Just ordered my first pepper seeds. Need advice.

markindmillsJanuary 27, 2013

I have recently ordered several different pepper seeds ( Trinidad scorpion, bhut jolokia, black pearl, chocolate hobanero, Georgia flame, holy mole, jalape�o , and purple jalape�o)
I have never grown peppers or anything else for that matter, I have no idea what I am getting into, I just know that I am very interested in growing peppers especially the ghost pepper. I am seeking advice about harvesting, canning, growing, drying, ect I would like to experiment with different ways of preserving my peppers (if I can even grow any)
I am considering growing my ghost peppers inside my home because I have read about how they are more difficult to raise and my home is located in Marengo county Alabama on top of a sandy hill. I have attempted to grow a few ornamental plants here before but have been unsuccessful due to the problems of keeping the soil damp on top of a sandy hill. I guess for starters I need to know if I can raise my ghost peppers indoors if I use heat lamps to regulate the temperature or will I have to move them outside to get them to bear fruit? How far from other peppers will I have to keep them to prevent cross pollination? Is there anything peculiar about any of the other species that I have listed above that would make them difficult to raise in my environment? Can anyone tell me how to can peppers? Can I use plastic mayonase jars? Will the heat in the peppers make a metal lid corrode?
As you can tell by now, I am quite ignorant about raising peppers, this will be my first attempt but I am determined to make it work.

Hope to hear from y'all soon.

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Wow that's alot of questions. I'll try and answer a few.
That sandy hill is the best for peppers you just need to get some mulch to cover it with, most towns have a big pile of wood chips for free check with your town. When my block was first built the contractor basicly stip mined all the top soil off and sold it leaving behind sand and rock (an illegal practice where I live) nothing grows here. But I found a way by top dressing with as much wood chips I can get. The peppers now grow great and I barely have to water.
Don't use plastic mayonase jars, buy some all American Ball Mason jars. Canning/pickling is easy and fun to do. Check the link below about canning, It's a great place to start.
Start small with just a few plants, it's very easy to get carried away and over plant even for the well seasoned gardener. Less plants the more you can focus on their paticular needs, the greater chance of sucess.


Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.pickyourown.org/allaboutcanning.htm

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 11:14PM
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Growing Indoors vs. Outdoors
Grow them outdoors. You are unlikely to have enough light indoors to get them to bear unless you have a glorified greenhouse of a sunroom. Just sitting them by a window is generally not enough, nor are heat lamps a good idea because you are going to burn the plants with them almost guaranteed.

Just put them in containers if the actual soil around your place isn't good enough. Walmart carries those really big tree planters, buy those (its what I grow my container peppers in) and fill them with miracle grow potting soil (not the moisture control kind).

Cross Pollination:
If you actually want to prevent almost all likelyhood of cross pollination, you're looking at probably 100 yards (a football field) between species, or a large blocking object (like a house). But in truth, it is unlikely that you will get accidental crossing even if the plants are sitting right next to each other. Peppers are mostly self pollinating, so the odds of accidental crossing are actually pretty low to start with.

Drying the peppers and making powder out of them (get a dehydrator and a cheap coffee grinder) is the way I prefer. If you want to try canning, you need to learn actual canning. Glass mason jars, wax seals, boiling baths, the whole nine yards. Otherwise you will simply get mold and spoiled peppers at best, and horrendous food poisoning at worst.

Just be aware that the hotter the pepper the longer it takes to germinate the seeds (in less than ideal conditions I've seen ghost peppers take MONTHS to sprout). Also, I grow some of the black pearl peppers. They are ornamentals. While you can eat them, they generally are not used for food, but as decoration. That said, black pearls are very cool looking pepper plants.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:53AM
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I'm just starting my 2nd season with growing hot peppers. I started with just 2 varieties.. jalapeno and cayenne. I started them from seed indoors then moved them outside in containers. Two of them are currently overwintering. I also dried some of the cayenne (oven technique) and made jalapeno pepper jelly.

This year I'm adding 2 more varieties.. Alma Paprika and Czech Black ornamental. I'm too chicken to grow Ghosts although I have seeds.. I haven't even tried a Habernero yet.

You'll find lots of good information on this site covering all kinds of topics.. soil, pests, pruning, feeding, and hot sauce to name a few!! Good luck with them!!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 8:04PM
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I ain't afraid of no ghost..

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 11:02PM
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I agree with Edymnion. Get some cheap pots 3-5gal or 5 gallon buckets with holes drilled for drainage and some good potting mix (not potting soil or topsoil or anything like that) and find a place outside for them. In the heat of Summer, they might like some shade, but, full sun is best otherwise.

Don't over-think it and don't baby them literally to death. :-)

Good Luck.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 11:20PM
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I ain't afraid of no ghost..

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 6:15PM
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With my jalapenos that I will (hopefully) get this year, I'm planning on making jalapeno jelly (great in scrambled eggs) & the rest will be sliced & pickled.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:07PM
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Thanks to everyone that responded, you have all been a big help. My seeds did come in a few days ago and I set them in a jiffy greenhouse yesterday. I hope I have my timing about right to be able to set them in the
Yard without the frost getting to them. My house is kinda cool and I'm afraid
That I'll have some trouble keeping them alive inside while they are young.
Like I mentioned earlier, this is my first real attempt at growing anything other than a tree so I don't have a very good set up right now. Maybe I'll get lucky and figure out some ways to keep them warm without having to use lamps and risk burning them. (thanks for that tip by the way)
Also thanks for the advice about not going overboard with this project.
I probably still did to some extent but I did cut back a lot from my original
Plan anyway.
As far as not being afraid of no ghost......well...I ain't afraid to try to grow it but I will be very cautious about eating one LOL.
Thanks again to everyone that responded to my questions.
Y'all were a lot of help.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:32AM
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