In my last blog, I talked about my eggplant choices for 2017. Now I will discuss my strategy for peppers this year.
But before I do, I want to say a few words about my first speaking event of the year - the Sustainability Action Institute, which took place yesterday in Williamston, North Carolina. Thanks so much to Wes Gray for the invitation to speak at the event, and to Dawn Morriston for the great communications during the lead up to the day. Each opportunity to share my tomato stories with farmers and gardeners is special; the first of the year - particularly being in the state where we live - makes it doubly so. Another bonus is that my two best friends, Allen and Bob, made this a road trip - having them there - as well as Allen's brother Doward - was very special indeed. (lunch at the Cypress Grill was icing on the cake!)
OK - on to peppers. Sweet peppers were chosen to further some more dehybridization efforts; Blue Jay, and Chocolate Bell. Hot peppers focused on some super hots grown fairly recently from plants given to me by a gardening friend.
Here is the list of peppers that were planted on February 11: Amethyst, Fire Opal, Candy Corn, White Gold, Royal Purple (the 5 named varieties I selected from Blue Jay over the past decade), and an open pollinated green ripening to brown selection from the hybrid Chocolate Bell (originally from Stokes many years ago).
The super hot peppers are Billy Goat, Brown Moruga, Ghost, Trinidad Scorpion Butch T, Seven Pot Brain Strain, Bhut Jokolia, Jamaican Hot Chocolate, Chocolate Habanero and Red Habanero. Additional hot peppers planted are Fish, Padron, Malu Miris, Gemstone and Bouquet. I've also planted a few so-called "seasoning" peppers that look like Habs, have the unique fruity flavors, but no heat; these are Trinidad Perfume, Trinidad, Seasoning, Tobago Seasoning, and Habanero Dulce.
As of today - February 18 (which is day 7), 7 cells of eggplants (out of 19), and 8 cells of peppers (out of 31) show life. This is not unexpected, as germination time for eggplant and peppers is longer than tomatoes, and often quite variable.
I will discuss plant availability and timing once I get through my tomato list - probably within the next week.