Zone 3 winter pepper garden, pic heavy
With the ground outside frozen since early November and not likely to thaw until early April, I grew peppers under shop-lights in the basement this winter. I'll need to start reclaiming that space for spring bedding plants in a few weeks, here's how my winter peppers have done up until now. These were planted as seeds from early September to early October, and grown entirely under shop-lights in my basement. I don't think I'll plant any of these 3 varieties for outdoor growing this year, but the Thai Sun will definitely be on my list for indoor growing again next winter.
First off, here's an overview of my light set-up with the peppers:
This variety -- my tallest plant -- I'm calling Thai Hot. It is actually a Thai pepper that I bought at a local supermarket in late summer and ripened indoors until the pods dried up, then I collected the seeds. It is a very vigorous and upright grower, and since I can buy it at a local grocery store I'm not particularly inclined to grow it again. But all of these pods I tried to fertilize with compact Thai Sun plants, so maybe the seeds will grow something interesting? Anyway, planted Sept. 8, I pruned it aggessively to limit its height and never moved it beyond a 4" pot. It set 18 pods, which are just starting to ripen now:
Next are the tobasco peppers... planted in early October and now only beginning to set fruit. These guys are slow! They are also far hotter than I was expecting... I picked one of the pods, chewed it up thoroughly, then realized how hot it was -- I had to melt half a tray of ice cubes in my mouth to numb the heat until it faded. Maybe I'm a heat-wimp.
And now my favorites, the Thai Sun. Planted in late September and moved up eventually to 6" pots, these guys have to be the perfect indoor hot pepper plant. They are small peppers, but very hot, and produced in absolutely crazy abundance under flourescent shop-lights. My sweethearts:
I grew two plants of Thai Sun... this is one of them:
And this is the other:
Now it's time to think about outdoor peppers... which in zone 3 means thinking about a very limited number of varieties...sigh.