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My 2011 Pepper Row

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

I've got one 50' row of peppers in my garden this year. They were all raised from seeds, and the plants have been in the garden about five weeks now - they're half-grown. I've got a soaker hose running down that row, and soaker hoses water my whole garden. Until yesterday the pepper row was choked with weeds but I've pulled those now and I got a 50' row of tomatoes and about half the peppers mulched with grass clippings today.

CARMEN. I've grown Carmen for several years and it's my second-favorite sweet pepper, after Gypsy. Carmen is productive, but a little less so than Gypsy in my experience. Carmen is thicker walled and even sweeter than Gypsy when ripe, so that makes up for it. I raised 9 Carmen seedlings but I ran out of room in the row, so I gave 5 of them to our daughter for her garden. I'm raising 4 Carmen plants this year, and they all have a few dark-green peppers on them plus lots of blooms.

Thumbnail by Ozark
Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

GYPSY. This is my favorite sweet pepper, introduced to me several years ago by critterologist. I can always count on Gypsy for extremely high production - in fact, they have to be tied up or the weight of peppers will break the branches. Gypsy has a great flavor green or ripe, and they're very sweet when ripe. Gypsy is yellow when "green", and my 8 Gypsy plants have lots of peppers on them already. Now that the weeds are cleared out of the row and I've added a side-dressing of fertilizer and mulched, they'll really go to town!

Thumbnail by Ozark
Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

PLANET. This is a new non-bell sweet pepper for me. I got interested when a seed catalog listed this new parthenocarpic hybrid - every blossom forms a pepper, and pollination isn't needed. I'm not sure how useful that is as my plants always set on lots of peppers anyway, but I thought it was interesting. At $3.95 for 10 seeds (40 cents a seed) it oughta be interesting!

I have 9 Planet plants, and they're doing fine with lots of peppers set on. They're dark green when "green" and they're a very long pepper - 8" or so, so far. They seem to have thick walls, and we haven't tried the flavor yet.

Thumbnail by Ozark
Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

MARIACHI. This is a new hybrid for me, a mild hot pepper. My wife cooks a lot of Mexican dishes, and while I like things hot, she just likes mild "heat". I think we'll get a lot of use out of these in salsas, chiles rellenos, "poppers", and so forth. The Mariachis should deliver the heat level my wife enjoys, and I can enjoy the lower heat or spice things up by adding a Maui Purple Pepper or two - the best of both worlds!

My 7 Mariachi plants are doing real well with a bunch of peppers set on, and I hope to get mulch on that part of the row tomorrow. So far Mariachi seems to be a wide, stubby pepper, 4" long or so, and the one we tasted didn't have any heat yet. I think some capsaicin will come later. Mariachi is yellow when "green". That's my pepper line-up for 2011!

Thumbnail by Ozark
Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

WOW congratulations your pepper plants look amazing !!!
What is your daily temperature?
My peppers are producing a lot ... but I think they are slowing down due to those unusual 100 degrees day we are having in June !! so my daily temperature is arond 98-100 and at night 80s.
I am surprised that the peppers are not dropping, instead the plants are starting to put out a lot of flowers .... but your plants look much healtier than mine.

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

drthor - We've had strange weather this spring. In late May we had a bunch of high temps in the 50's and lows in the 30's - I had a hard time getting anything to grow because of the cold. About three weeks ago we went from that straight into summer with humidity and daily highs around 90.

My peppers and okra really liked that, they're doing well. My 30+ tomato plants are growing good too, with lots of blooms, but I don't have a single tomato set on. Tomato blossoms won't pollinate with humidity and temps in the 90's. I guess I'll eventually have some tomatoes this year, maybe, but I'm pretty sure to have okra and peppers.

Oceanside, CA(Zone 10a)

You weren't kidding about your peppers looking good. They look great! I don't see much, if any bug damage at all. Pyrethrin!! :)

Clifton, VA(Zone 7a)

Lookin' good Ozark! I wish mine were all so healthy. I'm growing Gypsy and Mariachi this year for the first time too, and some are doing well, but others not so much. I'm also growing Cajun Belle and Blushing Beauty, and they don't have as many fruits as Gypsy and Mariachi at this point. I planted a few Giant Marconi's, but they bit the dust about a month ago -- they looked like they weren't getting any water even though they had plenty. I also have quite a few Super Chili hot peppers that are looking pretty good. I tried the first ripe pepper from one of them this week, and it was so hot I doubt if I'll be able to use them. I've got one each of Jalapeno and Serrano plants as well, so hopefully, they will be a bit more mild.

All of my peppers are in containers, and I think I over-fertilized some of them, which would explain the uneven performance. It's also clear at this point that I mixed up some of the seedlings because the shape and color of the fruits don't match my labels on all of them. It's a bit of a guessing game to figure out what each one is! For example, I thought the one in this photo was Cajun Belle, but the shape and color suggests it is either Gypsy or Mariachi. I tasted one of them, and it has a bit of heat, so I'm guessing it is Mariachi.

Oh well, live and learn. :>)

Thumbnail by VitaVeggieMan
Virginia Beach, VA(Zone 8a)

I'm growing 1 gypsy plant to see how I like it. It is loaded with peppers. I
have it in an earthbox. Here is a closeup.

Thumbnail by zinniared
Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

VitaVeggieMan - Yep, that's Mariachi for sure. Mine are in the same stage, and they have that distinctive boxy shape.

I roasted the skins off a dozen Mariachi peppers and my wife made chiles rellenos with them. They were hotter than expected - but GOOD!

zinniared - Your Gypsy peppers are looking good. Once again, they're proving to be the most productive peppers in my garden.

Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

You guys make me sick!!! I just can't seem to catch a break with my pper prodcution. My 2 Gypsy pepper plants have been out in an EB for almost 2 months and have reached a whopping 8". They're flowering, but towards what end? The plant can't possibly support pepper growth at their size.

My Lafayette is doing better size-wise, but it only has one pepper on it, and very few flowers. The one peppers is nice-sized, but I'm pretty disappointed over-all. Then there's a Purple Beauty that just finally started to flower.

Your photos are incredible. THOSE are the peppers I was dreaming of!

Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

My peppers REALLY seem to have liked the temps over the past month. We have had very hot weather and lots of rain. The peppers surprised me with a growth spurt, heavy flowering, and lots of babies. My Gypsies are making me feel like a proud Mama. Big, well shaped, and perfect complexions.

now, if they taste as good as they look...WOWSER!

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