Greenman's Peppers 2013

greenman28 NorCal 7b/8aFebruary 28, 2013

It's that time again, chile friends....

Starting with a crunchy seed-starting mix - screened fir bark, screened perlite, and screened turface.
On the left, a basket of 5-1-1 (with turface instead of peat); in the middle basket and in the bucket,
some Gritty Mix (1-1-1). For the slow-growing superhots, I used the gritty mix.

Planted my seeds: Red, Yellow, and Chocolate Bhut Jolokia, Trinidad Scorpion Morouga Blend, Datil,
and Douglah. Covered the cells with some plastic wrap and waited....

A week later, the Yellow Bhut sprouted....the first one up, just like last year.

Two weeks later, more seeds have sprouted....all but the Douglah, which I tried a second time, as well.
I guess it just isn't meant to be this year.

Two weeks after starting the superhots (and the Datil), I sowed my fast-growers - Thai, Hungarian, Monkey Face.
I also sowed Bonda ma Jacques with this batch, before I realized that Bonda is a chinense. C'est la vie, no?

Anyhow, I sowed these seeds in 5-1-1 mix to give it a try. The seeds took about a week, which is actually a bit
longer than usual, particularly for the Thai chiles. They are up now, and ready to be thinned (the Thai's at least).

That's the news from northern California :-)

Josh

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romy6(9)

Nice to see you back in action Josh. If you need some fresh Douglah seeds let me know. I will get them out to ya.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 3:18PM
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esox07

And so it begins. It looks like you are about a week behind my growing schedule. Most of my starts are just getting their first true leaves now. Good luck and I will be looking forward to your updates. How big of a grow list do you have this year?
Bruce

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 4:37PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, Jaime, I'd surely appreciate that!
I started the seeds earlier this year, and thought I'd better get the grow Thread goin', too. Bruce, I sowed the first batch January 28th, and they sprouted over the following two weeks. Now I hear that we may have a cold Spring...which means lots of time inside...aphids, low light, crowding....

I have a fairly brief grow list this year:

1. Red Bhut
2. Yellow Bhut
3. Chocolate Bhut
4. Trinidad Scorpion Morouga Blend
5. Datil
6. Thai
7. Black Pearl
8. Hungarian Wax
9. Monkey Face

  1. Manzano
    11.*maybe Bonda ma Jacques

I'll do a couple Thai, a couple Hungarians, then singles of the rest. I don't think my overwintered Red and Yellow Bhuts are going to come back, but I'll have two of those if they do. I expect the Manzano to really do well this year, since it overwintered incredibly. I have high hopes for my Black Pearl, too!

Josh

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 5:02PM
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habjolokia

Hi Josh I always look forward to your thread every year. The mix is looking great, seedlings look awesome too. Monkey face? Never heard of that pepper, had to look it up, so crazy lol. Let me know how they turn out and taste.

Mark

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 5:27PM
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peppernovice

Josh.....You always give us something to aspire to. I think you must have been born with a green thumb. I love/hate reading your threads, because you have beautiful plants. I always think I'm doing pretty good until I see what your plants look like!

Tim

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 10:25PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Mark and Tim, I'm glad you guys are following along :-)
Mark, the Monkey Face was sent to me by a young lady from Pennsylvania...they look pretty cool, and it'll be a fun one to try. You bet I'll give a review of the flavor once the pods are ripe.

Tim, thanks for the kind words. I think my plants are a bit puny, but hey they're still young, haha. Some of you guys have lush, dark green fat seedlings that make me equally jealous! My little grow-lights are getting an inferiority complex :-)

My last name is Green...and I often joke that I was born with two Green thumbs...

Josh

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 10:34PM
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tsheets(5)

I feel like I'm falling behind. I am going to start my seeds this weekend. Off to a good start!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 10:47PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Tsheets, full speed ahead! Start them suckers! :-)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 11:05PM
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woohooman

Josh:

Nice little list, but no "traditionals" like Jalapenos, serranos, poblanos, anaheims, etc.??

Kevin

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 12:00AM
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esox07

Only on the Hot Pepper list would a list like Green Man's be called "little". Compared to some on this list, I guess it is little but certainly interesting. I too noticed the lack of "traditional" varieties but some people are the "been there, done that" kind of pepper growers and are always searching for the perfect variety which they know they will never find. They might find a couple close ones but are ever in search of something a little better. Josh has been growing for a while now and I am sure at some point has grown each of those "traditionals" you list above. But I do know Josh has a couple less traditionals that he comes back to year in and year out.
Bruce

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 8:12AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, Kevin! Yeah, just a select few varieties - with a couple new peppers each year. My traditionals would be the Hungarian Wax (in my opinion, better than Jalapeno, Serrano, Anaheim, et cetera), as well as the Thai chile (which, pound for pound, I use more than any other pepper). I really enjoy Poblano, but they just don't do well for me here in my somewhat shaded foothill garden.

I don't like Bells, Jalapenos, or most of the common peppers. The flavor just isn't there.

Bruce, you're right...I'm always looking for that "perfect" pepper, and when I find it I will add it to the list. The Yellow Bhut Jolokia made the list last year, and I envision it returning for many years to come.

Josh

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 10:34AM
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esox07

Josh,
I am growing three varieties of Thai chilis this year. Thai Hot, Thai Dragon and Thai Sun. I know very little about these three peppers but I do know my wife likes Thai foods and the spices they use so I decided to try them this year. I will be getting with you later this Summer/Fall for some ideas on how to use them. I was hoping to be able to dry and grind some of them....do they lend very well to this use?
Bruce

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 11:40AM
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tsheets(5)

Bruce, the Thai Hot that I have (from tomatogrowers) is made for drying! Sure, you could make them into sauce or pickle them, etc.. But they are perfect for drying. I use them in stir fry, spicy marinara, potatoes, eggs, really anywhere you want a bit of heat, but, not too much.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 7:16PM
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esox07

Cool. I like drying/grinding peppers. I hope one of the three varieties that I am growing proves to be what I am looking for.
Bruce

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 10:57PM
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peppernovice

I'm sorry to hijack your thread Josh, but these two are making my mouth water. It's starting to look like Thai peppers will be on my grow list next year. You guys make sure you save plenty of seeds. I'll be in the market for a trade!

Tim

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 9:16AM
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esox07

peppernovice:
I plan on harvesting several seeds from each. Each of the three varieties were acquired from members on this list. I will be returning the favor.
Bruce

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 10:40AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Bruce,
I've never ground up a Thai chile before, so I'll defer to Tsheets. I certainly think it would work with a hot variety of Thai...but be aware that these peppers are often quite seedy! Fresh, I tolerate a bit of seed....but dry, I make the effort to separate the seeds from the dried pepper. It'll be fun finding different applications this season :-)

My favorite and most simple use: Hmong "Pepper"
1. Crush red and green Thai chiles in a mortar
2. Add green onion, cilantro/culantro, lime juice, fish sauce, salt/MSG
3. Muddle the ingredients together in the mortar

Then, just dab your choice of meat into the mixture - it's not a sauce or a paste, just a dabbing condiment. When added to rice, you get a flavor explosion.

*It's official - the Bonda ma Jacques has sprouted (10 days). Thanks to Saint Ottawapepper for the seed!

Josh

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 3:44PM
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esox07

Josh, that looks exactly like a recipe that my wife would love. She uses fish sauce all the time....many times in place of soy sauce. I had to clip that post.

OH, BTW: I sewed the Black Pearl Seeds on the 26th, so I am expecting to see something in within about a week... I will let you know.
Bruce

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 8:07PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Long overdue update....with the superhots growing so slowly this year, I haven't had much to share -
but I finally potted them up today, and I'm hoping that the fresh mix with Osmocote included will entice
them to grow. Meanwhile, the rest of the garden is growing like crazy. My overwintered Manzano is
also doing very well, and has begun flowering in the past week.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 6:49PM
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peppernovice

Looking good. My peppers are behind as well.We had a couple weeks of rain and cool temperatures. It really stunted the peppers. They seemed to be recovering. We've had about a week of highs around 80. That seems to be helping. If I know you, you'll have those guys producing in no time! Good Luck.

Tim

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 7:32PM
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tsheets(5)

They're coming along nicely! That's a pretty flower on that Manzano!

How big are the pots in the last pic? I'm guessing that's the super hots you mentioned were moving slow.

This post was edited by tsheets on Sun, May 19, 13 at 20:11

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 8:10PM
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Phildeez(9b)

Lookin good, how does your Manzano set in late spring and summer? I have a 3 year old that stops setting or even flowering at the first sign of heat. It has long since stopped already this year even in the shade.

Last year I got 3 pods off of a 4 foot vine and only in late fall.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 9:29PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Tim, thanks! Once we hit September, the plants ought to be producing...or close to it! Although we've had weeks in the 80F's, even a few days in the 90F's, it's the soil temp holding back the plants in the ground. When I potted the peppers today, the mix in the containers was very cool just three or four inches down...so this tells me that we're still quite early in the season and that I'm trying to rush things.

Tsheets, thanks! Indeed, those are the slow (under-fertilized, aphid stressed) superhots, plus a Datil. The containers are #5 nursery containers, which I call 5-gallon although they are slightly less. I'm hoping this does the trick. I want to see some huge growth on these plants like a did in 2011.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 9:32PM
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tsheets(5)

I'm sure they'll respond nicely to their new homes. They aren't bad at all for chinese, IMO. My annuums aren't much bigger than that! LOL

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 10:34PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Phil!
I started this Manzano from seed last April, and it didn't set pods until late! Only two pods total, which were knocked from the plant when some animal invaded my cold-frame on December 14th....so I never got to even try those two pods. The Manzano started flowering this week and has already dropped several blooms. If it refuses to set pods, I'll probably move it into some shade and see how it does there.

The Manzano would be even bigger had it not been browsed by deer....

Josh

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 10:35PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I appreciate it, Tsheets! I think we'll know within two weeks if the peppers are happy with the larger containers and this season's mix.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 10:40PM
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habjolokia

Josh nice update plants are looking great, I have one super hot that is slightly smaller than yours it's a later start around the time of my BP. Aphids are a pain and now I am dealing with tiny spider like insects not as tiny as a spider mite but what ever it is leaves aphids alone so it gets destroyed also.

Nice overwinter maybe I will research post on that to give it another go as it seems you and a few others have success and I want a jump on the season for 2014.

Can't wait to see how they do once the sun warms up everything and they take off.

Mark

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 7:36AM
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romy6(9)

Loving the update. It's about time:)

Maybe I missed it but did you try to sow anymore douglah's?

Good luck Josh!!!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 10:23AM
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howelbama(7 NJ)

greenman28,

Your stuff is looking awesome! You are definitely an inspiration to me on these forums. Keep up the great work!

Mike

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 10:50AM
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romy6(9)

Loving the update. It's about time:)

Maybe I missed it but did you try to sow anymore douglah's?

Good luck Josh!!!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 3:15PM
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Phildeez(9b)

Well at least I know its not user error stopping my manzano! The few pods I got were exquisite. That was in a 10 gallon thick clay pot with straw mulch and still nothing until late fall. It grows fine and doesn't wolf but I think their original mountain climate keeps them from producing around here. I'm surprised I found it at a nursery.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 8:05PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Mark, a few overwintering plants can be a lot of fun...and a pain in the ass if they attract pests ;-) Just got to keep after them.

Thanks for all the seeds again, Jaime. I ran out of time to start the Douglahs, but I have faith that they'll germinate.

Mike, thanks for the kind words! Much appreciate!

Phil, it isn't just you...lots of folks have a tough time with the Manzano, I hear. This season should be better, though; if not, I might have to discontinue the Manzano.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 11:13PM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Josh you make me hungry :)

"My favorite and most simple use: Hmong "Pepper"
1. Crush red and green Thai chiles in a mortar
2. Add green onion, cilantro/culantro, lime juice, fish sauce, salt/MSG
3. Muddle the ingredients together in the mortar"

Hmong "Pepper" ! I think "Hmong" is one of the ethnic groups of "Lao" anyway I like this recipe I usually add fresh coriander, Ajina Moto and some other thai herbs. It is a real appetizer for me.

Caelian

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 1:35PM
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Phildeez(9b)

Caelian, that sounds good do you just use it as a sauce for stir fry or something? I might throw some fresh garlic into that mortar but that's the Greek in me speaking.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 2:49PM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

There are so many ways I use, some times it is my dipping sauce, mixed with roasted beef, pork. Added fresh garlic also delicious. Sometimes I do roasted all these ingredients except the herbs.

Caelian

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 4:33PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, fellas!

Caelian, you are correct - my brother married a Hmong girl from Laos. She and her many sisters have taught me a lot about savory and simple recipes. Many people are afraid of MSG (Ajinomoto), but I'm not one of them. I use much less MSG than salt, so a little goes a longer way. Also, that fifth flavor, Umami, is incredible!

Phil, add some garlic...lots of folks do. When you make the "Pepper," you will see that it isn't very saucy. Basically, you just dab your meat and rice on top of the little pile of "Pepper," and the flavor imparts itself.

The last two nights, the temperature here has dropped to 39F and 35F degrees respectively. I didn't have the plants covered, but I think they'll be okay...a little delay in the growth cycle, though.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 7:34PM
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Wilson_Fisk9

Hi Everybody,
I'm a complete noob to the gardening scene but I have recently got into bonsai and as such I have gotten into gardening hot peppers as well since I am trinidadian and we love spice. Anyways I have a few Bhut Jolokia's in 12" diameter buckets in Al's 5-1-1 gritty mix. Anyways my plants have looked weak compared to my mom's and she planted in regular triple mix. I realized I needed to mix in the soil some slow release fertilizer. So my question is Osmocote the best slow release fertilizer? I have Mircle-gro slow-release 9-4-12 with calcium do you think that is ok with a regular watersoluable fertilizing schedule or should I not use the water soluable in conjunction with the slow release? Any Help would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 1:22AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I wouldn't use a 9-4-12 - I'd look for a 12-4-9 (12-4-8) for a slow-release and a liquid. Osmocote is fine, but there are other options.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 9:48AM
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romy6(9)

I think it is time for another update brethren!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 10:43AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey! I'm having a hell of a time getting my superhots to grow this season. But we're creeping right along. I'll get some better pics soon....in the meantime, here's my humble pepper patch.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 5:43PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

[gasp!]

I see your problem! TOO MUCH SHADE !

But really, your plants do seem a little weenie.. How much sun are they actually getting? When I went to full sun (6+ hrs) mine (generally) took right off.

Dennis

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 5:56PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hehe, only a few hours of sun a day...that's gardening beneath the California Blue Oaks. Even on a day like this - 101F - the roots in the containers are cool. I need to fertilize....but it's too hot for that.

At least my Black Pearl isn't a total loss ;-)

Josh

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 6:45PM
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habjolokia

While the others are catching up, that black pearl is looking Awesome! 101 now that's hot. Do you have dry heat or humid heat in CA?

Mark

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 6:55PM
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woohooman

All depends Mark. There truly is a huge difference between North and South. Socal didn't ever get humid really until the last 25 years. Now we get a bunch of monsoonal crap from mid-July - September. NorCal is a plethora of climates. We both don't get a whole lot of storms for much of the warm part of the year.

But unlike the rest of the U.S , when CA (and the desert Southwest)gets 90's and 100's, it can occur WITHOUT humidity.

Pretty plant Josh.

Kevin

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 7:12PM
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TColl

100 up here too in the Bay Area (Marin) my peppers are coming along slowly but surely, Will post pics here as soon as they are worth looking at.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 8:56PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, guys! Well, we topped out at 105F today...and we're sitting at 100F as of 6:36pm. It sure felt muggy and humid all day...but the humidity is only 16 percent! In general, though, we do have a dry heat.

Mark, my Black Pearl and my Manzano (both overwintered) are really doing great. The Manzano is quite tall, and it was pruned by both myself and some awful deer. I'll have pics soon.

Stay cool and hydrated, Kevin! I'm about to crack some beers with my little sister....I'm actually posting from her house.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 9:38PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The peppers are starting to come 'round, finally.

The overwintered plants have done exceptionally well - the Black Pearl is lush and green-purple,
and was the first of all the plants to begin setting pods.

After some intense heat, we enjoyed a cool trend for about three days. During that time, my Manzano
managed to set a couple pods. I'm probably jinxing it by posting this pic, but it looks as though I'll be able
to taste a pod this season!

The superhots are still far behind, but they're bushing out and making buds now. I suspect that
something was off with the Magnesium in the Lime that I used, so I supplemented with an Epsom Salt
treatment. 1/4 teaspoon in a gallon of water, and within three days my plants turned green. This also
affirmed that I wasn't overwatering. I've done two Epsom Salt treatments, two weeks apart, and I also
increased the Foliage Pro to 1.5 teaspoons per gallon. So if any of you who are using a 5-1-1 mix and
Foliage Pro are seeing stunted or pale plants....increase the Foliage Pro, and possibly try the Epsom Salts.

Lastly, this is my Bonda ma Jacques, seeds courtesy of Bill (haven't seen him around, hope he's alright).
I started it much later with the fast-growing Thai and Hungarian peppers, not paying attention to the fact
that it's a Chinense. Anyhow, I kept it in this half-gallon container and it has overtaken the other Chinenses.
It really likes that small, warm soil volume...although now it will wilt if the sun strikes the container at midday.
Time to bump it up, but I'm only bumping it up to a 2-gallon.


Josh

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 1:54PM
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woohooman

Looking good Josh. Healthy looking!

I was about to ask you about MY 5-1-1 plants and some leaf discoloration. I'm using MG AP though. I'll try to get some pics together and maybe you can help.

Thanks and Happy Summer! ;)

Kevin

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 2:39PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, Kevin!
If I can help, I surely will ;-)

Josh

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 4:45PM
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habjolokia

Hey Josh, the heat and cool down are doing your plants good! The manzano, I had to look it up, from the size and shape looks like it would be a sweet pepper is that correct or does it hold heat? If it has heat what would you do with it, stuff it? It seems like its hard for it to set pods? Your BP is growing nicely.

Mark

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 5:00PM
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esox07

Yep, healthy looking plants for sure. I am determined to get a black pearl to germinate this coming winter. I really want a couple of them for ornamentals next year.
Glad to see the weather is agreeing with your plants. Mine seem to "tolerating" my weather so far.
I am anxious to see some mature pods on some of those pepper plants of yours in a few weeks or so.
Bruce

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 5:24PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Mark and Bruce, yes the weather has really helped :-)
After a stretch of intense heat, the amount of growth that follows is incredible. This Spring, my plants were in pathetic shape...I'm glad they snapped out of it. I really believe I was underfeeding them, and now I'll have to settle for lost growth potential. Bruce, I should have some nice pearls, round Manzanos, and possibly a Monkey Face pod to show in a few weeks.

Mark, the Manzano is a medium-hot pepper with thick walls. I have heard from many growers that it is a gourmet pepper. Typically used fresh, in salsas, pickled, et cetera. Scoville listed around 12,000 - 30,000.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 5:56PM
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peppernovice

I knew it wouldn't be long before your plants caught up. It seems every year we start slow, then all of a sudden, the weather warms up and everything goes into overdrive. It's obvious your doing something right because your plants are beautiful. I'm growing a yellow manzano for the first time this year. I was really nervous because several people said it was hard to get pods off these plants, but I noticed my first pod yesterday. Hopefully we both get enough pods to pass some seeds around. Good Luck!

Tim

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 8:34AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, Tim!
I think there are two well-set pods on the Manzano, so I'm already tied with last year's set ;-) This year, though, I have months and months for the pods to ripen...which means, barring some disaster, there shall be mature seeds to harvest! The weather has spiked up over 90F again....but Sunday through Tuesday we're supposed to have a heavy "30-year" Summer storm. I have my waterjugs ready to cover the plants.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 4:11PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The hot weather continues...perfect for the Hungarian Hot Wax. In a couple weeks,
I ought to have a few green superhot pods to show. Some of the Black pearls are ripening now, as well. In the meantime, three of the Hungarians:

This post was edited by greenman28 on Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 15:30

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 3:28PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

And a close-up, for Bruce ;-)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 3:35PM
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Phildeez(9b)

Glad to see your Manzano set. I think it is a little cooler where you are. My 3 year old has quit producing entirely at the same time every year, but manages to set a few in the fall. I have it in almost full shade and it doesn't even produce buds to drop, it just grows!

I guess it is good that the 6" tomato hornworm I found ate half of the Manzano instead of something that was producing. Have you had many hornworms, Josh? I have never encountered them in Davis until I moved to this house.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 6:59PM
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habjolokia

Great update the peppers are coming along nicely! Could we get a shot of the BP and Manzano up close when you have time.

Be careful of the closeup of the HHW a dude in a pepper suite may sneak in your garden at night and get them, we will know it was Bruce :)

Manzano seems to be a fickle grower. I would like to try for next season. Josh could we do a SASBE or trade?

Mark

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 7:11PM
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Phildeez(9b)

My Manzano grows faster than most, but due to the origin of the pepper it cannot handle heat. If I remember right it is from high altitudes originally and is not meant for anything near a Mediterranean climate. Shame because the few pods I have gotten were exquisite, they are really large with very thick walls. Rare to have a medium sized, fleshy superhot when most are thin walled and small, they are very fruity and sweet too.

Best pepper I have found to date for ceviche!

Josh, can you post a pic of one of your Datil pods? I suspect one of my plants is not true, and i have not grown them before.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 8:11PM
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amerique2(7b TN)

Great to see your post, Josh, and learn about the peppers you're growing. I was only familiar with Black Pearl, Hungarian Wax, and Thai and am growing Bhut Jolokia for the first time this year. Didn't know there were Red, Yellow and Chocolate Bhuts. I'm growing mine in 3-gallon pots in 5-1-1 mix with a little lime. Sad to say, I haven't fertilized them (other than the Osmocote I added to the mix) since planting the transplants early last month. I know I need to go to FAQ to research fertilizer options but any recommendations y'all might care to toss out are welcome. Have epsom salts, fish emulsion, and Miracle Gro for tomatoes on hand.

Glenn

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 9:30PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Phil, Mark, and Glenn, thanks, guys!

Phil, I've only killed a couple hornworms this season....
whereas my brother, down in Sacramento, picked a basket full of them off his tomatoes last weekend. Disgusting creatures, but the birds like 'em ;-) If you have a blacklight, you can hunt them at night...they light up as plain as day, well a sort of psychedelic glow.

Mark, as Phil mentioned, the Manzano is a really good grower...but it just doesn't set pods in the heat. Mine, too, has stopped blooming. Temps have been in the 90F's and 100F's for the past two months, with only a few days of respite. During one of those 80F cold-snaps, my Manzano did manage to set a third pod (which is now marble-sized). The older pods are golfball-sized now.

Tomorrow, I'll be sure to get close-ups of the Manzano and the Black Pearl. The Black Pearl is easy...but the Manzano is tall and hard to photograph. I'll do my best for a clear shot.

Glenn, your peppers will appreciate a shot of Miracle Grow. Hold off on the Epsom Salts for now.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 10:46PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Just fertilized the peppers and the citrus in containers...in about an hour, I'll get the fish emulsion out and dose all the in-ground plants. On a nice hot day, the scent of fish won't last more than 45 minutes...

First up, the Manzano. There's a pod toward the top branch, so I'll add a stake for support.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:38PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

And the Black Pearl.
Once the pods on the top branch finish ripening, I think I'll prune the plant back into shape. Sorry about the shaded pic...sun's passing through the oak trees.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:42PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Last one for now....

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:45PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

A different light....

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 3:30PM
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habjolokia

The Manzano has one wild branch going, is that a trait or just an anomaly? The peppers looks kind of like tomato's. your BP is looking great. I decided to give away my BP's in favor of my mystery plant, sort of looks like a BP cross. Great pic update, your season is looking good.

Mark

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 12:07AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Mark! Sorry I missed your question!
Yes, this is the typical habit of the Manzano...fast growth, long branches. I finally harvested my first Manzanos, and they were delicious. The flavor was truly unique, like no pepper I've tried - smelled like a Bell pepper, but was sweet without the bitterness or acridity. The flesh was tender, the skin was tender, and there was a savory note in the aftertaste. No wonder it's such a prized pepper.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 1:10PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

...and the Yellow Bhut X Thai Hybrid is ripening a few pods per day. I took two of these down to my pepper buddy Jason's the other day. We cracked into one of the pods, ate it, and were blown away! It was the most aggressive mouth burn I've experienced all season...the burn just wouldn't relent! I was pacing for a solid 2 - 3 minutes, and hurting for a good while after that. What this demonstrated to me is that the heat is highly variable from pod to pod....sometimes a mild pod, sometimes a monster pod!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 1:18PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

And let us not forget the Chocolate Bhut Jolokia....
I'm so glad that the phenotypes are all true Ghost this year - none of those squat Nagas :-)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 1:19PM
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peppernovice

Beautiful plants and pods Josh. How did you get those Manzanos to ripen? I have tons of pods, but nothing showing color. Here's a pic.
Also, please keep us updated on those chocolate bhuts. We may have to do a seed trade. That Thai x Bhut has peaked my interest as well.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 1:09PM
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peppernovice

Here's a pic of the whole plant.

Tim

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 1:11PM
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kuvaszlvr

I wish I could grow Manzano here. I tried, but they didn't do well. I assumed it was the high heat and humidity.
Pam

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 1:20PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Tim, I'm amazed by the bushiness and the pod production on your Manzano! Well done, sir. As for ripening....just a matter of time. My pods were on the plant for well over two months, and they just now ripened. The flavor is incredible, though.

Josh

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 1:43PM
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Phildeez(9b)

Still waiting on the cooler weather, my 3 year old Manzano is just begging for it. Congrats on the two pods and glad that you enjoyed them as much as I do.

I found a great Mexican supermarket that stocks fresh Manzanos so I will probably remove it form next years list.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 11:41PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Likewise! Delicious, but It's just too much work and chance involved.

Josh

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 11:59PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Greetings!
Some updates! This video is from August 27:
Greenman's Garden - August 27, 2013

Josh

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 11:10AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hungarian Wax time....finally harvested a few.
I could have pulled them sooner, for sure, but I love to see the multi-color presentation. This year, most of the pods stayed upright, well into the ripening stage. After harvesting, I immediately ate the best pod....it was sweet and hot...well, as "hot" as this mild pepper can be ;-) I also made a quick video before pulling the pods.

Greenman's Garden - Hungarian Wax edition...

I ate three more for dinner, just dipping them in Ranch dressing....

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 11:15AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Sorry about the initial pics in this Thread...photobucket has really crapped out, and I'm not using it for mass-uploading anymore. So I'll have to upload individually.

Finally harvested a few nice pods. First up, Moruga - seeds from Bill. Thanks again! By the way, Bill, the Grim Reaper in the salsa turned out phenomenal!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 4:07PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Datil peppers...not hybrids after all! Beautiful pods. These seeds also came from Romy. One of the best tasting peppers out there, in my opinion.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 4:11PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The Yellow Bhut Jolokia...seeds from Romy. Thanks, Romy! I love this plant, and so do all the folks to whom I've sent seeds.

This post was edited by greenman28 on Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 16:18

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 4:13PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hybrid Yellow Bhut X Thai chile. A very productive hybrid. The plant looks Chinense, but the leaves are just slightly smaller and darker green overall...and the pods set upright.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 4:14PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thai chile, a versatile favorite.
Even some of my female students can handle these....

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 4:21PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

And just to round things out....

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 4:22PM
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woohooman

Great video and pics Josh. Glad to see you're finally getting some ripening en masse. Which one you like better, the yellow or chocolate ghost?

Kevin

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 5:06PM
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peppernovice

Good looking pods and plants Josh. How do you eat your manzanos? I finally harvested a couple. I sent a few out to a friend. I still need to send Mark some, but I have a few I want to try. What do you suggest?

Tim

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 7:20PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, Kevin and Tim!
Kevin, it's good to have a couple pods in hand, indeed. My Chocolate Ghost isn't ripe yet, but I sure like the look of the pods. They seem very thin-skinned, though, and have some blemishes like the Bih Jolokia that I grew a few years back. Really looking forward to them!

Tim, I ate both ripe Manzanos fresh, no preparation. I wish I had more to experiment with. The flavor was sweet and even a little salty/savory, so I'd stuff them with some meat and cheese, maybe even a sliver of garlic or marinated olive. I'd drizzle olive oil over them on a platter, and probably serve halved.

Josh

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 1:12PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Finally, a Red Bhut Jolokia to pose with the Yellow Bhut Jolokia. Thanks again to Bill and Jaime for sharing the original seeds. Year three for the Red Bhut, year two for the Yellow Bhut, and the phenotype is still true.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 4:26PM
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judo_and_peppers(Tampa FL)

you should try to cross that bhut x thai with the yellow bhut. that could turn out awesome.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 1:28AM
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woohooman

Nice pods Josh.

Now why don't mine have that classic shape?

Might have to hit you up for some seeds. ;)

Kevin

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 4:07AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Judo, I'm not up for that much work ;-)

Kevin, the trick is starting with the right seed...in this case, it came from good ol' Bill up north. His seeds have never disappointed. I have two Red Bhuts, and most of the pods are smaller than this one. This was the first pod to set...and although it has the shape I like best, I'm worried that it might have cross-pollinated. I'll probably harvest seeds from the pods that set after I isolated the Red Bhuts from the other plants. Keep in touch.

Yesterday, I finally made my Pineapple Ghost Jam....a small batch, but with 6 Yellow Bhuts....dear lord this is some hot Jam! Greenman's Ghost Jam....Yellow Fever (I'd better copyright that!).

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 9:13PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

After sugaring the boiling pineapple mash, I added the Yellow Ghosts...didn't want to add them too soon and accidentally cook out all the heat ;-)

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 9:14PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Into the jars the sweet mash goes! And after jarring, into a water-bath with an inch of water above the lids. Ten minutes boiling in the bath.....

Greenman's Pineapple Jam...Yellow Fever! :-D

This post was edited by greenman28 on Tue, Sep 17, 13 at 2:25

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 9:19PM
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judo_and_peppers(Tampa FL)

so, how much pineapple, how many peppers, and having tasted it, how many peppers should you have used?

I still want those bhut x thai seeds. I tried to do a brain x thai cross, but it didn't take.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 1:29AM
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ottawapepper

Josh, you're too kind.

Nice looking pods. My Yellow Bhut plant (thank you for the seeds) is dragging its heals ripening. Funny, my Yellow Scorpion is also taking its time.

Your Greenman's Ghost Jam looks great! We'll have to add it to our product line... Grim Reaper powder and Yellow Fever jam ;-)

Nice work all around.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 2:09PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, gents!
Judo, I'll get them seeds to ya for sure...sorry, the new job has entailed much more work than I'd expected....mostly paperwork and meetings for students with specialized education plans. I haven't even dried one of the crossed pods yet...but I will ;-)

As for the jam - here's the breakdown.
20 ounces of crushed pineapple + enough water to bring the total volume to 3.25 cups. 3 cups of sugar. 1 box of dry pectin. A small pat of butter to keep the foaming down. And 6 Yellow Ghosts :-) In a small batch like this, I could have toned it down to 3 peppers and still had plenty of heat...but I wanted something very hot after last year's fairly mild Strawberry Ghost Jam.

Bill, I sure hope those Yellow's will hurry up and ripen. I'd love to hear your review. By the way, did I ever mention how those pints of salsa turned out? Well they were excellent! The Grim Reaper powder (1 tsp.) provided a strong smack of heat, but not overpowering. It did give the salsa a slight bitterness, but that was easily solved with a dash of salt. Everyone loved it...those who tried it, at least. Some folks were afraid of the Grim Reaper name, and wouldn't even try it. Their loss! I have one pint left, and it's all mine.

Oh, and Bill, I finally tried the Trinidad Moruga....holy hell, definitely the hottest pepper I've ever tasted. I have no doubts about this one. My tongue numbed out at 5 minutes, but the burn went on! I had to blow my nose several times, and it brought tears to my eyes. I admit, I even had a mug of coconut milk to settle the heat. The aroma of the freshly sliced pod was the strongest I've smelled in a Chinense, and the flavor was classic red Scorpion - not sweet, but not bitter either. I only wish that I'd taken a better pic....

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 7:47PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Slowly the season winds down....and slowly the peppers come trickling in....

I've been waiting all season to hold these pods together - Red, Brown, and Yellow Bhut Jolokia. This season's Ghost trifecta :-)

Yellow Monkey Face pods - I don't see the monkey, but boy are these pods crunchy and sweet! Good heat in the middle, about three or four times hotter than a jalapeño, but superior in flavor. Unproductive plant, though, and I won't be growing it again.

A mixed plate - all the familiar faces. This has been the Year of the Yellows. They really do brighten the mood. Datil, Bonda ma Jacques, Yellow Bhuts, Monkey Face, some Red and Chocolate Bhuts, too.

The Red Bhut Jolokia plants are finally ripening en masse. I semi-isolated my two Red Bhuts so that I could harvest seed. I'll only harvest from the longest most Bhut-like pods. A few pics of pod variation.

Keepers! Look right for seed harvesting.

And not quite the pod shape I'm goin' for...

Lastly, a few pepper poppers I made. Only had four strips of bacon left...so I mixed some cream cheese, parmesan, dried garlic, and a dash of seasoning salt, then stuffed two jalapeños, a Datil, and a Bonda ma Jacques. The Bonda I ate first as I knew it would be quite hot and off-putting with that intense Habanero flavor. Then I dove into the Datil, which was superb as I knew it would be. The jalapeños were as expected...no surprises...mild, easy to eat, but with that green flavor.

I'll start dehydrating pods soon. My kitchen table is loaded down at the moment.

Josh

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 11:20PM
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woohooman

Nice update Josh! What's the possibility of hitting you up for some of those Bhut seeds? Mine don't look like yours at all. :(

I do have a few varieties to trade if you want.

Kevin

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 2:35PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, Kevin!
I think this might be it for the season...cold's a comin'.
I'll add a few more pics for sure.

Josh

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 11:22PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Red Bhut Jolokia...

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 1:03PM
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judo_and_peppers(Tampa FL)

Josh, do you have small hands, or are those pods really just that huge?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 2:05PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hehe, Judo, my hands are normal sized, I assure you.
As for these pods....isn't this how Bhut Jolokia should always look? ;-) 3 - 5 inch peppers on average.

A few more Chocolate Bhut....

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 1:21PM
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judo_and_peppers(Tampa FL)

I'm sure that is the proper size, mine are just undersized, all coming in around 2.5". now I feel so inadequate...

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 2:31PM
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romy6(9)

Josh, sorry i have not been checking in on your grow. Been super busy like all of us. Pods look superb my friend. Thanks for the kind words as well. If you are interested in a few new varieties shoot me an email :)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 9:42AM
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camellia1_gw

Oh my goodness, what beautiful peppers! My family would think they were in heaven.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 11:03PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Jaime, thanks so much! Between you and Bill and a few other generous souls, I've got years worth of seed to grow. I'm really looking forward to the fresh Douglah seeds you sent...hopefully 2014 will be the year I finally get some to germinate.

Thanks, Camellia! Peppers and succulents, two of my loves :-)

Josh

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 11:59PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Cracked into the "Yellow Fever" Pineapple Ghost Jam last night with my sister and her boyfriend. Toasted some bread to go with the brie and the jam, then indulged. My hottest jam yet - very sweet at first, with that classic slow creeping heat for which the Bhut Jolokia is known. The ribbons of Yellow Ghost were a real joy to encounter :-)

Josh

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 9:14PM
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esox07

Geez, have heard of pepper jelly and jam before but my immediate reaction was always, "YUCK". But that picture makes it looks "YUMMY". I am going to have to give that a try next year. I will try anything once. Probably not with Ghost peppers however.
Bruce

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 7:09PM
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judo_and_peppers(Tampa FL)

oh it's delicious. throw one moruga or brain strain in a batch of strawberry jelly, and you're in heaven every morning.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 9:08PM
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esox07

Judo, I think you got that mixed up. The heat is in hell, not heaven.

Bruce

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 10:17PM
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woohooman

Looks good Josh! Just the mention of brie made my mouth water.

Kevin

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 12:02AM
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