then about 4 years ago I discovered and saw all the peppers they had and just thought I'd try some that sounded interesting (without knowing anything about what I was selecting). It was shortly after that, I found gardenweb and the rest is history. :-)

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My grandfather passed and there were seeds left over from his gardening. Around 2006/7 I started growing peppers, California Wonder, from those seeds. A side note: I have Better Boys started on a shelf here from one of his seed packs dated 2005.

This post was edited by pretty.gurl on Thu, Jan 24, 13 at 23:07

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 11:06PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Okay, I'll play : )

Bought a new house in 2006, with a dirt yard. Spent the 1st year designing flower beds, and researching perennials that do well in my high desert/mountain climate. 2nd year, added a vegetable bed, and started wintersowing seeds outdoors in recyclable containers. No luck with the peppers. So in 2008, I decided to sow a few peppers (8 varieties) indoors, all sweets or very mild varieties. Started canning, and discovered that the salsa was too mild. Each year since then, I've increased the grow list and the heat level.

This year, I'm growing 65 varieties, and the max. heat level is Choc. Habanero to Scotch Bonnet. Still haven't gotten brave enough to grow any supers yet.


This post was edited by highalttransplant on Thu, Jan 24, 13 at 23:13

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 11:10PM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

I started by accident :) leftover habanero chili seeds from the kitchen started grew like weeds. Then my favorite ghost seeds availability on the net made me more serious on growing chili. Finally the internet resources mainly the gardenweb converted me a hobby container gardener.

Now I have many different super hot and hot chili seedlings for this season. A bit worry about the climatic condition and the space I have here.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 3:15AM
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It started when I was shopping for seedlings for my garden years ago. I noticed a tag on a habanero seedling. It said, "HOTTEST PEPPER IN THE WORLD". Up until this year the habanero has been the hottest pepper in my garden. Hopefully, this year, I'll be able to grow some of the true SUPER HOTS.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 8:03AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

I had my first garden, and at the time me and my soon to be husband both liked cooking Thai and tex-mex style foods. So I bought a 4 pack of cayennes. It was a fairly shady garden, but they gave us a few pods which were refreshing when cooked. Then I discovered that there were lots and lots of other peppers besides bells, jalapenos, cayennes, and habaneros. My growing languished until we moved here a couple of years ago, though. That shady garden never did get less shady.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 11:14AM
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Last year my wife went on a two week vacation and I stayed home do to work. Got boared so went to a garden center for weed eater string. I seen some Jalapeno plants along with a Tabasco plant. I bought them and well... Here I am a year later trying for a second year growing. Am hooked now.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 11:15AM
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I actually had my first garden when I was about 8 yrs old (over 4 decades ago). My uncle grew jalapenos and got me started growing them in my teens. I grew them and the usual, cayenne, serrano, biker billy, kung pao. In the 90's either Burpee or Park listed the Habanero, so I tried them, now I grow over 100 varieties of chiles.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 11:21AM
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3 years ago I went to a local Giant food store and seen habanero peppers unusual for my area. Thought I buy them and bet I can make a hot sauce having never made hot sauce gave it a go, It worked out great but I thought there has to be something hotter so the quest began and discovered the Bhut Jolokia. I ordered my first two plants they arrived via USPS and have been growing them from seed ever since. I make lots of hot sauce every year now. Thanks to all my GW friends for furthering my addiction with multiple pepper varieties through generosity, trade, and seed swaps.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 4:02PM
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Thanks for the responses, so far!

A couple lifetimes ago, when I was just starting out on my own, we had a small garden with various veggies, including bell peppers. But, I hadn't discovered hot peppers yet at that point, and I didn't have a garden for a dozen or so years. Then about 6-7 years ago, I got back into gardening. :-)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 6:55PM
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I started the year before last growing miniature "decorative" peppers supposedly.. and some were supposed to be hot, and some were supposed to be sweet. I spent the entire summer trying to care for these things and ended up with two plants that survived. My tiny peppers turned a deep purple color as they ripened and when I finally harvested them.. expecting something amazing.. it was just a bell pepper.. none of them hot either.
So... the following year (last year.. also my first year on this forum) I decided to try some classic hot peppers - cayenne and jalapeno. This time I ended up with some really nice peppers but not nearly enough.. I'm overwintering two of the plants in hopes of getting a bigger harvest next year. I'm also going to add a few other varieties in.. Alma Paprika and Czech Black. I wish I had more room to do this though... I only have a small balcony & I grow them in containers.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 9:34PM
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Back in 1990 I moved into a rural rental that had a garden area. It was late Fall and there were still a few harvest-able things that the previous tenant left including some jalapenos. I'd only been gardening a few years then and it was fun harvesting and using the leftovers. The following season I bought some plants that were supposed to be bell peppers but turned out to be tabasco. Around the same time a co-worker brought in to work some homemade salsa and I was hooked on hot peppers.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 11:29PM
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I started growing my peppers in 2004. My wife and I had an opportunity to plant in a community garden. So we went to the local garden nursery and purchased 20-30 pepper plant (Jalapeno, bells, Hungarian hot wax, Anaheim, Habs) on so on, all common variety. We got tons of peppers and pickled most. In the fall of 2004 I started looking at different types of peppers in particular Peperoncini peppers. I checked with my garden nursery to see if they sale the plants in the spring, they had no idea what I was talking about. I did some research and purchase seeds on line. Since then (2005) I have grown my own plants. I find it's more fun to have unlimited possibilities verses being limited to common or stock on hand. I stated saving seeds from peppers / tomatoes about 4 years ago. I wish I had started saving seeds when I started growing. I guess it takes 1 or 2 great varieties to go by before you kick yourself and say "I wish I had some of those seeds from last year". I save a little of everything now.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 4:04AM
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I have had a garden for 27 years. We took down our pool several years ago and put in a much larger garden, I started growing Habs and Jalapenos for salsa. Last year I was gifted seeds for a Naga and made the best salsa ever, this year I was gifted with a very nice variety. I am afraid my pepper addiction is going to catch up with my tomato's. Nothing like garden fresh goodies. It's my passion.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 7:34AM
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It's scarey how addicting it can be! I have been looking to move for the past couple years - maybe it will happen this year ;-) - and one of the driving forces is more garden space / less shade. Though, I am a little afraid of how overboard I will go if I have more space. I have so many peppers dried already haha! I usually have a dozen or so plants in the garden and another dozen or so in pots.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 4:22PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Well, I grew up gardening alongside my dad.

It wasn't until 2008, however, that I started growing hot peppers.
It wasn't for flavor, or heat, at the time: it was simply for the challenge of keeping
a pepper plant alive for several years. Online, I learned that all peppers are perennial,
and I said to myself, "Well there's finally a reason to grow a pepper plant!" I started
with a Hungarian Wax, overwintered it, and found that I actually liked peppers that didn't
taste like Bells or Jalapenos or Habaneros. Key to my interest in this hobby was also
Fatalii's Guide to Bonchi (bonsai peppers), from which I took direction for overwintering
and growing peppers as houseplants for the Winter indoors.

In addition to the challenge of overwintering plants that are treated by most as "annuals," I have really grown to enjoy trying new flavors, documenting the seasonal gardening progress, and trading seeds with other folks who are just as enthusiastic as I am.


This post was edited by greenman28 on Tue, Dec 31, 13 at 13:19

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 5:06PM
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I've been gardening ever since I can remember, planting flowers bulbs with my mother separating houseplants like spider plant aloe vera etc.
The first time I ever tried to start a garden of my own I think I was 8. I started digging a hole in the backyard then I hit a cement slab so I dug all around it thinking "what a find" when my father came home he freaked out, turns out I had dug up the lid to the septic tank! Well he calmed down a bit and saw my passion and gave me a spot of my own in his garden, somehow every year my spot got bigger and bigger.
It's been a long time since then now I have many gardens all over my property. Hope my neighbors don't mind, they must think I'm a nut!
I got into hot peppers about 15 years ago. My uncle is a hot pepper nut he eats cayennes like they were candy. He loves them so much his wife carrys around dried hot peppers in her purse in a zip lock bagie. When I saw his garden with all those colors I was hooked.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 5:36PM
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I honestly don't remember how it all started years ago. I know it had to do with discovering a new vietnamese restaurant where the owner had an awesome special spicy chile sauce. Next thing I knew, I was ordering seedlings from new jersey.. and then seeds from all over the web, while maintaining a stock of 20+ plants going in my tiny apartment.

and its just evolved into more and more spice driven experiments and sauces. the more advanced my experiments get, the more I want to focus on growing a wider variety of nuclears... lava wha? moruga scorpion who?

I hear you tsheets. The more i grow these bebes, the more I want to find a house with more space to grow them.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:41PM
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lorabell NC(8)

Gardening has been a challange while traveling with the military for 30 years and moving every 2 or so years living on bases that didn't allow for anything but a few flowers...and even they had to be removed when we left! I was able to rent small garden spots at most places but never tried peppers...just something we never grew growing up in zone 3A where I came from!

So we ended up with this 100 year old house and farmette in NC that had been neglected for many years. I'm starting year 3 and am still working daily at putting in gardens, making soil, planting fruit trees, etc.. trying to make up for lost time.

Hot peppers started because I make jams/jellies etc for a living and wanted to do a pepper jelly.... Found this forum, received some awesome Naga Mix(thank you Bruce) seeds that ended up making the best ever pepper jelly. Bill sent me some Alma Paprika seeds that started my quest for producing my own Paprika blends, and from there it has exploded. I've over 100 varieties that I'm growing out this year, but apparently that's not enough as I just read another post raving on Lemon Drop so I need to put that on my 'wish list' now as well!HA

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 8:41AM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

Like so much else, it's my ex-wife's fault. She has long been a gardener but lives in a condo now. Three years ago she showed up with a buttload of little herbs and peppers in pots and we had a grand time preparing beds and setting them in. I still have the oregano (prune with machete, please), thyme, sage, chives, (already had rosemary) and really took to using fresh herbs in cooking. (Btw, this year's late basils are still alive. I must be doing something right!)

The peppers she brought were nothing special - 6 cowhorns (why?), a cayenne, two mammoth jalapenos, two little ornamentals. But I got hooked nonetheless. Both japs, the cayenne (world's toughest plant), and one cowhorn are still with me. I took pods off both the cowhorn and cayenne this past week, too. There's much to be said for mobile gardening. Roll the wagon out for sun, in for frost.

She bought me my first adult bicycle, too, and look what that turned into! Much to answer for. Yep.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 3:20PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Lorabell, I put Lemon Drop on your wishlist. I am pretty sure I still have some from last year's Pick-A-Peck of Peppers swap, so I'll throw a packet in your envelope.

It's funny, I started making homemade paprika with Alma Paprika my first year of growing peppers too, and now I have a cabinet full of jars of various pepper powders.

Yes, it's a very addicting hobby!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 3:37PM
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I got some Lemon Drop seeds from a forum member several years ago and really like them. And I also got some Alma Paprika seeds from Bill this past Fall and plan to grow those (along with several other paprika varieties) this year. :-)

Strangely enough, I've never even tasted pepper jelly. I keep meaning to make some, but, it just hasn't happened yet.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 7:02PM
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lorabell NC(8)

Bonnie, Thank you, that would be great. I do appreciate you enabling my habit!ha Honestly, I think I'm this close to being on an episode of Plant Hoarders... So many rooms and windows of my house glow from florecent lighting that I'm surprised I haven't been questioned!

Tsheets, I love pepper jelly over cream cheese! yum. The last batch I made turned out a bit hotter then expected, I didn't think it was that bad until several guys testing it (I sell at a Military base) actually got tears in their eyes! This week I calmed it down to mild, maybe medium. The naga pepper gives it a great flavor... Throw me an e-mail if you would like to try some...

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:45AM
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a friend of mine's mother gave me a ghost chili pepper starter kit which I now have 20 pods on. I have just planted and have got started germinating habaneros and jalapenos and I'm looking for more seeds presently. this is my new hobby

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:23PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

> "I didn't think it was that bad until several guys testing it (I sell at a Military base) actually got tears in their eyes!"

Don't tone it down too much. Those guys will be back, I wager. Probably towing "friends" they want to introduce. The endorphins are addictive so even more new customers.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:31PM
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A mate of mine from Florida, USA actually got me into gardening in general - with a focus on Chilies - about 3 years ago.

He was always talking about them, and since I enjoy the heat and taste, thought I'd give it a go.

Started off with some Birds eye Firecrackers, Jalapeno Macho Nacho, and some Orange Habaneros.
Unfortunately I had to abandon them when I moved mid last year, but I've since started up again at my new place.
Happy to say I've got a much greater variety now - Jalapeno, Red & Orange Habanero, Cayenne, Tepin, Yellow 7 pod/pot, Yellow Hot Wax, Thai, Bishop's crown, Firecrackers (from seed I saved :D), and a lot more I have to sow (Bhuts - white, red, & purple, Douglah, Ball, Bell, Trinidad Scorpion ButchT, Bulgarian carrot, plus a lot more) just need to work on some bigger gardens, lol.

Hoping to get some Trinidad Moruga Scorpion seeds in the coming weeks, too. Should be a real treat :D

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 10:55PM
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Pepperz, let us know if your white ghost grows true. So far people selling white ghost have no pics and you end up with a red ghost :-( it's a shame.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:46AM
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For a long time, I resisted growing peppers in the garden, though I have always loved spicy food. The reason being, I had always thought of my garden as a showcase for ornamentals (woody plants and perennials), rather than functional plants - I did grow herbs for use in the kitchen, but who wants all those unsightly vegetables cluttering up the garden - yes, I am one of that type. More importantly, I was clueless about the variety of peppers available.

What changed my mind was when I stumbled upon the Cross Country Nurseries website...with so many different varieties and choices it opened up a whole new world. Growing peppers all of a sudden meant more than fresh Jalapenos, it meant access to pods that were otherwise completely unavailable. Catch was, CCN sells a minimum of 18 plants. For the past two years, I have sampled 18 different varieties. The first year, I threw in 3 or 4 mild varities (grenada seasoning etc.) so the family could join in the fun. What a waste, they were never interested in even trying them. So last year, all 18 were hot varieties. Like Bonnie, I have yet to sample anything hotter than Scotch Bonnet. This year, I will grow from seed for the first time, and try some super-hots to boot. Well, as we all know, it really is addictive.

I grow pepper plants in 5 gallon containers so I can keep them segregated off from the rest of the garden. Maybe someday I'll add more functional plants to the garden...but I hope not. The family is always asking about growing raspberries and blackberries...can't think of many plants that are uglier, LOL. On the other hand, I have learned that pepper plants can be very attractive, as we see in the current photo thread. So I think my love for peppers is a one-off...though I am toying with the idea of tomatoes this year...probably need to buy some more 5 gal buckets...


    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 1:04PM
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lorabell NC(8)

****Don't tone it down too much. Those guys will be back, I wager. Probably towing "friends" they want to introduce. The endorphins are addictive so even more new customers.
**** know, you're right. I've been struggling with this for several weeks on standardizing the hotness and which would be best... As of today, the daughter (my partner in crime) and I have decided to carry 3 speeds. Hot, Hella-hot, and Naga Nuclear. I need to get to the kitchen and start a working..Valentines Week is good for the 'HOT' stuff!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 3:24PM
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I was finally able to move out of my parents. I've always had a fascination with growing things. But...I was never allowed to follow MY dreams & passions. I've always dreamed of having a large garden full of veggies, flowers, & fruits. In the past 2 1/2 years, I have been gradually building up my garden. I love peppers. I'm currently babying 9 jalepeno seedlings & a Bolivian rainbow. But I'm having problems with the Bolivian rainbow :( I have not been successful in getting it to live long enough to grow its second set of leaves :(

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:03PM
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Hello, I have been lurking on this forum for a while. You helped me through my first two years of tomatoes, and now I am trying my first Ghost pepper. I am a novice, growing my little guy inside but so far so good. I grew it from some seeds that I got out of some peppers I bought at a local farmers market. I am excited to see my plant produce, but I think it will be a while yet.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Great stories all.
I got started when droughts killed all of our native Tepin around here. So, I found and got a bunch of Tepin and Pequin seeds, and started them in the green house. They were wildly successful, and now I don't have to plant any more as these have naturalized well. I'm trying to naturalize Thai Hots now. I've hooped my Ghosts, and have one in a large pot in the GH and it's putting out leaves. If they survive this winter, then I won't have to plant those, and can concentrate on other varieties.
Peppers love to be drip irrigated here, and it really gets the nutrients into the soil on a regular basis.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 2:43PM
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jutsFL(9b (Orlando))

Picked up a Thai Chilli plant at a Kmart about 6 years ago. Had no clue what I was doing, but that little plant produced more peppers than I knew what to do with! That got me hooked. I've always grown pre-started plants from the store up until this year. Now I'm on my first attempt with seed germination and some super hots. The scale is getting larger too, and my girlfriend may think I'm a bit crazy at this point.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 6:01PM
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For every chili-head, there's someone nearby that thinks they are absolutely crazy! LOL Guess it goes with the territory. :-)

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 10:35PM
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I've always been a ChileHead... In the 70's & 80's I had to go to the counter to ask for hot pepper flakes at the local pizza palace. In the '80's & 90's I drove to Bawstan to find hot pepper sauce in bottles at Faneuil Hall specialty shops (TABASCO!). I bought my current home in '95 and had a garden in '96. The first plants? Hot peppers for me & zukes for the wife. NEXT!

This post was edited by northeast_chileman on Sat, Dec 27, 14 at 16:25

    Bookmark   December 27, 2014 at 4:22PM
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I have always liked a little spice, and had heard that the Bhut Jolokia was the hottest in the world, so thought I wanted to try it, the hottest. This was all fall 2013. So I go online to our favorite auction site and buy some seeds. Then I do a little looking into starting them from seeds and come across a post somewhere that the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion was the hottest. Back online and buy those. Then I find a scale of some sort listing SHU of peppers, and order a few more. I am sure you all know how this is going to continue on from here. Second year grower now for 2015 and 30 varieties going in the ground, 2 of each. And that's all I gotta say about that.....

    Bookmark   December 27, 2014 at 5:07PM
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Also forgot to mention that about 5 are mild, Jalapeno and lower, then it takes off from there up the magical scale.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2014 at 5:08PM
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I was discussing feral cats with a casual acquaintance, he had been coming to me for advice. I have no idea how gardening came up but he wanted to give me a Bhut Jolokia seedling later, "When they are ready". He gave it to me in August and explained all the fine nuances about watering, up potting, wintering over... the works. I was raising and lowering the blinds for it all winter and forgetting to water it until it drooped. It liked that and enchanted me by flowering in February which led me to the other Hot Peppers Forum and then to GW. That one plant is in its second overwinter and many peppers later, here I am, making Bhut Jolokia fudge tonight.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2014 at 7:55PM
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Omg, Mary! Send my your recipe, pretty please!. When I did my Christmas baking this year, I was thinking that I could probably do fudge or brownies with hot peppers, but the thought was a bit late for me to incorporate it this year. I use hot pepper powder whenever I make hot chocolate. Chocolate + hot peppers =

    Bookmark   December 27, 2014 at 8:40PM
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Erica,yesterday I scored three Carnation Famous Fudge kits at CVS pharmacy, half price after Christmas. Three dollars each, Walgreen's carries them, too. It is not that I need a kit, but when chocolate chips cost 2.50, it is cost effective to buy the kit. Add whatever you want to it.
Maybe I'll do it tomorrow, while the Bears are losing to the Vikings.
How did you get started in peppers?

This post was edited by cottonwood468 on Sat, Dec 27, 14 at 22:26

    Bookmark   December 27, 2014 at 10:05PM
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I'm not sure I can really pin-point how I got started with peppers. I've loved tomatoes and peppers for as long as I can remember. Sometime around Feb of this year, shortly after I joined GW, I was doing a seed trade and the guy I was trading with pointed me to the pepper forum and LeafEricson's pepper offer. I think I caught the tail end of it, but I was thrilled with what I got. I grew many of them this year, however I was quite late getting started, so many didn't have a chance to produce peppers. Lately, the more I learn, the more interest I have in them. So I guess the long and short of it is that my pepper obsession was something ingrained in my psyche, but brought to fruition by LeafEricson's generosity.

This post was edited by EricaBraun on Sat, Dec 27, 14 at 23:04

    Bookmark   December 27, 2014 at 10:50PM
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ironmike_usmc zone 6A CT

I've always liked hot sauce/salsa/chili since I was a little kid. Watching my uncles scarf down bowls of hot salsa at picnics, and my dad had a great chili recipe. I'd always attempt to eat what heat levels the adults were eating, trying to show my little cousins how "cool" and tough I was. As an adult, my wife's (and my) favorite hot sauce is Buffalo Wild Wings' Mango Habanero sauce. Fast forward to last Spring (2014), and I thought, "I should try to make this stuff at home.....I should try to grow my own Habanero plant!" I went to my local nursery and picked up a few seedling trays- jalapeño, cayenne, habanero, and Scotch Bonnets (definitely my personal favorite). Went back to get fertilizer one day and saw a couple flats of seedlings labeled "Ghost Peppers," so I grabbed them and they grew true. Since then, I'm absolutely hooked. I'd spent my entire adolescence forming this macho, tough guy persona, eventually joining the Marines, and now working as an Ironworker. Now, my buddies break my stones about denying their invitations to the bar, because I've found a "really cool garden soil mix I want to make today..." Haha! Even my grandmother thinks it's HILARIOUS how "domesticated" I've become! Her to my mother: "Wait...What? Michael's been canning?! Haha! Are you serious?!"
Anyway, that's how I got here! Definitely my favorite hobby to date. Seems to keep me out of trouble...


    Bookmark   December 28, 2014 at 11:21AM
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t-bob(west wa)

growing up, my family used absolutely zero spice or hot stuff including garlic and ginger.....well my mom used about 2 garlic cloves a year. In 2001 I returned to Central Texas to take care of the farm as my dad was going thru cancer treatment. He had a bunch of sweet peppers and I just loved the plants and flowers. The next year, after returning to Washington State I tried sweet peppers, but also noticed other friends growing peppers and the different growth habit and flowers. The next year I planted serranos,Jalapenos, cayenne, and some sweet peppers.....and dagnabbit, If I was going to grow them, I was going to eat the darn things. As we all know, the more you eat, the more you can handle. these years my hottest are Scotch Bonnets and Habs, maybe one year I'll try a super hot, but for now I am just fine with the heat level I got going on...kind of drives my wife a bit crazy with my obsession, but her heat level is slowly rising too.....but soon it will be time to sprout seeds, Oh My, sorry honey

    Bookmark   December 28, 2014 at 7:36PM
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Mike -- Loved your story. I think just about every woman loves a guy who would rather be out gardening than going to a bar with the guys. =P

    Bookmark   December 28, 2014 at 7:47PM
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Like many others my gardening started as a salsa garden last year. My father-in-law has always had a garden and always canned some jalapeños every year for us. We would go through them pretty quickly. I told my wife I wouldn't mind trying a garden out and she recommended a salsa garden. But as I do many hobbies, I went overboard and ended up with cucumbers, zucchini, and quite a few different herbs.
I absolutely loved it. Everything being so fresh and right outside your door. One day I went to the local nursery perusing what they had and saw a Carribean Red Habanero plant. I figured, what the hell. My father-in-law always put one hab in with the jalapeños to make them a little spicer. I could just use them for that and perhaps some salsas. I had the plant in a pot and not having any real gardening knowledge had it potted too small. So when my flowers began falling off as the plant got bigger I went on the Internet to figure out what was going on. I stumbled upon a post here that had my answer.
Then I started looking at other posts and soaking in all this knowledge as well as seeing all the different varieties and flavors that were available. I was amazed at all the possibilities. I love experimenting with cooking and the thought of having so many options was very interesting.
Needless to say now, I'm hooked. I'm going to have between 30-40 varieties if and when I cull my list down after getting a bounty of seeds from the swap.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2014 at 2:52PM
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SoCarRob (Zone 7)

Last spring my inlaws had some pickled cayenne peppers and gave me a jar. I loved them and decided that I could grow them myself. So being a late start my cousin had some jalapeno seedlings he wasn't going to plant so he gave me some. I planted those. I stopped by the local home improvement box store and they had some banana pepper plants and some cow horn pepper plants there so I bought one of each to add to my garden. I put away several jars of rings and ate quite a few fresh peppers as well as gave a bunch away to friends. I am looking forward to this coming year thanks to the seed swap here on GW as my variety list has exploded and I am anxious to learn and try some new types!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2014 at 5:07PM
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centexan254 zone 8 Temple, Tx

I started out by helping Grampa with his garden. As I was growing up Mom had a garden as well. I helped out with that as well.

Several years ago when I lived in the eastern part of the state I was working for a cattle ranch. I mentioned my love of gardening to the owner's wife. The next day I was given orders to make her the nicest garden in the county. I did just that. It took two weeks of work to the get the 1 acre fenced garden for row crops done. As well as the 12 raised beds near the house done. A landscape company did the work for installing the irrigation system with timers for everything.

I planted lots of different things throughout all of the beds. Two were for peppers. One bed of sweet peppers, one bad of hot peppers. I also did 6 large planters (Half wine barrels on rollers that could be taken into the garage for cold snaps.) The large planters were planted with jalapeno, pablano, bell, gypsy, and one habanero.) The ones in planters lived for 4 years. The hab plant wound up looking like a tree. They said they had to use a t post to support it when it started setting fruit.

Fast forward a couple of years to the house I moved into, and still live in. Two years ago my wife wanted a garden. Her attempts just were no working so I stepped in to help out. I then added one for myself. The next season I go to have it all for me. She just helps out with harvesting. This past season I had a way better than expected harvest of everything.

Last year my heat level for growing was Mexibell, jalapeno, and pablano. I picked up a couple of super hots at grocery store that I stumbled into. They are inside now. And have pods ripening now.

I was in on the holiday seed swap here. I now have a heat mat, and thermostat with 20 seeds started. As those sprout they will be taken off of the heat, and others placed there to replace them. I will continue with this as long as I have room.

I am bad enough I have even given thought to renting a community garden plot from the city to have a little more space to plant some more peppers.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2014 at 11:18AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Beautiful pepper stories that I have read.

I, myself, have always liked spicy/peppery foods. My mother used to grow hot peppers like Cayenne.

My adventure began about 10 years ago, when I saw HABANERO peppers in an Asian market. I saw a man picking some. I asked him, how hot there were. And he said that they (habs) are the hottest peppers he knows. I asked him, how much of it he uses in cooking. He said about half a pod, maybe less.

So I bough a few and started cooking with them. That is how I got hooked. The following year I grew couple of them...
When I became a GW member, I remember some people were growing over 100 varieties. I thing it was Smokemaster or somebody by the name of Peppermeister. I was so amazed. I had no clue at the time that there are so many pepper varieties. Lo and behold, our own Johnny the Pepper Clause alone handled over 400 varieties just weeks ago.

So here I am. in 2015 I will grow couple of superhots. I aint no scared no more . hehe


    Bookmark   January 1, 2015 at 6:05AM
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