Saturday, April 28, 2007

Planting On


Everybody in my family loves Mexican dishes and some of the family (including myself) love mega spicy food. Here we have only a limited variety of chiles available so I started three years ago to grow my own.
That year I grew "Spanish peppers" (the local cayenne variety), jalapenos and orange habanero peppers. The Spanish ones ended up in my regular cooking, the jalapenos while green in Mexican dishes and the red ones I smoked in the barbecue for about 7 hours over mesquite wood than dried them further in my dehydrator to make chipotles. Most of the Mexican peppers have different names the moment you dry them.
The orange habaneros I dried and ground into chile powder, except for the first one which I cut in half and my nephew and I both ate it raw. It took a lot of milk to cool things down :-)
Last year I grew other varieties but my neighbor over watered them when I was on vacation so that was pretty much the end of them.

This year I have Jalapenos, Rocotos, Chocolate Habaneros and Long Shengs. Long Sheng isn't the actual name of these peppers but I got a big bag of dried chiles when we were in Long Sheng, China, I couldn't figure out their real name so I just named them after that place. they look like our local cayennes but are a lot hotter.

Today I planted some of the jalapenos on to their final pots, 25 cm. I hope this will stimulate them to produce more chillies than the first year, I had them in way smaller pots than.

The first year I also used regular soil, now I use a mixture of 5 parts soil, 1 part perlite and 1 part vermucelite (available at your local reptile store :-) ). The vermucelite keeps a lot of moisture, the perlite adds a lot of air to the soil. This way the soil doesn't dry out as fast and the roots get a lot of air which they need to grow better.

The first flower buds are almost open, I will post more pictures when there are fruits.

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