What got you started on Growing the Hot Ones?

CanadianLori(6a Oakville)September 12, 2013

I'm just curious. I started growing hot peppers not because I will eat them but because I had grown some ring of fire peppers in order to please my husband's appetite for all things hot.
Well, he told me that my peppers were good, but not really hot.
So I decided this year to SHOW HIM WHAT THE OLD GIRL CAN DO!

That is how I got my late start. After stumbling on this forum I took the advice of someone here and ordered in seeds and am now starting to harvest.

How about you? What/why did you start growing these capsicums?

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During one of my rotations in college I met a couple of guys who were big on growing their own food, buying local, and being self sustaining. It really sparked an interest in me. One of the guys was the first person I ever met that could match my heat tolerance (I brought in some super hot sauce). When I found out he grew super hots and I got to try one I was hooked. We talked about them nearly everyday. At the time I was not in the position to grow my own but this year ( about two years later) I was. I wish I had a way to contact them so I can show them what they made me do lol.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 1:15PM
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Pretty much the same -appetite for spicy food. Besides, when you cook with these peppers the flavor is unique. Cooking takes down the considerable heat when experienced eating them raw.

I believe they are beneficial too. People who eat them regularly, guard against several maladies, most notably heart disease. They can comfort the itchiness from hemorrhoids and actually shrink them with immediate effect.

Over indulging can cause ulceration for those not conditioned properly to them or to those people who have other gastric system problems. They are high in vitamin A, C and the minerals magnesium and potassium. And of course very high in the non-essential capsaicin.

There's lots of unconfirmed benefits, heart disease prevention is among these, but I still feel when I eat them I feel good. I'm not just talking about the endorphin rush either.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 1:33PM
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In all honesty for me. It was the Man Vs. Food episode that featured the ghost pepper. Told the gf if I ever found that we'd be in trouble. Then a couple of years later. Stumbled on a local greenhouse that sold them. Fast forward to 3 years growing now. An 16 diff varieties out in the yard in buckets. I'd say my prediction was true lol.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 2:41PM
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mctiggs(2b (WPG, MB))

Despite being a city kid, my family has always been huge into growing veggies, by and large as a way to cheaply feed 4 boys throughout the year. We simply had to, in order to survive. So growing food has always been (and will always be) a part of me. Oh, and I like spicy food. I do it for the relaxing/hobby aspects now instead of necessity. It sounds kind of dumb, but I think I actually like looking at peppers/plants (especially the c. Chinese) as much as I like eating them.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 3:58PM
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It was a local Mexican restaurant that got me started.

They have three "house" hot sauces, Jalapeno, Habaneo and "Diablo" which I found out was made with Ghost peppers.

First I grew the peppers, then I figured out how to make the sauce.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 4:43PM
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Great stories. I walked into a food store and for me it was unusual to see anything hotter than a jalapeno, I seen some Habanero's and thought to myself, I can't stand most all hot sauces due to lack of flavor, so I bet I can make my own. Ended up making a batch then looked for the hottest pepper and found the ghost pepper and I ordered two plants that were shipped from FL to MD and have been growing peppers ever since. I found this forum during my chili pepper searches and have liked it ever since, the nicest people come here and are very helpful.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 5:10PM
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I started out on a dare between me and my brother. I've always ate spicy food and he got me a ghost pepper saying I couldn't eat it. (Much to my own surprise) not only could I eat it, but I liked it. They got added to my garden now I'm on a guest to turn a half acre pepper garden next year :-) . also its always nice to have a wannabe chili head new at work, and be able to watch a chocolate bhut melt his face off lol

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 5:33PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I have always like hot spicy foods and have eaten medium heat green chilies fresh. Jalapenos, seranno, poblano , are the types that I eat fresh or in sandwich. I am not into those with scoville ratings 500k to 1 million. haha. So I liked peppers as long as I can remembered. My Mom used to cook pretty spicy food.

in addition to what already mention, Hot peppers simulate metabolism, burn more calorie. That is why some weight loss pills have Capszacine.
Also, the common belief that hot peppers can cause ulcer, is not true. Although it might cause discomfort for someone who is not used to it or overdoes it. To the contrary hot peppers preven stomach ulcer.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 9:37PM
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judo_and_peppers(Tampa FL)

this is my first year growing. my buddy was growing some tabasco and jalapeno, but was doing a really terrible job of it (he did literally everything wrong, and all his plants are now dead, so I gave him 2 of mine when I moved, and he killed those too). I figured I could do better, so I got online and ordered some seeds. I figured if I was gonna grow hot stuff, I might as well grow really hot stuff. and to my surprise, the ones I thought I wouldn't be able to handle (brain strains) are my favorite ones in terms of flavor. next year I'll be growing even more varieties.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 3:07AM
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I sent my wife to go see our kids in another state two years ago for 10 days. The day after she left I went to Lowes for some household project stuff and I walked through the garden section and seen all the Bonnie plants. Jalapeno's, Hab's so I said what the heck, I am home alone for 10 days and have the yard to plant a few.... So I bought 6 plants and away I went.

I then found this site and got hooked even more. I found very nice and generous folks on here and they sent me some seeds last year (Scorpion_John, Esox07), and now I have 30 varieties growing and have been trading seeds for the '14 grow year.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 11:51AM
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HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)

I like hot and spicy foods and I especially love habaneros. But the local grocery stores are all very inconsistent about actually carrying them. Probably 2/3 of the time, when I need them, they are out of stock. So one day when they had some orange habaneros in stock, I bought a few, removed the seeds, and planted them. It worked like a charm! And on top of loving the habanero taste, I also think the plants are nice to look at!

I don't think I could handle so,e of the super hot peppers people post about. I honestly wonder if anyone actually enjoys eating them or if it is just a macho thing. But next year, I plan to try growing a couple of tabasco peppers.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 11:01PM
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I work in a kitchen and we have a guy who loves his steak extra extra spicy and extra extra well done. so I asked my fiance's cousin who works at a seed distributor if she could get any peppers. I got a plant. 5 pots and a dozen 8lb pounds of miracle grow later, I have about 30+ peppers and couldn't be happier

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 8:51PM
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I'd have to blame a friend of mine who owns a favorite vietnamese restuarant of ours, that turned me onto really spicy foods in general. started with spicy soups, spicy noodles, then ordering super hots from jersey for fun. I'd never grown anything succesfully, ever, but next thing i knew, i was sprouting them at home in a poorly lit apartment with ravenous pests right outside. and the final step that sealed the want to grow as many as i could was learning how to cook with them, without gassing my wife to death. So many more possibilities than i'd imagined, and still discovering new ways to use them.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 8:09PM
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I'm not Mexican, but I am from San Diego, where Mexican food is king. I use chiles in all types of cuisine, but Mexican food is ingrained in us. So, from a very young age, one is always trying to find the best carne asada with the best salsas. But a taco shop can have "average" carne asada and GREAT salsa and they'll have business. Some taco shops up the ante with "hotter" salsas. I always appreciated that. But, I wanted to make my own.

Started off(in my mind) pretty mild. Been making it for years with pretty mild chiles( Anaheims, japs, serranos, arboles, guajillos). Then I tried habs about 4 years ago-- Made it hotter, but I don't care for the flavor of habs. Then i got a hold of a plant last year at the nursery that was labeled "ghost." You guys said it looked like a Naga cross. Anyhow, best batches of salsas yet using Nagas(last year) and Nagas and Bhuts(this year)!

Hothabenerolady: It might be a macho thing -- i don''t know. I'm much too old to feel the need to display my genitals ;)

Whoever eats superhots whole just to eat them are nuts. But the heat and flavor of them bring a lot to the table. The trick is moderation -- a little goes a long way. I use about 8-10 superhots per quart of salsa in addition to my milder varieties. Most people wouldn't like it that hot, but me and a "some" of my family and friends love it.

Whenever I try a new superhot for the 1st time, I'm not one of those that tries to endure the pain for 5 minutes. I try to decipher the taste and have my supply of dairy right next to me to cool myself down promptly. I like hot food, but I'm not into punishment...lol.

ANyhow...love the heat!


    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 8:41PM
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esox07 (4b)

I decided to grow some peppers for the fun of it. It just happend that I was visiting my brother in law in San Antonio that spring and asked him what the hottest peppers were thinking that anyone from S. Texas would know. He said the hottest he knew of was the Habanero. So, we went to the local grocery store and I picked up a packet of Habanero seeds. I also grabbed some cayenne seeds as they were a variety that had a name I was familiar with. So, I grew a couple of each plant. The Hab was definitely hot, much hotter than I could handle but that got me started. After a little research and finding the Hot Pepper forum on Garden Web, my eyes were opened to just how hot of peppers there really were (Ghost at that time). The following season, I decided to grow of few of the common varieties for personal use and then a couple varieties for the fun of it. Well, I got what I thought were some Bhut (Ghost pepper) seeds which turned out to be Nagas. In my experience, anything hotter than a Hab is too hot to measure anyway. So, the last couple seasons, I grow three or four of my favorites and then pick about a half dozen or so new and unique varieties. I always pick a couple of the super hots, and then a couple ornamentals. This year, I grew my first true Ghost pepper, Scorpion Butch-T and a Carolina Reaper. But I grow them basically for the fun of it as I don't eat them and have trouble finding anyone else willing to try. But at least I can say I have the hottest or very close to it. It just seems right that if you are going to grow peppers, you should grow the king of them all.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 11:48PM
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I spend a lot of time in the Bajío in Méjico where chiles are part of the cusine and I like them.

I started growing chiles years ago because they weren't available in the stores in NY and I wanted some. Growing was the only to get them.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 9:16AM
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For me it was when my daughter got me watching Man vs. Food. that was the first time I had heard of a ghost pepper. Then a buddy got me watching "Heat Seekers". it only last two years but I got a kick out of it.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 10:19AM
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For me it began with an attempt to make something my grandfather used to make. I can no longer eat hot things, but I very much enjoy the task of growing very hot peppers.
It is crazy rewarding when you grow the really hard ones.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 12:50AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Lots of real life stories (including my own)

Currently I have not graduated beyond Habanero. This year I am growing both orange and yellow ones. I love its aroma and flavor. I only cook with them when I can get fresh ones and make sauce with it. I have heard some good reviews on Brain Strain's flavor. I might try to grow it next year. I like hot pepps with heat but not the sting. Do yo know one ?

This post was edited by seysonn on Mon, Jul 7, 14 at 11:29

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 2:15AM
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jutsFL(9b (Orlando))

My mother got me hooked. In the early 90's we always ordered a ton of stuff from the "Mo Hotta Mo Betta" catalogs and made the spiciest salsas we could handle. 20 plus years later, I'm still at it... She has quit some time ago.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 6:11AM
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My DH is from TX and claims to like spicy food - I could never grow anything hot enough for him. Not that he'll sit and eat a raw pepper as a macho thing, but he does like hot salsa, puts hot sauce on almost everything, likes a spicy chili. So I started trying hotter peppers to come up with something that will be more than hot enough for him. He doesn't really care for Hinkelhatz, said my tomato-based sauce wasn't hot enough, and I only got 1 Douglah from plant last year started from seed ottawapepper sent me (no bihs though I have 3 plants overwintered, I have to pot them and the 2 Douglahs up they're 3 years old now).

I sell at market and am afraid to sell the superhots after another vendor tasted an unripe Hinkelhatz and about died a few years ago, but I am trying Aji Limon (or Burpee version) this year b/c the citrusy flavor sounded interesting. My son also enjoys spicy food but the Thai birdseye were too hot for him - they do sneak up on you when you put them in whole (they're too tiny to chop by hand and I don't have a dedicated pepper processor).

I do enjoy very small amounts of heat with sweet like in a pepper jelly (ooh, made a peach-lime-pepper one last year I have to make again when peaches come in!). Chinese restaurants up here don't make food hot enough even for me much less my guys so I have to make my own when we feel like a really spicy stir fry.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 6:41AM
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pepperchuck(8b coastal MS)

Thai food! A friend of mine owned a local Thai restaurant and would try to set fire to my face upon my request with great success usually. He was using red savinas and ghosts mostly but it really got me motivated to grow these plants for my own constant supply. Fast forward a little bit and with a home that I have bought, so I can do what I want with the yard, and a lot of generosity from the great people of this forum, I can now return the favor to my buddy and melt his face off.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 9:50AM
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Much like woohooman, I think my addiction has a lot to do with geography. San Diego has fantastic and authentic Mexican food. Spicy food is in my blood.

17 years ago I threw a Jalapeno seed in some potting soil despite my mother's discouragement (I was 16 and irresponsible). Against all odds, the little guy grew and even produced a small harvest. I was hooked.

Since then I've grown probably a couple hundred plants and a few dozen varieties. This year I've narrowed it down to my two favorites (labuyo and choc bhut). Though I picked up a moruga scorpion plant when I was at the nursery the other day. Couldn't help myself.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 11:32AM
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Mecdave Zone 8/HZ 9

I started making Habanero Gold jam off a recipe found here on one of the GW forums a few years ago. I was relying on the grocery store and a neighbor to keep me supplied with habs. This year I nearly ran out of jam before anyone had the peppers in stock, so I decided to grow my own.

Then one day I was browsing Amazon and ran across a pepper trifecta - Red and Yellow Bhuts plus Scorpions, 30 seeds ttl, for 99 cents plus a couple bux shipping. Still too early to tell if they'll bear true, but they do have the signature large leaves. It will be interesting to see what I end up with. ;)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 11:42AM
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Hello everyone, this is my first post. I have always wanted to grow peppers among other things and this year I asked my self why not. I literally cannot eat without having something spicy and I have a high tolerance. Since I was young I watched my parents plant what I believe was chile pequin and my parents would eat them like cherries. Just got started but I'm interested in growing my own super hot peppers so I could share with my family and make some delicious dishes with them. So far I transplanted a DRAGON CAYENNE, SERRANO, TABASCO HEIRLOOM. I hope to one day grow some ghost and habanero peppers. Cheers everyone and hope that everyone's day is cool beans.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 12:39PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

I went to high school in El Paso. Eating chiles rellenos in Juarez got me hooked on spicy food. (C'mon you wimp, you can get closer to the stem than that!)

Many years pass, most in Texas.

Atlanta: Five years ago my ex-wife brought over a load of plants for my back yard, including herbs and peppers from the box stores (bell, giant jalapeno, half a dozen cowhorns for some reason - must have been on sale). We added more peppers - cayenne, serrano, ornamental thai. Overwintered those and many survived. The next year I added more: ama paprika, cubanelle, yellow fatalii (quite by accident - I thought it has a hab) and discovered this forum.

2012 got a %^& load of seed in Bonnie's swap and last year had about 100+ plants of 40-some varieties, most at the hottest end of the spectrum, 98% in containers on the lawn. Thanks to all here I was very successful, with only the occasional disaster, eventually selling off about 2/3 of the plants and harvesting far too many pods.

This year is transitional - I'm in Texas with herbs and a lone pepper that I supposed was a yellow fatalii (Bonnie Plants' Worlds Hottest Hab) that is looking more like a hab than a fatalii. The "overwinter" plants (Douglah, Immortal Beloved BJ, mama St. Peter) got bit and zombified in the back of the moving truck.

But to coin a phrase, "I'll be back."


This post was edited by DMForcier on Mon, Jul 7, 14 at 13:08

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 1:05PM
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I have always liked Thai and Asian food and have just naturally gravitated to spicier dishes over time. I came across a local craigslist ad last year for someone selling Reapers, Scorpions etc. This is really what piqued my interest. Previously I had only grown Habs, Thai and Bell peppers.

Since I got a late start last year they did not do well and I only got a few pods. This year I did lots of research and purchased seeds early. I started them inside in February and now have 30 varieties going in buckets. I have several with up to 15 pods setting already.

I'll be researching recipes over the next few weeks so that I can use my harvest and prove to my wife it was not a waste of time.

Woohooman: You consider 8 to 10 super hots per quart of salsa as moderation??? Holy shishitos!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 1:11PM
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I grew bell peppers and jalapenos as a kid. Fast forward to an adult, and I wanted to get back into gardening. Several years back I bought a few bells and a Serrano plant. Then I started exploring other varieties of chiles because I wanted more heat, flavor, and color in my food and couldn't get this with store bought chiles. Started swapping seeds with people and began growing several more plants each and every year. Right now I am at 12 varieties of both hot and sweet. Some of my plants are on their 2nd and 3rd years. If I have a plant that I like a lot I will keep it. Others I get rid of and start something new. Sometimes I will have to pull a plant after a few years if its production slows down.

I enjoy chiles in a variety of applications but over time you build up tolerance to the heat so you have to go hotter. Hottest thing I grow now is a Habanero. I can eat one and handle it without any aid. I only grow what I can handle and use, not for some type of social status or to prove I got "balls". That said, next year I may try Fatalli's since I hear they are a notch hotter than Habaneros with a better fruity flavor.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 1:19PM
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PS: My current favorite pepper is Chimayo. Not too hot but a really great flavor and texture.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 1:22PM
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Texas and Peppers go hand in hand dont they!


    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 1:32PM
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I also think peppers are very attractive plants - much more so than tomatoes, though I am obsessive about trying different kinds of tomatoes (26 different varieties this year, about 175 plants, only 12 kinds of peppers, 80 plants not counting the Douglah, bih, and 1 purple serrano I have in containers).

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 4:38PM
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I have more of a personal connection with the super-hots.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 6:03PM
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Mecdave Zone 8/HZ 9

The last time I tried to grow tomatoes the squirrels beat me to the ripe tomatoes faster than I could trap the squirrels. The final straw was when I found volunteer tomato plants growing underneath the tree they were chowing down in late one Fall.

Now I just grow peppers and try to beat the Mockingbirds to the ripe peppers before they have a chance to poke holes in them.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 11:19PM
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stoneys_fatali(9b Duarte,Ca.)

Guys eating them on YouTube got me into growing them :-)


    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 11:21PM
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