Day 195 - July 25, 2011

Just a quick update on my Banana (Hungarian Wax) peppers.  I mentioned earlier one plant was looking a bit sickly.  I have tried several remedies but have been unable to rid it of its yellowish and droopy leaves.  I had basically quit worrying about it since it wasn’t getting any worse and was still carrying a good load of fruit.  In fact, a lot of the pods were turning orange and even pushing red.  But, I may have figured out the problem today.  I was looking at the plant and a pod looked kind of shriveled up.  I squeezed it and sure enough, it was very soft and wrinkly.  I cut it off and discarded it but then I noticed several others were soft too.  I quickly started to think that this was the end and it was finally dying.  But then I realized that NONE of the pods that were ripening were soft.  Only the yellow ones.  I came up with the theory that maybe the plant had too much fruit and was simply allowing some of the pods that were not close to ripening to die off giving it more energy for bringing the currently ripening fruit the rest of the way.  I figure that is why the plant was looking sickly the whole time.  It just couldn’t support all the fruit and finally gave up.  Well, I picked about 20 of the non-ripe soft pods and left a good two dozen still on the plant.  I hope to see the plant rebound in the next several days to a week now that it’s load has been lessened dramatically.  If not, I will be picking the remaining pods as is.  Many are already near fully ripe while others are orange or just getting an orange tint.  There are still quite few that are yellow too.

Here is a photo of the plant showing many of the pods from yellow to near red.

Here are the peppers that I picked off it this evening:

I hope I can show you a revitalized plant in a week or so.

pepperpikker@gmail.com

Day 194 - July 24, 2011

I picked another haul of peppers today.  Mostly Cayenne and Long Red Slims.  It seems my Ghost Peppers and Habaneros have slowed down a little while the Cayenne varieties are going strong.  All the plants except for the Habanero and Ghost Peppers have stopped putting out blooms all together.  I have not seen a bloom on any of those plants for several days.  Probably shortly after they began setting ripe pods.  My Hot Bananas and Charleston have also stopped blooming and still have not put out their first fully ripe fruit.  I am not sure why all but the super hot varieties have quit blooming.  My first thought is that they are putting all their energy into growing what fruit the already have but I think maybe it is more likely that it has something to do with the long heat wave we have been in and pretty much still are in.

Here is my harvest from earlier today.  I think this will be the last time I pick any fruit for 4 or 5 days.  I want to let the next pods become fully before I pick them.  All my plants still have plenty of pods on them and should be putting out ripe pods for several weeks yet.  Two of my Bhut’s still haven’t put out any really ripe pods yet.  There are several getting close but they will be producing for quite a while also.  I need to take the Tule cloth off of the branches that I isolated a few weeks ago.  The one on the larger plant has at least three pods growing inside it so I know I will get some pods that I can harvest seeds from and I will be assured the seeds will be pure and not cross pollinated.  I am not sure the Tule bag on the other plant has any pods yet but in both cases, the branches are clearly outgrowing the capacity of the bag and if I leave it on, I am sure it will harm the plant.

pepperpikker@gmail.com

Day 192 - July 22, 2011

Well, they are finally starting to put out ripe fruit.  My Cayenne, Long Red Slim and one Bhut put out their first fruit about a week ago.  Now today I picked my first Orange Habanero and it looks like I will be picking a Bhut Jolokia off of one of my other two plants soon.  The third, smaller plant is still green (yellow green).  The Banana Peppers are showing more and more orange and I noticed a streak of orange in on of the Charlestons.  I picked another selection of peppers today.  Here are some photos below:

This is my harvest over the last two days:

Notice the Orange Habanero peppers.  The first of the year.

I sliced all the peppers in half for drying.  Here are the Cayennnes and Long Red Slims. 

And the Ghost Peppers and Habaneros:

I think I will be getting several peppers ripe each day now for a while and I should have some Banana Peppers as well as Charlestons going ripe very soon now.

pepperpikker@gmail.com

Day 188 - July 18, 2011

We are in the midst of a huge heat wave.  I have moved my plants to the garage during the daytime to lessen the impact.  However, they are beginning to put out ripened fruit.  I picked a couple more excellent looking Ghost Peppers today allong with three Cayennes and three Long Red Slims.  I also picked two Banana peppers that were beginning to turn orange.  One of the Banana plants has turned a yellowish color and has been losing leaves.  I gave them all some Miracle Gro Tomato fertilizer with calcium hoping that might help.  We got a 1/4 inch of rain last night so that should start working in right a way.  Other than that, the plant is doing great.  In fact, it is still putting out blooms where the healthier looking one has stopped.  Most of my plants have ceased putting out blooms after their load of peppers has grown to maturity.  However, the Habanero and the Ghost peppers are still going strong with blooms.  Once I start picking some more ripe fruit, I am sure the Cayenne, Long Red Slim, Charleston and Banana Plant will start blooming again.   I have to confess that I broke down and actually tasted a Ghost Pepper today.  I sliced my original pepper and took a slice about half the size of a penny and about 1/16th inch thick and chewed it.  It took two chews and about 5 seconds to realize I was making a mistake.  I instantly spit it out in the sink and washed my mouth with tap water before reaching for the milk jug.  I drank about 32 ounces of milk over a 10-15 minute period before I felt comfortable again.  I could tell the way the heat (no burning) came on so quick that it was going to get bad.  I am sure I only experienced a small sample of the potential of the Ghost Pepper.  But I did experience enough to know that I will never be completely eating a whole one or even a piece of one.  I mean, the burn is a burn, not like really hot pepper on a pizza or in some other food.  It was pain, not just a hot taste.  I did it with no one around so there wont be any Utube videos or photos hitting the internet. 

I have been told the Banana Peppers are probably Hungarian Wax Peppers but very similar anyway.  I have yet to taste one and I will probably be taking these two to my father’s soon.  He wanted some semi hot peppers for sandwiches and such.  I am sure I will have to test them first though. 

Here is my harvest from today:

Two Ghost Peppers, three Cayennes, three Long Red Slims and two ripening Banana Peppers. 

Here is the piece of Ghost Pepper that I ate.  It is on the tip of the Filet Knife. 

Here is my peppers in the dehydrator. 

I have the dehydrator in the garage.  I remember reading where one fellow tried to dry Ghost Peppers in the kitchen and when his wife got home, he got in trouble.  I can see why.  I went back out there maybe 10 minutes after I started them drying to take this photo and the aroma was immediate upon opening the door to the garage.  I can’t imagine what it would do to a kitchen.

pepperpikker@gmail.com

Day 184 - July 14, 2011

Well, I went ahead and picked a couple of my peppers that were starting to ripen.  I am hoping it spurs my plants into speeding up the ripening process on the remaining peppers.  Here is a photo of my first Peppers.  The top pepper is a Cayenne, the middle three are Ghost Peppers and the bottom one is a Long Red Slim.  I am not sure why the smaller Ghost peppers ripened early but I picked them any way.

I am going to leave the out to let them finish ripening.  Then I will find some idiot to eat them.  My Banana Peppers, Charleston and Habanero still don’t have any peppers that are showing signs they are ready to start ripening.

pepperpikker@gmail.com

Day 183 - July 13, 2011

Well, just past the 180 day (6 month) mark, I have peppers going ripe.  I noticed them last night but took these photos today.  It has been a long time coming and it looks like I will have several more turning colors in the coming days.  So far, I have found ripe pods on the Cayenne, Long Red Slim and Bhut Jolokias (Ghost Peppers).  The Bananas, Habanero and Charleston are lagging behind.  But I expect something from them soon also.  All plants have pods that are mature size.  My thoughts are that the cooler weather along with some rain has brought my plants out of their slumber.  More 90 degree temps scheduled going into next week so I hope they don’t go back to sleep.  I have also noticed that with the onset of cooler weather, the plants are pushing out more buds and blooms along with growing more plant mass.  I just hope it keeps up.

Here is the Ghost Pepper:

The Cayenne:

And the Long Red Slim:

My next post will probably show some harvested fruit.

pepperpikker@gmail.com

Day 177 - July 7, 2011

Well, lots of hot weather, little rain but my peppers seem to be taking it all in just fine.  My only issue is that nothing is turning red or even orange yet.  I am getting real anxious to start harvesting some fruit.  Many of the peppers are the mature size already but just won’t seem to give up the green color.

Here are my Ghost Peppers:

Here is my rightmost plant (kinda hard to tell as they are growing outward instead up upward lately.

This is my middle plant and my most productive so far.  You can see some of the pods on this plant.

Here are some photos of some of the pods on this plant:

Here is the left most plant.  This is the one with yellowish pods. They are still much more yellowish than those on the other two plants.

This is one of the bigger pods on the plant.

Now for my other varieties:
Here are all the peppers lined up on my deck shelf.

Here is my Cayenne: (notice the bamboo sticks holding up some of the peppers)  I had several touching the soil and they were rotting so I had to prop up a few low hangers.

Here is one of my Cayenne pods:

Here is my Charleston Plant.  Notice it is still much yellower than the rest of the pepper plants.  But it is putting out good pods and some of the pods have a discoloration on them but I understand that to be common.

Here is one of the bigger pods so far:

Here is a pod with the discoloration:

My Banana Peppers are doing great.  They are getting a lot of pods and they are getting big and heavy.  Here is my first Banana Pepper plant:

And a nice sized pod from this plant:

Here is the second Banana Pepper plant:

And one of it’s nicer pods:

My Habanero is thriving.  It is tough to see the pods on this plant but several are close to mature size and there are many smaller ones on their way.

One of the nice looking pods from the Habanero:

Here is my Long Red Slim.  Lots of pods on this guy too. 

One of the LRS pods:

Hopefully, for my next post, you will see some pods that I have been able to harvest.

pepperpikker@gmail.com

Day 170 - June 30, 2011

No photos.  Just a quick update.  I actually had to water my peppers for the first time in probably a month.  We have had ample rain this June so it wasn’t necessary.  But it has been dry for about a week now with hot sunny weather and now a heat advisory for tomorrow with temps to go past 95.  There is no rain in the forecast for the next 4 days.  My peppers were just beginning to show some stress from the lack of water yesterday afternoon and with the forecast calling for even more heat and sun in the next few days, I decided to soak them down good since I will be gone camping during the coming heat wave.

That being said, all my plants are doing well.  They all are producing fruit with some being very productive.  I was hoping for some ripe peppers by now but none have begun the color change as yet.  I am real hopeful that I have something to pick when I get back from camping on July 4th.  We roots, lots of sun and heat and some large pods should add up to something I can put on the cutting board.  I am really looking forward to finding out how hot the Banana Peppers really are or if they are maybe the sweet variety.  Also, the Bhut Jolokias are looking nasty and I can’t wait to get one of those off the plant and find some idiot to try it out for me.  Hahahaha. 

pepperpikker@gmail.com

Day 166 - June 26th, 2011 - Entry 2

And here are photos of my other pepper plants.  They are all producing a lot of pods and several look to be getting near the stage they will be ripening soon.  The Banana peppers don’t put out nearly as many buds and blooms as the other plants but they convert nearly 100% to fruit.  I have one or two on each plant that are getting pretty big already.  I have not measured them but they have to be a good 4” long now and getting thick.  The Habanero and the rest of the bunch are also putting out a lot of good looking pods.

All six plants from back to front and left to right:
Banana-1     Banana-2    Habanero

    Charleston    Long Red Slim    Cayenne

Banana Pepper-1

Banana Pepper-2

Charleston:

Cayenne:

Habanero:

I seem to have missed photographing the Long Red Slim…sorry.

Pepperpikker@gmail.com

Day 166 - June 26th, 2011 - Entry 1

It looks like the weather is finally beginning to settle into a normal summer pattern around here. It had been cool and rainy the last couple weeks with little sun.  But the weather seems to be moving to something better for growing peppers.  Just as long as we don’t start hitting a string of nineties again.  I was about to water my peppers today for the first time in a good two weeks but it looks like rain tomorrow and the next day so I will let mother nature do her job.  Probably add a bit of bloom booster fertilizer in prep for the rains.

Despite the crazy weather, my peppers seem to be getting along with the business of producing fruit quite nicely.  Every one of my plants are beginning to load up with pods and several look like they are getting close to ripening although I haven’t noticed any changing color yet.  I have quite a few Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper) pods that are in the 2” range now and one that is nearly 2.5 inches long right now.  I am still having a lot of blooms dropping off but I am also getting a good number to pollinate and turn to pods.  One of my Ghost Pepper plants is now 26” high, and at its widest point is 37” wide.  It is beginning to encroach on one of my other Bhuts but I am not worried.  One of my Bhuts has put out pods that are soley a very light green if not yellowish color.  I dont understand the reason.  It gets treated the same as all my other Bhuts.  Same soil, water, fertilizer, sun etc…  It is my second most productive Bhut plant.  The tall wide one is the best producer by far.  Even though it is much taller and much less dense, it has the most and biggest pods. 

Here are some photos of my Bhut Jolokias.  I will discuss the other peppers after the photos.

Here is a photo of some of the pods on the leftmost plant, the one with yellowish pods:

This is a photo of some of the peppers on my best plant:

Here is a photo of one of the branches from that plant that I “bagged” with tulle fabric to ensure it is self pollinated and thus “pure”.  I will save the seeds from the pods I get that develop inside the bag and use them for planting next year or in trade for other seeds.

Here are photos of the measurements on them best plant:  (I am appologize if the photos are not real clear)

Here is a photo of my biggest Bhut Jolokia Pepper so far:

I will put my description of my other pepper plants in a separate blog entry.

pepperpikker@gmail.com