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Chili Pepper - Updated 06/22/11

(06/19/11) The First Hot Pepper Harvested from the AeroGarden

posted Jun 17, 2011, 12:56 PM by Mindless Gardener   [ updated Jun 19, 2011, 8:10 PM ]

It may have been one of the smaller ones on the plant but it was bright red and ready to be eaten. The Red Fire pepper was picked two days ago and consumed shortly there after. 

Since it was pretty small I sliced it up, ate two by themselves... I mean, you need to know exactly how hot every pepper is. :-) And yes, that logic with hot peppers has hurt me a couple times in life. Anyway, what remained was thrown in with some guacamole that was being made that night as an appetizer to dinner. 

So the verdict... The small ones always catch you by surprise. While no Habanero or Caribbean Red Hot, they are substantially more spicy then a Jalapeño and would say they are more spicy then your typical Serrano pepper but not by too much. Once I had it sliced it looked exactly like what you would see in a Thai restaurant if you asked for additional spicy peppers on the side. You know the ones that come in the oil?

Good stuff no matter what. And more are coming in the near future. I also noticed that a couple of the Purple Super Hots are starting to lighten in color. In my original post for this Aerogarden blog, I stated they were ripe when purple. I did a little research since a few of mine were losing their purple color and come to find out they have quite a bit of changes still to go through. A Purple Super Hot ripen to yellow, then orange, and finally come to full ripe when they are scarlet red. So I can only assume mine are going for the yellow stage...

A couple of the mini Jalapeños are near the ripe stage as well... Anyway, here are the latest pictures from this weekend:

June 17, 2011 (Raised the light 10 days ago and the Red Fires are already reaching for the light)

Some of the Jalapeños that are growing on one of the plants

Two more Jalapeños on the back plant... One of which is going to be picked shortly.

Some of the Red Fires, one of which is about to hit my cutting board.

The Purple Super Hot Clan.

(06/08/11) It's Official... All six plants have peppers!

posted Jun 8, 2011, 6:06 AM by Mindless Gardener

Well, I have been waiting on the last Jalapeño plant for what feels like forever and now finally it is official, all six plants have peppers growing on them. The Jalapeño plants are the lowest yielding at this point but never the less the total count of peppers across the board is just silly. So far (and these are estimates as once you start counting peppers in a small area you start saying to yourself... "did I count you already?") we have just under 30 Red Fires, 4 Jalapeños, and just under 20 Purple Super Hots. It has taken just under three months to get here but looks like payday is coming shortly. 

As for caring for them over the last two weeks, not much has changed. Daily watering, daily shaking of each plant to help pollinate them, and of course the cleanup of all the leaves and flowers that fall. Very little trimming has had to go on. A couple days ago the lamp was raised to the next level. In the upcoming week, it looks like it may be time to add more of the trellis system supports for the Purple Super Hots. 

On a side note, for anyone starting out with a pepper seed kit, plant the Purple Super Hots up front and the rest of the plants in the back. It doesn't say this anywhere in the instructions but at least with mine, the Purple Super Hots are the smallest plants of the bunch... Smallest trunk coming out of the pod, thinnest branches, etc. It makes it easier if the smaller plants are in front especially if you use the Power Grow Light Booster.

Now for the picture updates:

June 7, 2011 (This is with the light being raised a couple days ago)

Just a few of the Red Fires.

Purple Super Hots anyone... These are just a few from one of the two plants.

A pretty sizable Jalapeño.

The last plant to pollinate, if you look carefully you will see the two little tiny Jalapeños growing.

(05/25/11) 28 Peppers from only half the plants

posted May 25, 2011, 10:11 AM by Mindless Gardener

A week and a half ago (05/17/11) I noticed four peppers coming in on the two Red Fire pepper plants. Although they weren't that tall (although looking back at last months pictures they actually are) I figured since they were the biggest plants and the peppers would only be adding weight, it was time to utilize the Trellis system that is installed on my AeroGarden. It is a pretty simple device... A retractable spool of string with a plastic snap enclosure that wraps around the plant. It applies light enough pressure that it won't pull the pod out but will give the plants the added support they need. Below is a picture of how it is hooked around one of my plants.

So yesterday, I went digging into the plants to see what other peppers may have started popping up. To my surprise I was able to count 28 peppers total on three plants. The other three do not have any peppers yet, just flowers. 25 of the peppers are on the Red Fire plants and three are on the Purple Super Hot plants. I am beyond shocked at this point. What am I going to do with that many peppers all getting ripe in the span of a week or so. Not to mention, what am I going to do when all six pepper plants are producing all at once? Guess I can't really complain, the more the merrier. Feel free to send mailing addresses to those who want my extras. :-)

On other news, I did some massive pruning three weeks ago. You keep hearing everyone telling you to prune the plants back, prune them to stay in their own area and not get in the way of the other but it is always difficult to cut so much growth off if you haven't really done it before. But it had to be done as one of my Purple Super Hots was being shaded by the plant in front of it... So the rule is to always cut above the growth point, the V.

Looks drastic but if you look at the current pictures it came back strong and the plant behind it was able to catch up a good bit since it was able to get some light.

Here are the albums for over the last month...

May 24, 2011 (Click this link or the picture to see pictures of the peppers themselves)

May 17, 2011 (Click this link to see install of Trellis and the first peppers)

May 2, 2011 (Click this link to see the album and more flowers coming in)

April 27, 2011 (Click this link to see the album and the harsh trimming)

April 21, 2011 (Click this link to see album)

April 17, 2011 (Click this link to see album)

(04/22/11) Under 2 Weeks & 4 Times the Size

posted Apr 22, 2011, 9:57 AM by Mindless Gardener   [ updated Apr 25, 2011, 6:10 AM ]

Wow, so just under two weeks have passed and these pepper plants have gone crazy. I just got finished doing a complete water change as it was time to add nutrients. If you want to see how I did it I wrote it up under the Tips section.

Just prior to the water change I had to raise the lights as three of the plants were nearly touching the lights. The two runts I mentioned previously (a mini Jalepeno pod and a Purple Super Hot pod) are still lagging but growing none the less. At this point I have to add over a pint of water every day to keep it filled to the right level. They are really starting to drink.

And in other news, I have found about a dozen of these little guys so far...

As you probably know flowers are step 1 to the generation of peppers (and many other types of plants as well)

Here are a sampling of pictures from latest to oldest or you can go directly to the album by clicking on the dates:

April 21 - 2 Photos
April 17 - 5 Photos

April 21 (Click on picture for more photos)
Light was raised just prior to the picture

April 17 (Click on picture for more photos)

(04/12/11) One Month in!

posted Apr 12, 2011, 12:17 PM by Mindless Gardener   [ updated May 25, 2011, 11:58 AM ]

So the AeroGarden Chili Pepper seed kit is about one month in now and things are humming along. The kit included seven pods but since it was being planted in a AeroGarden 6, one of the pods would have to sit out. So the six are:

Two Red Fires (40,000 - 50,000, red in color when ripe)
Two Mini Jalapenos (2,500 - 8,000, green in color when ripe)
Two Purple Super Hots (140,000 - 160,000, purple in color when ripe)

The seventh pod was actually a Purple Super Hot... In case you were wondering.

Seeing that these plants had the potential of growing tall, I set these pods up in the AeroGarden 6 Elite + (24 Inch extend-able arm) just in case I did run into some height issues. I have the trellis system as well ready to go. You can see four of them hanging just below the light in the picture. These will come in handy to help support the pepper plants once they get taller and loaded with peppers.

As for the progress, well all six are growing but one of the Purple Super Hots (back row in the center) is taking its time with the whole growing process. For a while there I thought I was going to have a no show but sure enough after over two weeks it sprouted.

I was even more surprised after over 3 weeks that another plant started to grow from one of the Red Fire pods (see the April 6 photo below). While I had several pods that had this happen it was only around a day or so from when the first plant peered out of the pod, not 3 weeks. In any case, I got the scissors out and cut the little fellow (Just like with tomatoes, only one plant per pod).

Here are a sampling of pictures from latest to oldest or you can go directly to the album by clicking on the dates:

April 9 - 5 Photos
April 6 - 2 Photos
April 4 - 1 Photo
March 24 - 2 Photos

April 9 (Click on picture for more photos)

April 6 (Click on picture for more photos)
Over three weeks after starting, and look who decides to sprout up.

April 4
All six growing without domes.

March 24 (Click on picture for more photos)
Starting to see multiple plants emerging from the pods.

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