Need help with Texas growing conditions
It seems like a lot of the gurus on this site live up north. I am curious if their are certain strategies I should be using for growing in Texas? Here, our first freeze is usually in November and last freeze is mid march. Summers can be brutal with 60+ days with temps over 100 degree. I live in Austin, TX (zone 8) and have been trying to grow superhots for 2 years (ghost, scorps and chocolate habs). I have had a small vegetable garden and I grow lot's of tomatoes, jalapenos, corn etc (my garden gets full sun all day).
My first year of growing superhots, I started my plants in February and as soon as the low temps got above 40 I put the containers out by my vegetable garden... In the spring I had lots of flowers but they kept falling off. In central Texas it is normal to have 100+ degree days in late June, July and early August. In July the heat had decimated my superhots and I moved the plants up to my patio (heavy shade). they started recovering and by Sept./Oct. I had started getting a few pods and was able to harvest a handful of peppers before it got too cold.
Last year, I started my seeds in December, I had about 12 decent sized plants by spring but a late freeze hurt me and I only had 6 survive. This year I put the plants on the southwest corner of the house where they got full morning sun but protection from the late afternoon sun. Those 6 plants put on lots of flowers in spring, but again the flowers kept dropping. The summer heat still took a toll on them but not nearly as bad. I have a few pods now, but far fewer than last year and we just got our first freeze.
It is time to start planning next springs garden and I don't want to give up on my superhots...
any advice appreciated.