Northern pepper update

don555(3a)August 15, 2014

It's been a hot summer here in western Canada at 53.5* north. Probably not hot by most of your standards, but most people around here don't have air conditioning since there are only a handful of hot days each year. Sure could use air this year, spending a lot of time in the basement instead. The peppers are fond of the heat though. I just have 5 pots on the deck, here's where they're at.

Here is Matchbox Chili. It's rated at 40,000 SHU, so decently hot but certainly not crazy. The plants are very productive and quite early, but the plants are small. I have two 7-gallon pots planted with these, one has 3 plants in it, the other (the one pictured here) has 4 plants in it.

Next up is a Naga that I started indoors in July 2013, had an indoor harvest in February of 2014, then kept it alive for planting out this spring. It looked really sickly in June but recovered when hotter weather arrived at the start of July. I was figuring no harvest from this one, but recently it has started setting lots of pods, not sure if there is time to ripen.

This guy is called Ring of Fire. Seems to be very cayenne-like in appearance. I sampled one green and it was much hotter than I was expecting, maybe 100,000 SHU. I'm not sure if it's hybrid or OP. The plant is healthy, I like the size for these 7 gallon pots (2 plants in a pot), and the fruit production is pretty good when you push back the leaves and look closely. A couple pods have turned red, most are still green.

And last but not least is Firecracker. I grew this a few years ago and when autumn froze me out 90% of the peppers were still green. Yet they had amazing heat, just like a Thai chili should. So I kept some seeds and am having another go. They are still in full-bloom mode and setting peppers, but the fruit set looks good so far.

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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

The plants look excellent. Nice! Stange you have been warmer, as we have been colder. Keep us updated.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 9:20AM
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Good deal Don! Nice to hear that you'll be getting some heat in your diet before too long.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 11:58AM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

Very nice. I'm surprised that peppers do so well so far north. It's like they want to be temperate zone plants, then the freeze comes...


    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 12:19AM
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stoneys_fatali(9b Duarte,Ca.)

Awesome plants!


    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 2:02AM
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You've done well with them, good looking plants. I hope you get a good harvest before the frost.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 3:25AM
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Are these over-wintered or did you grow them this season? If you take them in, in Winter, how old are they?

Nice Plants!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 8:40AM
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All except the Naga were planted as seeds on March 14 of this year. The Naga was started indoors in July 2013 and grown under shop lights through the winter. It produced a nice harvest of about 60 pods in mid-February, then I moved it to windowsill until May when I hardened it up and planted it in the pot outdoors.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 4:46PM
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Hey, looky here, my first outdoor ripened superhot! Several more turning color now.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 5:23PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Nice plants, pods and soon harvest, Don.

Yeah, here by the Pacific West Cost, south of the border, in Washington State we've also had a very nice summer over all. Alas, it is coming to an end soon. Forecast showing highs dropping to 67F this coming Saturday . I don't have a single ripe pepper as of now. Part if , I can blame on not enough direct sun hitting my plants. But I hop to get some to make a batch of hot sauce. My Thai Hots, Lemon Drops, Habs have lots of green pods. I have been harvesting and eating a lot of mild ones for a while though.
Have a nice rest of season, Ye'all !

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 6:28PM
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I am having a similar problem here in Switzerland.

Question, will peppers continue to ripen indoors in a window sill, during Winter or even year round?

I am also looking at ways to keep my Green house warm, if I can find an economic method, will the plants continue to produce and ripen, year round? If so, what temp do I need to keep it at?

Last question, if I only want to "over-winter" plants, what temp to I need to keep them at?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 6:23AM
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Enocelot, I think I can only help you on your first question. Yes, they will continue to ripen indoors on a windowsill but the lower light levels and light coming from only one direction will probably cause the plants to slowly deteriorate. That shouldn't affect any existing peppers, if they are fully grown or near fully grown they should ripen just fine. The biggest issue on bringing plants indoors, as I found out a couple years ago, is that outside there are some aphids on the plants that are kept in check by spiders and ladybugs, but when you bring the plant inside the spiders and ladybugs seem to go away, and within a week or two there is an explosion of aphids. So unless you are very sure your plants are free of any aphids or spider mites, I'd be very hesistant about introducing them to your indoor plants.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 1:31PM
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As usual, beautiful looking plants Don. Great to hear you've had a warm summer. It's been a little cooler and wetter south east of you in my neck of the woods.

Looking forward to your updates,


    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 1:54PM
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Enocelot: Another issue with winter growing is winter pods are notorious for losing some, if not all, of their heat.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 2:06PM
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Thanks Don,

Honestly I have already experienced the Aphid issue in my small greenhouse.... I have been rotating my plants through it just for that reason.... my situation is all the more complicated because I do not use chemical pesticides.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 2:14PM
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RE: Aphid control on indoor plants.

Get your hands on some orange oil (d-limonene). Put about 1 to 2 milliliters (cc) per liter water in a spray bottle, shake to make a milky suspension, and spray/mist the leaves (top and underside). A natural "insecticide" to control aphids and whiteflies. Smells like lemons as well!! Bug control and air freshener rolled into one!


    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 4:09PM
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Will the Orange Oil hurt my Lady Bugs ( I just went and found a few)?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 2:35AM
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