Ay ay ay! Peppers! Lol. So, I love peppers. They are so varied. You have sweet peppers, spicy peppers, KILLER spicy peppers . . . they are so different and wonderful. So I did a little research around the web and found some fun FAQ’s and some really good tips on growing peppers. Enjoy!
Black Jalapeno Peppers
Peppers are really really cool (hah! get it?). They are beautiful in your garden, super-simple to store, and you can make a TON of things with them. The satisfaction of growing your own ingredients to make salsa is pretty great, I have to say.
There are a few different categories of peppers, including Sweet, Specialty, Southwestern, Specialty Hot, and Ornamental. They are all really cool, and I found an awesome article about peppers and a chart to help you determine which peppers are best for you here.
Peppers like a pH between 6.0 and 6.5, a sunny area, and warm conditions. However, if you are in a cooler climate (like Idaho, for instance), you can use row covers at night to help out with this. Also, peppers are very similar to tomatoes and require much the same care. One thing to remember – make sure your soil drains well, as standing water will really encourage root rot in your peppers (and tomatoes).
For some really good information on transplanting tips (which will be excellent for tomatoes, too) – check out this article on Organic Gardening’s website. One thing I found interesting is they recommend to take your peppers outside the first time on a cloudy day, so they don’t get sun shocked. Very helpful!
For taste: Lack of water can produce bitter peppers – who knew? As for making your peppers hotter – there is a lot of conflicting information out there. Pepper Joe says you can’t. It’s all to do with genetics. However, there was a study done in 2008 showing spicier peppers appeared where there was more water, whereas less spicy peppers thrived in areas where water was more scarce. So it seems as though spice-less peppers are more drought-resistant . . . but honestly, who knows?
Ghost, Jalapeno, and Habanero Peppers
In my humble opinion, if you want a really spicy pepper, you should pick a hot variety (habaneros, ghost, etc), take the seeds from your hottest yield one year, and just keep propagating that pepper until it’s as hot as you like it.
Peppers can experience Blossom-end Rot just like tomatoes, and also Blossom Drop, so you want to make sure you regularly water (don’t let them dry out and then drench them), and don’t let them get too hot. They will drop their blossoms if temperatures rise above 95°-ish.
Watch for aphids. They are awful little buggers. However, they are reasonably simple to get rid of – organically. First – if you have ladybugs, just be patient. They get rid of aphids. Otherwise, you can spray the aphids with Garlic/pepper spray – recipe here. Note – since aphids are soft-bodied insects, our Diatomaceous Earth won’t get rid of them – sorry!!!