If your idea of a hot pepper extends no further than jalapenos or tabasco sauce, get ready to enter the fiery yet fascinating world of hot pepper cultivation. When it comes to providing that pungent heat pepper lovers the world over appreciate, peppers come in a wide range of heat.
Tip Number 1:
When handling pepper seeds, never handle any pepper without washing your hands afterward. You don't want to find out the hard way that pepper oil, juice, or fragments can burn your eyes or skin.
Tip Number 2:
Peppers prefer well-drained but nutrient-rich soil. However, they don't take to mushroom compost very well. Pepper plants like their bedding to be warm.
Tip Number 3:
Keep the soil at your plants' base warm by using dark plastic mulch. Don't use clear plastic though since this is too hot for your peppers to handle.
Tip Number 4:
If your plants' blossoms keep popping off, this means the climate is too hot. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do regarding this factor.
Tip Number 5:
The riper your pepper, the sweeter it is. Why? One word: Sugar. Less ripe peppers have less sugar. The more sugar a pepper has, the more it overpowers its heat.
Tip Number 6:
Peppers' spiciness and heat are measured on the Scoville scale. There is a wide range of heat when it comes to peppers. They can be broken down roughly into the following groups: Sweet chilis like Poblano and Anaheim peppers (1000 Scoville). Jalapenos (4000 – 6000 Scoville). Mid range Chili peppers like Cayenne and Tabasco (30,000 – 100K Scoville). Thai Peppers are tropical peppers which pack a lot of heat but also require a lot of heat (80k Scoville). Habaneros (300K Scoville). And, of course, you can try growing the hottest peppers in the world, the Bhut Jalokia Chili Pepper which weigh in at the tongue scorching one million scoville mark.
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