Pepper Evaluations!

highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)November 19, 2008

I just realized that there was one vegetable that Skybird did not evaluate, and since she doesn't grow them, I thought I better start a thread. There are plenty of pepper growers on this forum, so I hope to get some feedback from some of you!

The peppers I grew this year were all sweet peppers, since DH and the little ones can't tolerate hot stuff. I've decided to try one or two next year that have a little heat, so if anyone can recommend something mildly hot, for things like salsa, I'd appreciate it.

Anyway, here are my pepper evaluations:

Albino - this was supposed to be 65 DTM, but I just barely got one or two ripe ones before the first frost. Probably won't grow next year.

Alma Paprika - Love this one, good producer! I had three plants, two in the ground and one in a pot. The ones in the ground produced more and larger fruits, but this may be my fault, since I probably should have fertilized the ones in the pot more than I did. It was late Sept. before they turned red, but last year the Paprika Supreme didn't even start to turn before the first frost. It makes a very nice, sweet paprika powder when dehydrated and ground. It did need to be staked once it was the fruits were full sized.

Cubanelle - Heavy producer of crisp, sweet peppers. I prefer something with a thicker wall for roasting though, because they were a bit hard to peel the skin off of. Do you guys harvest yours green, or red? Most of mine didn't turn before the first frost. Would grow again if I have the space.

Fooled You Jalapeno - Decent production, and fairly early. They are right about no heat though. I was hoping it would have just a touch of heat, but it does have a nice flavor. Two plants, one in the ground, and one in a pot, and again the one in the pot did not do as well.

Giant Aconcagua - Disappointed in this one. Very late to produce, didn't get as big as I expected, very thin walled. Probably won't grow next year.

Golden Marconi - Seedling was the victim of wind. May try again next year.

King of the North - Decent production. I don't have the date written down for when the first one was ripe, but seems like it was fairly early. My only complaint about this one was that some of the fruits grew in odd shapes, instead of like a traditional bell, which made parts of them not usable, and harder to cut up.

Revolution - This was my favorite this year! Lots of huge, blocky bells. This first ripe one was in late August. Will definitely grow this one next year!

I've already purchased seeds for lots of new ones for next year. Here's the list, and I would love to hear opinions on any of them.


Canary Bell

Orange Bell

Corno di Toro Giallo

Corno di Toro Rosso


Quadrato Asti Giallo

Let me know what else I should have on next year's list!


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Grew three this year -

Poblano (variety unknown, possibly 'tiburon') - grew well, very tasty, ranged from mild to surprisingly hot on the same plant. Picked perhaps twenty per plant 4" long, didn't let any get red ripe.

Numex Conquistador - unproductive, boring flavor, no heat. Will not repeat.

Tepin, collected in TX by a member of the hot pepper board - got a fair number to ripen before frost, very hot, not a lot of flavor. Will probably repeat as a curiosity, but will try some pequins (the domesticated version) to find better flavor.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 6:08PM
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The Fooled You jalapeno is one of my favorites to grow every year. I have a 84 year old father as well as a 95 year old aunt who love them, especially chilled in the refrigerator. For anyone else, they are a novelty worth trying.
A bell pepper that I had good results with was Colossal. Unfortunately I didn't grow any this year (trying other varieties) and I really wished I had. Large, thick walled peppers were common with this variety.
As far as a jalapeno with a little heat you might try a Tam jalapeno (short for tame?) or one called Senorita hybrid. Both are milder than a standard one. But what does happen often is that two peppers from the same plant can have a large difference in heat and make one wonder how hot a variety really is. When making salsa that you want a little heat, try cleaning out the inside membrane along with the seeds and you may be able to control how hot it can get that way.
And one variety of jalapeno that I grew this year and would recommend is a yellow jalapeno called Jaloro. These had a heavy set on the plants, were hot but not too hot and added color to whatever dish they were used in. I even dehydrated a bunch and crushed them up to use dry in salsa and other things. Good luck for next year.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 7:19PM
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Just like Skybird's thread on cukes - if I was going to base a recommendation on 'o8 performance, I'd be hard pressed. But, you left it a little more open-ended, Bonnie.

What would I recommend . . . oh, give me an hour or so to think but right off the bat . . . maybe Garden Salsa as a mildly hot pepper that always does fairly well to outstandingly well in my garden. It may tend to be a little too hot for some.

I can comment on your choices: Cubanelle is not a top choice with me. It was productive but, just as you found, the walls were thin and it is hard to peel. I felt that there had to be an Italian (yeah, I know some of them have Caribbean names) sweet pepper that was better.

Corno di Toro (I don't know whether Giallo or Rosso, not much goes beyond "green" in my garden) was probably the most productive pepper I've ever grown, altho' Garden Salsa can give it a pretty good run for the money. I was disappointed in its quality and my complaints are the same as with Cubanella.

I really like Italian Sweets because of Giant Marconi and Marconi. Giant Marconi supposedly isn't a Marconi but I don't know what that means. It has a wonderful flavor but isn't very productive. Except for this year, Marconi does great.

I'm goin' to do a little thinkin' about peppers, esp. hot ones but there are the Italians. I've tried a few other in that group but not all, by any stretch. Even the ones that I won't raise again (see above) aren't bad. I'm an aficionado

Uh, what's Italian for "aficionado?" That may be appropriate in the Spanish Caribbean but how 'bout "appassionato?!?"


    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 7:57PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Pepper Expert here! Hey! I grew one this year! Got a pack of free seed with my tomato seeds and decided to give it a try. I figured if I got some good peppers I could always give them away! Well my total croppicked the day I brought my tomatoes inconsisted of 6 pepperskinda! The biggest one was 3" longalmost! Two are (almost) 2" long and the other threewell.........

They obviously never "took off!" The variety is Golden Calwonder, and they never got anywhere near golden! I just cut the BIG one to do a taste test, and heres the results! I guess the flavor is okit tastes like a pepper! The walls are very thin, almost no flesh at all, and, based on what I remember from when I was a kid, the skin seems pretty thick/tough to me. And now that Ive eaten the whole thing, Ill be burping for the rest of the nite! Which is why I dont eat them, and also what happens when I eat cukes with seeds! (Hence my quest for the PERFECT seedless cuke!)

Your paprika one sounds interesting, Bonnie! Never thought about that possibility before! With my experience this year I kinda wonder, tho, if it would come anywhere near getting ripe! Did it taste any different from a regular sweet pepper when it was fresh? I might need to consider trying one of those next year.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 9:19PM
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david52 Zone 6

Things are pretty boring here, pepper-wise. I grew Gypsy - yellow to orange, which is sweet and thick walled, and California Wonder, the standard green bell. Then a whole bunch of Big Jim for roasting. Gypsy was spectacular this year, probably 8 - 12 fully sized peppers per plant.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 10:25PM
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I wonder if your King of the North had pollination problems and that was the cause of the odd shapes, Bonnie. Anyway, I'd choose that over some of the other bells for my garden. CalWonder would probably never have a chance here - didn't the 1 time I tried it.

I grow Peto and Whopper. I remember David saying that Whopper was a good "giant." What giant? I'm just hoping for a normal-sized pepper - that's true with both of these bells. Just hopin' and they come thru darn well by comparison.

Bonnie, you probably don't care about the hot ones but maybe others do. I don't have a real good choice for a jalapeño. Tried Jalapa the last 2 years along with others - it is nice but not very productive. Jalapeño M is, I believe, the standard & it's okay. Mucho Nacho is good-sized but HOT - kind of an ill-tempered jalapeño. I also liked Fooled You but that aint hot. And, it looks so much like the others, theres a serious danger of confusion in the kitchen . . . . !!!

It seems like the little guys will ripen when others never turn red. At least, that's true with Super Chili and Thai Hot. These things are the real fireworks in the pepper patch. They do just fine and I've now got 2 Thai Hot both known by that name but quite different in appearance. Harvest in a teacup . . . Super Chili is a little more robust plant.

One of these days, I'll grow Gypsy again. It produced well years ago but I guess it does have the ability to ripen. I harvested it too early and missed out, apparently.

Banana peppers seem easy to grow. I'd like to have 'em again but DW doesn't like 'em. Can't figure out why that's the case but with a pepper patch the size of a family garden all by itself, I suppose I should look for ones NOT to grow just so I can have more of the others.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 1:20AM
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david52 Zone 6

The years I grew Whopper, I'd get a one enormous pepper, maybe 8" long, 4" wide, and if I was lucky, another, smaller one. This year, and I dunno if the leaf-hopper thingie would effect the fruit or if it's just some other bug that bit into them, most of my California Wonders were mis-shaped.

The 'trick', as it were, here with the cool nights and hot days with all these peppers here is to let them get full sized-size wise, and then wait. And wait. Thats when they thicken up - so it looks like they're ready to pick in early Aug, but they really are ready in late Aug.

But I suspect thats due to my micro-climate issues.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 9:35AM
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Peppers, I planted way too many of them and did not get them in the ground early enough, but here is what I had.

Cubanella - was not really impressed, but was not bad used in stir-fry or dishes where it was not the main ingredient.

Gypsy - I have always liked and this year was no exception

Sweet Banana - was ok, but out of the three plants, I only got a few peppers, hope for better luck next year.

Mini Belle Chocolate - produced way more than I expected for the size of the plants. And when I said it was a chocolate pepper, the kids lined up.

Mini Belle Mix - compaired to the chocolates, this was a flop, but I will give them another shot next year, I do like little peppers that I can just eat.

King of teh North - I had nine plants and harvested about three bells per plant, which is not bad considering that where they got planted, they were almost constantly beaten by the wind this summer and the soil was not the greatest stuff I ever saw.

Enter the HOTS!!!

Tepin - a total flop, they never even sprouted. I was totally bummed man!

Bulgarian Carrot - went the same way as tepin, what's up with that dude?

Jalapeno - I only had three plant, in not the greatest soil, but still got a decent harvest out of them. I even missed some that the frost didn't :-(

Early Jalapeno - This performed much the same as the jalapeno, but was not an earlier.

Big Chili II Hybrid - These were not plentiful as I hoped, but the fruits were great. Good size, and thick walled. If I would have had more they would have been great for roasting.

Southwest Hot Chili - also a good chili. Compairable to big chili.

Anaheim - I think this was my chili winner. The chili's harvest from the two plant were the nicest ones I got, although the others were none too shabby.

The combo of the jalapenos, Big Chili, Southwest, and Anaheim made a powerful and flavorful salsa that my father loved (he likes things HOT, but with flavor)

For next year, I am thinking I want to try and locate some silt fencing (that black fence you see around construction sites) to put around the pepper to increase the warmth and cut off the wind.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 10:33PM
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I'm seconding what Billie says about Big Chili. I've grown it (and predecessor BC 1) for several years. It is a very good choice that I forgot to mention above.

BC probably really fits with Bonnie's "something mildly hot, for things like salsa" request as Billie suggests - used with Bonnie's Fooled You jalapeño, I 'spect.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 10:29AM
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austinnhanasmom(5 CO)

Still working on my favorite home grown pepper.

This year I grew non-hot varieties:
Holy Moly - wonderful flavor and decent yield. Will grow again, even though it's hybrid.
Big Jim - good flavor, not that big.
Anaheim - stuffable size, average flavor
Ancho 101 - AWESOME
Ancho San Luis - AWESOME
Mulato Island - AWESOME
Pueblo - AWESOME

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 10:54PM
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I have grown with good success and the bells and chili are big with thick walls unlike some other varieties that I have grown. I also grow Early Jalapeno for many years. I start them inside in January and usually transplant to hoop house in May.

Gurney's Giant
Big Chili
Big Bertha
Giant Marconi

I use the jalapenos to make Jalapeno pepper jelly and use some of the chili and bells with it. I also sell peppers at Farmer's Market.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 8:53PM
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Will add my 2 cents to this thread. I grow a wide variety of types, flavors and heat levels of peppers. I was raised in NM so biased towards the NM chilies and jalapenos. But grow many more including several bells. I will say my best chillies right now are seeds from a Mr. Larson who has a truck patch just east of Fowler,CO and has selected and done some breeding of peppers for several years. They are acclimated to this area and do well. He also has several heat levels. I might even have a few seeds I could share if someone wants to try one. Now I will list and describe some I grow.

Goliath Hybrid Bell - Good flavor- Nice sized -Has done very well for me
Chinese Bell- A big bell with moderate production and good flavor
Super Heavyweight Bell- One of the biggest. Very good for stuffing. Average production in most years.
Elisa Bell - Average size, moderate production and flavor ok.
Big Bertha, Whopper Improved, California Improved are all well known bells which are steady performers with good production. What I plant for stand byes as a guarantee of peppers.

Other sweet peppers
Super Red Pimento - Nice production, bland flavor and won't be back
Marconi - Good production and flavor
Zavory - A Habenero type with no heat.
Fooled You - A Jalapeno with no heat.

Chillie Peppers

Big Jim, Big Kim, Colossal Kim, Kim's Colossal, Larson's Mild Anaheim, Pueblo Chilie #9, Consquistador #2, Nu Mex Sandia Select are all from the Larson's at Fowler, CO. Heat range vary from mild to med-hot. None I would call hot. Several of these are very good for roasting. Some are wide and long with good flavor and make great roasters. I'm grouping these to make my post shorter. But will be glad to describe individually if you desire.
Fresno Chilie - A med hot chillie with average production and flavor. Won't be back.
Anaheim TMR - Med. heat, good flavor and average production here. Probably won't be back.

Goliath Jalapeno - Big plump. The hottest Jalapeno there is. Very good production. Good flavor. Takes very little to get all the heat you want. If used you need to use another mild or sweet pepper for seasoning as by the time you add enough for taste it will be too hot. And I eat hot food.
Grande Jalapeno - Hot, average flavor. Great for roasting. Big size
Purple jalapeno - Great flavor and average size and production. Med to hot heat
TAM Jalapeno - Great flavor, good producer and mile to med. heat. Very good for those who don't like one as warm
M Jalapeno - A nice one, average production. Good flavor and mild heat.

Other hots
Cayenne - Great production. Very hot. Great to dry and grind into chilli powder. Makes a good seasoning when used this way. I sometimes dry and mix in some miler ones with them.

I have seeds for some other new ones to me this year but haven't grown them yet. I'm in extreme SW KS next to OK and CO. So my conditions should be close to many of yours. Have a great growing season.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 11:01AM
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conace55(z5 CO)

I finally got around to reading this thread. For those of you that had success with growing peppers, I have this question. I, like Skybird, ended up with peppers with very thin walls and very little flesh. They were nice, healthy plants with quite a few peppers to harvest. Was this likely the variety that I grew or other factors? (The plant was an unmarked variety from the plant swap so that won't help your response).


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 9:19PM
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david52 Zone 6

Connie, I find that all the I grow peppers get to their full size, but the walls are really thin. To thicken the walls up, it takes several weeks longer, and I usually wait until they're just starting to turn color.

As a rule of thumb, I pick them the same time I pick tomatoes.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 2:51PM
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conace55(z5 CO)

Thanks David. I'll give it another try this year and let them grow a bit longer this time. Thanks for the insight.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 3:34PM
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It could be some of both. Some varieties have thick walls and some don't. Even in the chili peppers. I like the thick walls to roast and dry the thin walled varieties. The stage you pick them can also make a difference. But from my experience the variety makes the biggest. Do you know what you grew? That might explain some of it. Jay

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 7:49PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Well, I finally started my peppers today, so I thought I would resurrect this thread. Of course, I see that my list above only had 7 different peppers on it, and I ended up planting 15 different kinds. Hmmmm ... guess I better buy some more pots, LOL.

My 2009 Pepper List:

Alma Paprika - makes a GREAT paprika powder
Boldog Hungarian Spice - also a pepper used for paprika
Buran - a red bell type
Corno di Toro Giallo
Corno di Toro Rosso
Mini Belle Mix
Purple Beauty
Quadrato Asti Giallo
Quadrato Rosso D'Asti
Tequila Sunrise

So anyone else started theirs yet, and what's on your list?


    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 10:35PM
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I really want to turn over some new leaves in the pepper patch this year, Bonnie.

Last season was such a bad pepper year (along with a bad squash, cuke, and melon year) with all the Spring cold and clouds. And, with record cold temperatures right now, Spring doesn't look too promising this year either.

I didn't order Whopper this year for the 1st time in many. Peto Wonder is back and I've grown King Of The North once or twice before. New will be Snapper Bells from Johnny's. And then a couple bells that I hope are going to actually ripen to something other than green, Mandarin and Valencia.

Big Chili 2 was kind of hard to find this year so I've gone with yet another "improvement" - Biggie Chile. (They could have just called it Big Chili 3.) Giant Marconi is already sown but I'll check the garden center tomorrow for Marconi.

Garden Salsa, my good trusted hot pepper with another standby Jalapeño M, are in the soil.

Dynamite will be represented by Super Hot and Thai Hot. And then a few Japanese peppers for this year: Fushimi Sweet isn't a hot pepper but looks like one but then Takanotsume Hot and Yatsufusa Hot look lethal!


    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 1:04AM
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I believe the tam in tam jalapeno is not for tame. It stands for Texas a&m where it was developed. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2014 at 10:55PM
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George will have to comment.

I haven't changed much in the pepper patch over the last few years. I had poor performance out there by some this season when things shoulda gone better! I really shouldn't leave flowers and peppers on the plants when they are set out. They will slow the growth of foliage on the plants! Then, the hot July sun will burn the fruit ...

Some seed is no longer available to me. I'd like to grow Peto. Reimer's has Park's Whopper, whereas Park's, does not. King of the North has been in my garden too many seasons. It just doesn't do "well enuf" and I should relegate it to the annals of history. Buy Whopper seed from Reimer's??

I finally STOPPED picking Carmen too early (with the green Italian Sweets). Yes, it does live up to its name and ripened to a lovely red this year.

Garden Salsa, Super Chili and Thai Hots continue to be my reliable garden performers!

loyal digitS'

    Bookmark   September 24, 2014 at 6:13PM
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david52 Zone 6

My experiment on saving seeds from selected plants, themselves the F3 generation from inadvertent crosses between 4 different varieties of peppers, was a train wreck. Seems I was also breeding a healthy crop of Mild Mottled virus, and while some of the plants were not affected, many were, and after reading up on the virus I decided to chuck the whole lot and sterilize all my containers, potting soil, seedling trays, and so on.

I wrapped them all up in doubled, clear plastic trash bags, the doubling acts as insulation, and left them in the bright sun for 4 days. They get so hot that you can't touch them.

I did grow again Highlander Chili, a hybrid from Johnny's, that did very well.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2014 at 11:48AM
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