I started my pepper seeds tonight!

Well, I normally start them on Valentine’s Day. Not sure why I waited a couple more weeks this year, but I did. I’m excited though! I started seeds from 9 different varieties of peppers this evening, while I wait on two more varieties to show up in the mail this week.

I started two-per-cell from seeds that I saved myself and had an abundance of, while I only put one seed per cell of those that I traded for. The left-over seeds will be delivered to the Schedel Arboretum and Gardens tomorrow for them to start in their greenhouses and grow out in their gardens!

The varieties I started tonight are:

    Naga Morich – (saved from my garden)
    Bhut Jolokia – (saved from my garden)
    Red Rocoto – (saved from my garden)
    Yellow Rocoto – (saved from my garden)
    Demre – traded with The Chile Woman
    Chombo – variety from Panama – traded with The Chile Woman
    Bocskor – from Hungary – traded with Zoltan Aladics
    Bogyiszloi – from Hungary – Traded with Zoltan Aladics
    PCR – from Hungary – Traded with Zoltan Aladics

I used the Burpee Ultimate Growing System again this year because it was really successful last year. The growing medium is made from ground coconut shells and seems to be just what the plants need.

I also placed an order for the Burpee Table Top Grow Light. Last year, the only issue I had with starting my own seeds was that they got long and spindly due to lack of light. Even starting them in a south-facing window doesn’t get the seedlings the double-digit hours of light they need to develop a strong and sturdy photosynthetic system that will support them when it’s time to set them out into the “real world.” This should remedy that problem. The light system is adjustable so that it can be raised or lowered as the seedlings grow… and I can put it on a timer so that natural sunlight take care of much of the seedlings’ needs.

Oh, and a word of caution… even when just handling a dozen bhut jolokia seeds, exercise EXTREME caution!! I made the mistake of rubbing my eye 3 hours after-the-fact tonight and experienced what was just about the worst pain I’ve felt in my life. Wear latex gloves… wash your hands well… and remember what you’re dealing with!

So, what are you growing this year??

Here’s the list of peppers I’ll be growing this season. These are all seeds I’ve either saved or swapped for….

My seeds are just about ready to be started.  In the past, I’ve always started seeds on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14).  This year, I decided to hold off a couple of weeks though, because I’ve had troubles in the past with spindly seedlings that end up just flopping over on their side because I can’t get them enough light.

Here’s the list of peppers I’ll be growing this season.  These are all seeds I’ve either saved or swapped for….

From Hungary in and a seed swap with Zoltan Aladics:

  • Bogyiszloi
  • Bocskor
  • PCR

From a seed swap with “The Chile Woman” from Indiana:

  • Aji Chombo (from Panama)
  • Demre (from Turkmenistan)

Seeds I saved from last season’s pepper patch:

  • Red rocoto
  • Yellow rocoto
  • Bhut Jolokia
  • Naga Morich

I’ll detail each of these varieties a little more thoroughly in the weeks to come, but for now, that’s how things stand in the pepper patch.  I’m always on the lookout for interesting varieties in my local garden shops, and my friends at the Schedel Arboretum and Gardens usually drop a variety or two in my direction… so there may be additions to this list.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted!

So, what are YOU planning on growing in your pepper patch this season?!  Leave a comment!