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Poll

In your garden do you grow any chili peppers, if so, what is your favorite?

Yes, and my favorite is Bolivian Rainbow chili peppers because it's like a Christmas tree you can eat from.
Yes, but really hot chilis scare me and give me the creeps, so I like Sonora to make chili rellenos.
Yes, and since I'm addicted to Tommy's Chili I grow Cascabella peppers not to be confused with Cascabel peppers.
Yes, although I take pride in really hot ones so I grow Trinidad Moruga peppers with 2 million scovilles.
No, and my garden is immune to chili peppers but I can't get rid of certain pests for whatever reason.

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Offline Neil Obstat

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Home gardens - how many have chilli peppers?
« on: September 20, 2017, 01:03:32 PM »
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  • .
    Chili peppers are not for everyone. 
    .
    However, even gardeners who don't like to eat chilis sometimes appreciate having them in their garden for various reasons.
    .
    Some cooks and food connoisseurs cringe at the mention of peppers, but the vast majority of gourmets appreciate their judicious use.
    .
    Chili peppers are not just for eating. Police grade pepper spray (5 m Scoville range) can deter crime, but drug addicts curiously may be unaffected.
    .
    Some marine paints use chili pepper derivatives to repel barnacles and gardeners can repel certain pests like ants with ecologically friendly pepper sprays.
    .
    Chili peppers are rich in color, shape and sizes, providing a lush note of accent to the appearance of a garden with the added benefit of keeping many pests away even if you never pick the fruit.
    .
    Growers with various combinations of varieties have found that cross breeding has resulted in very different peppers that have combinations of characteristics found in nearby pepper plants. 
    .
    Some breeders compete in selectively developing new strains of chili peppers for the purpose of scoring more points in hotness competitions.
    .
    Extremely hot peppers can be sensed by touch alone, as with a finger, after which one must be cautious not to rub one's eye with the same finger.
    .
    The hottest peppers often have a rough appearance to their skin, like a skin rash or tiny blisters, so you might like to stand back when you see that.
    .

    .
    Chili pepper plants with the fruit growing upwards can be quite colorful and are a useful element for highly creative flower arrangements.
    .

    .
    Some seed companies deliver mistakes and you can get pepper plants that look utterly nothing like what you thought you were getting.
    .
    Growing chili peppers can be something like gambling because the outcome is very hard to predict, and can be quite surprising.
    .
    Chili peppers grow in the wild very well, so if you have some untended land nearby it might be fun to distribute a variety of seeds and see what happens.
    .
    If you ever come across someone whose experience growing chili peppers has been terrible please post the story because I have yet to see one.
    .
    Search as you may everyone who has tale to tell about growing chilis is brimming with joy and enthusiasm. Weird.
    .
    The presence of chili pepper plants is an important component of a healthy environment for plant growth.
    .
    You might find that after chili peppers start growing in a particular area suddenly other interesting plants begin to spring up, too.
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    There is a degree of inconsistency in the names used for some peppers so beware of possible identity confusion.
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    Offline St Ignatius

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    Re: Home gardens - how many have chilli peppers?
    « Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 01:14:24 PM »
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  • You forgot a few varieties... so I can't participate in your poll.

    We have sorranos, jalapenos and green chilies (grown from seed from green chilies of Hatch NM.)

    The sorrano an jalapeno plants really add a nice touch in the greenhouse, very beautiful plants!


    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Re: Home gardens - how many have chilli peppers?
    « Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 03:10:53 PM »
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  • You forgot a few varieties... so I can't participate in your poll.

    We have sorranos, jalapenos and green chilies (grown from seed from green chilies of Hatch NM.)

    The sorrano an jalapeno plants really add a nice touch in the greenhouse, very beautiful plants!
    .
    It would be great if you could kindly post a few pics for the world to see what you mean by "beautiful."
    .
    You're right, jalapenos, serranos and green chilies are among the most popular for home gardens. My bad.
    .
    Hey, they only gave me 5 slots for options. What can I say?
    .
    Serrano chili peppers are the ones El Pollo Loco uses so much they pile some up in the salsa bar -- it seems to me the serrano pepper is a key ingredient to their very delicious citrus chicken marinade, that and saffron (very small quantity though, at $400 an ounce it's too expensive).
    .
    I find it noteworthy that two of the items EPL offers for free are their most delicious: serrano chiles and creamy cilantro salad dressing, which together make a unique dipping-and-crunching taste sensation. Not for the spiciness-squeamish amongst us, however.
    .

    .
    Do your serranos look like that? They're best fresh because dehydrated they lose their powerful flavor, and they get moldy too fast.
    .
    Jalapenos are misunderstood and alarmingly controversial, it seems to me. I have asked chefs at Mexican restaurants about using them and I am amazed at the variety of replies I get. Some say they use them "for the hot" (meaning hot spiciness), while others say they're not hot enough but they have a special flavor that can't be duplicated or faked, so they use them for their flavor, mostly.
    .

    .
    Have you ever seen purple jalapenos? They start green, become purple for a few days, then mature on the plant to deep red. With all three colors simultaneously, green, purple and red, the plant makes a gorgeous addition to your garden, and they're not as hot as typical jalapenos.
    .

    .
    I was amazed to discover that chipotle peppers are nothing but smoked and dried jalapenos. It takes 10 pounds of the latter to yield one pound of the former.
    .

    .
    Do your Hatch green chiles look like these? I know, these are red. duuh. But I think they may have started out green.  
    .
    Hatch chiles are a cultivar of the common New Mexico green chili developed at the Chile Institute at New Mexico State University in the 1920s. The Hatch Chile Festival occurs annually each Labor Day weekend and draws up to 30,000 people from around the world to the tiny town of less than 2,000 residents.
    .
    There are many varieties of Hatch Peppers. Here is a list of the most popular: NuMex Big Jim | NuMex Sandia | NuMex Joe E. Parker | New Mexico 6-4 | NuMex Heritage 6-4 | NuMex Heritage Big Jim | Barker Extra Hot | NuMex R Naky.
    .
    Have you tried throwing some chiles into the blender to see what you get?
    .
    I don't know anything about tomatillos but I saw a guacamole recipe the suggests roasted ones as an optional ingredient.
    .
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    Offline St Ignatius

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    Re: Home gardens - how many have chilli peppers?
    « Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 04:19:25 PM »
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  • .
    It would be great if you could kindly post a few pics for the world to see what you mean by "beautiful."
    .
    You're right, jalapenos, serranos and green chilies are among the most popular for home gardens. My bad.
    .
    Hey, they only gave me 5 slots for options. What can I say?
    .
    Serrano chili peppers are the ones El Pollo Loco uses so much they pile some up in the salsa bar -- it seems to me the serrano pepper is a key ingredient to their very delicious citrus chicken marinade, that and saffron (very small quantity though, at $400 an ounce it's too expensive).
    .
    I find it noteworthy that two of the items EPL offers for free are their most delicious: serrano chiles and creamy cilantro salad dressing, which together make a unique dipping-and-crunching taste sensation. Not for the spiciness-squeamish amongst us, however.
    .

    .
    Do your serranos look like that? They're best fresh because dehydrated they lose their powerful flavor, and they get moldy too fast.
    .
    Jalapenos are misunderstood and alarmingly controversial, it seems to me. I have asked chefs at Mexican restaurants about using them and I am amazed at the variety of replies I get. Some say they use them "for the hot" (meaning hot spiciness), while others say they're not hot enough but they have a special flavor that can't be duplicated or faked, so they use them for their flavor, mostly.
    .

    .
    Have you ever seen purple jalapenos? They start green, become purple for a few days, then mature on the plant to deep red. With all three colors simultaneously, green, purple and red, the plant makes a gorgeous addition to your garden, and they're not as hot as typical jalapenos.
    .

    .
    I was amazed to discover that chipotle peppers are nothing but smoked and dried jalapenos. It takes 10 pounds of the latter to yield one pound of the former.
    .

    .
    Do your Hatch green chiles look like these? I know, these are red. duuh. But I think they may have started out green.  
    .
    Hatch chiles are a cultivar of the common New Mexico green chili developed at the Chile Institute at New Mexico State University in the 1920s. The Hatch Chile Festival occurs annually each Labor Day weekend and draws up to 30,000 people from around the world to the tiny town of less than 2,000 residents.
    .
    There are many varieties of Hatch Peppers. Here is a list of the most popular: NuMex Big Jim | NuMex Sandia | NuMex Joe E. Parker | New Mexico 6-4 | NuMex Heritage 6-4 | NuMex Heritage Big Jim | Barker Extra Hot | NuMex R Naky.
    .
    Have you tried throwing some chiles into the blender to see what you get?
    .
    I don't know anything about tomatillos but I saw a guacamole recipe the suggests roasted ones as an optional ingredient.
    .
    Wish I took pictures earlier this month, had door ways open and a terrible wind came through and broke off the tops that where loaded... so pictures will be somewhat dishonest due to the angle I chose to take the shots...

    Unfortunately, our green chilies where out in the field a day or two with our other field crops before a terrible hail storm came and destroyed everything.  Most of the squash and melons recovered.

    Our serranos and jalapenos have been too stink'n HOT to really enjoy. Hopefully they'll tone down a bit soon.

    Don't know the recipe, have to ask my wife, but we do have an excellent recipe for green chile. You do put the chilies in a blender though... they have been previously roasted.

    There's nothing like driving through Hatch during their festival, the smell is just absolutely phenomenal...



    Offline AlligatorDicax

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    Re: Home gardens - how many have chilli peppers?
    « Reply #4 on: September 20, 2017, 05:55:29 PM »
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  • You forgot a few varieties ... so I can't participate in your poll.

    Me neither!  It's, um, highly illogical to create a poll that includes so few varieties, but whose lack of an "other varieties" choice excludes pepper enthusiasts because they favor (not to put too sharp a point on it) other varieties.

    We have s o erranos, jalapenos and green chilies ([...] Hatch NM.)  The se ]rrano an jalapeno plants really add a nice touch in the greenhouse, very beautiful plants!

    "[T]he greenhouse".  I envy your gardening circumstances.  Sigh.

    Search as you may everyone who has tale to tell about growing chilis is brimming with joy and enthusiasm. Weird.  If you ever come across someone whose experience growing chili peppers has been terrible please post the story because I&#160have yet to see one.

    Not "terrible", but certainly frustrating in recent years.

    When I moved away from a problematic place where I was responsible for maintaining its yard, I tried to make my peace with terminating my earlier pepper-gardening efforts.  I thought that my gardening syndrome was in remission, and I gave away numerous gardening tools and materials.

    But having settled into a new place that completely lacks any outdoor space where I have exclusive control over physical access (e.g.: a porch, balcony, or fenced plot), my gardening syndrome reasserted itself.  So now, I'm limited to container gardening in a space that's not only shared by other residents, but also technically not an allowed use of that shared space at all.  Because it's a matter in which "perceptions" make a difference,  it seems that a tall narrow plant is less socially troublesome than a broad or bushy plant.

    So I must make every container count, which means that I'm unable to arrange survival-thro'-diversity by creating a multivariety crop occupying numerous containers for each season.  And that makes me especially vulnerable to having my whole crop wiped out by a single pest, or a single lapse in care, during the long growing season.

    Among other residents who grow anything at all, they typically grow decorative plants (or weeds they fancy as being such).  I've had 1 former neighbor crowd my plants with her plants, so closely that her insect pests didn't need to fly over to mine, but just walk across the crowded leaves.  And when they even notice that their plants are hosting a big party for insect pests, they don't practice the restraint with pesticides that I must practice with mine, which are, of course, food plants.  Mistakes with pesticide application on decorative plants won't poison those residents, but their clueless misuse might poison me!

    It's not my neighboring residents, but their visiting (late-teen or young-adult) children or grandchildren, whose modernist ethics present the threat of theft--and the threat of damage to my plants from brute-force theft of fruits.  So I don't grow varieties as mild as jalapeños (and never ever considered growing tomatoes).


    Offline AlligatorDicax

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    Re: Home gardens - how many have chilli peppers?
    « Reply #5 on: September 20, 2017, 06:00:40 PM »
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  • Not "terrible", but certainly frustrating in recent years.

    In past years, I've had wide-ranging degrees of success with plants overwintered at least 1 year:
    •  generic seedling Tabascos (1 of which grew to 6 feet tall over 3--4 years, was highly productive, but then lost vigor);
    •  generic seedling Habaneros (not especially productive in their floor-space-consuming low bushy growth);
    •  Trinidad Scorpions (from seeds casually given to me; too potent for my tastes); and
    •  Datils (from St. Augustine family-heirloom seeds).

    Plus a failure from plants that didn't survive anywhere nearly long enough for overwintering:
    •  Florida "grove" seedlings (obtained by the kindness of 1 Florida commercial horticulturalist).

    The Tabascos were the most practically successful: High enough productivity for my own needs, plus plenty for requests from the few neighbors who were interested, but were pungent enough to deter typical thieves.  The pods' small size made individual peppers a useful unit for spicing food (i.e.: counting pods as if measuring out unciae; it takes some count significantly greater than 6 Tabascos to equal the potency of 1 Habanero).

    The Florida "grove" seedlings were a double mystery; I lost all of them to 1 frustratingly fast-acting fungal infection rising from the roots up the stem, long before I could reasonably expect them to produce flowers or pods to begin to identify them.

    The very few Datils that survived to bear any peppers at all produced few, more like the Habaneros (C. chinense) of which they are a variety.  A first-try surprise, because the Datil pods I grew were much smaller than a Habanero, and not much more than double the volume of a Tabasco, but not near half the production of a Tabasco.  I optimistically set aside most of the few pods for seed.  Worse, I lost the last of my overwintered Datils a few months ago when I hastily poured an old batch of premixed liquid fertilizer on it, having failed to recognize that white stuff floating in the jug was not the foam of a shaken-jug, but instead a fungus.  That plant promptly died from a fungal infection rising from the roots up the stem.  Arrrgh!

    Offline St Ignatius

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    Re: Home gardens - how many have chilli peppers?
    « Reply #6 on: September 26, 2017, 06:52:31 PM »
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  • Not chili peppers, but getting some nice colors in our bell peppers...


    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Re: Home gardens - how many have chilli peppers?
    « Reply #7 on: September 26, 2017, 08:08:38 PM »
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  • Not chili peppers, but getting some nice colors in our bell peppers...


    .
    Wow! Those are gorgeous bell peppers! Congratulations.
    .
    And your serranos and jalapenos look real nice, too.
    .

    .
    I just went to Vallarta (supermarket) and in the produce section I asked a workman there about which peppers are the hottest. He told me the Habaneros and the Arbol chili peppers are the hottest but he recommended the Arbol because he said they have more flavor, and that you only need about 5 to make salsa. So I got about 10 of them. He said I could try one if I wanted to, but I was afraid of it being too hot.
    .
    Mistake! I tried one when I got to the car and found it wasn't hot AT ALL. I mean, not even like a bell pepper! I could eat an entire pepper, thinner than serranos but about as long, without restraint. It was like munching on a carrot, only softer.
    .
    So the moral of the story is, don't believe what the attendant tells you, and don't be afraid to take a taste of a pepper before you buy some.
    .
    I'm glad I didn't buy seeds and wait 2 months to find out they're not hot enough!! HAHAHA
    .
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    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Re: Home gardens - how many have chilli peppers?
    « Reply #8 on: September 26, 2017, 08:49:11 PM »
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  • .
    It would be great if this thread encourages someone to give peppers a chance in their garden, if they've been afraid to do so in the past for whatever reason.
    .
    Earlier I posted the following:

    Quote
    Serrano chili peppers are the ones El Pollo Loco uses so much they pile some up in the salsa bar -- it seems to me the serrano pepper is a key ingredient to their very delicious citrus chicken marinade, that and saffron (very small quantity though, at $400 an ounce it's too expensive).
    .
    I was going to mention a little secret.... Serrano chilis are not expensive, like 99c a pound today at Vallarta, so that means about 2c each, roughly. But you can pick up one or two for free at EPL. The trick is, they offer a salad dressing "creamy cilantro" that is quite popular. Like their other offerings, it has no shelf life --- I suppose that means they don't use preservatives. I've found that using the c. c. dressing as a DIP, you can eat these serranos like candy. No jive. The dressing quells the spiciness of the chili pepper and rounds out the flavor. Of course, it's best as an adjunct to their other items, like chicken!
    .
    Anyone who likes the flavor of serrano chilis ought to give this a try, but you might not be fortunate enough to have an El Pollo Loco restaurant nearby. I think they're only in California, presently. Their website shows 6 in Fresno, 6 in Bakersfield and scores in the L.A./Ventura region, 3 in the Bay area, and quite a few in San Diego. They're scattered around the inland empire, Murrieta to Palm Springs. One in Bishop, one in Big Bear!
    .
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    Offline St Ignatius

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    Re: Home gardens - how many have chilli peppers?
    « Reply #9 on: October 09, 2017, 06:06:35 PM »
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  • Serrano and jalapeno update; getting greenhouse ready for a cold night, supposed to drop into the mid 20's...

    Thought I'd share the coloring in my chile peppers while I can, if my heater fails tonight, I'll probably lose everything. 


    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Re: Home gardens - how many have chilli peppers?
    « Reply #10 on: October 09, 2017, 06:53:41 PM »
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  • Serrano and jalapeno update; getting greenhouse ready for a cold night, supposed to drop into the mid 20's...

    Thought I'd share the coloring in my chile peppers while I can, if my heater fails tonight, I'll probably lose everything.


    .
    They look great! The red serranos look like they're very ripe -- do they take on a different flavor when they turn red?'
    .
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    Offline St Ignatius

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    Re: Home gardens - how many have chilli peppers?
    « Reply #11 on: October 09, 2017, 07:39:26 PM »
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  • .
    They look great! The red serranos look like they're very ripe -- do they take on a different flavor when they turn red?'
    .

    Just tried a red and a green of each...

    The verdict is:

    Green serrano had a mild flavor and a decent to a rigorous bite. (Some of the samplers are still lamenting...)

    Red serrano had a more robust flavor and had a much milder bite.

    Jalapenos had similar results as the serranos.


     

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