I grew Cayenne Peppers on a whim in 2013, and successfully in 2014. They have become one of my very favourite and possibly one of the least labour intensive things that I grow. And probably the only real standby varieties that I pick. There is no question in my mind at this time of year that I will be growing Cayenne Peppers. Using my own home-grown Cayenne Pepper (and pepper flakes) in my cooking throughout the winter was fun and a real sense of pride. AND because they are a hot pepper, the bugs seem to avoid it. All you really need to do is keep them watered and then harvest your crop. It is kind of a gateway plant to growing your own spices and I can’t recommend it enough.
As I was going through old gardening pictures, I found some of the Hungarian Hot Wax peppers I grew in 2014. I had completely forgot I had them, and they were so much fun. So I’m growing them again this year. Hopefully I will get around to pickling them too.
I also sowed some Habanero. I usually only ever get one little pepper a year, but its a fun little experiment. Also, being able to say I grew a Habanero outside in Canada is pretty fun to brag about. I actually thought I was going to skip these this year, but the bragging rights to growing them was too much temptation. Ideally, I should have sown these a little earlier just because they take so long to mature.
This year, I decided to skip the Jalapeno and the Kung Pao Peppers that I grew last year. The Kung Pao ones were pretty prolific, but so similar to the Cayenne, that I would just prefer the Cayenne. The taste was different, but I still prefer the Cayenne.
I was also going to sow some of the sweet peppers, But I am still undecided on actually growing them. I might wait until I decide which tomatoes I am growing, and how many containers I have left to use for the peppers. I didn’t get a massive harvest from them last year – Better than I ever have in the past, but still not huge. They are a little sensitive for our weather here, so might have to wait until I have a greenhouse to really grow enough that I feel like it is worth the labour to protect them from the weather. Our weather is like a moody PMS-ing teenage girl sometimes, and you never know what you are going to get. I would rather use my energy to protect tomatoes from wind and hail and whatever else we get thrown because they give me a huge harvest. That being said, I will probably grow one or two sweet pepper plants, I will just wait to start them until I actually make up my mind.
Just for future reference (mostly for myself), I started these in the jiffy peat pellets: 6x ‘Long Red Cayenne Slim’ Peppers; 4x ‘Hungarian Wax’ Hot Pepper, and 2x ‘Habanero Magnum’ Peppers. Fingers crossed for germination on the older seeds (I bought fresh Cayenne seed, so they should be good).
What peppers are you growing this year? Any I should keep an eye out for that are amazing? AND should I try Eggplant again? I have written them off in my mind as more of a greenhouse thing, but if you have any tips for me, put them in the comments below.