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flower and fruit gardening guides home > growing hot peppers

Add some spice to your garden by growing hot peppers!

Chile peppers, which is another name for hot peppers, are a versatile vegetable, which is eaten in numerous ways from raw to stuffed to pickled or added to other dishes like salsa. In fact, many varieties of hot peppers, such as cayenne pepper are dried, ground, and sold as spices. Sprays made of ground hot pepper are also used on other garden plants to combat insect infestation.

When growing hot peppers, the first thing to understand is the Scoville unit. A chemist for Parke-Davis, Wilbur Scoville developed the Scoville Unit in 1912. Scoville Units measure the heat of hot peppers in multiples of 100. The friendly bell pepper begins the scale at zero Scoville Units with the fiery habanera tipping the scale at over 300,000 Scoville Units. Knowing where different varieties of peppers register on the Scoville scale will help you choose those that are most palatable for you.

There are many tips on growing hot peppers that will help your pepper plants produce a good harvest. Seeds are slower to germinate than some other vegetables, so when growing hot peppers, patience is a virtue that you will need!

Hot peppers are a tropical plant and as such like very warm weather.

When growing hot peppers from seed, sow the seeds indoors in a seed tray about ?-inch deep, about eight weeks before you anticipate the final frost in your area. Seedlings need a moist, but not wet, environment to thrive. Do not start hot pepper seeds in peat pots, which tend to absorb moisture your seedlings need. On the other hand, covered seed trays will result in a too moist environment.

Hot peppers grow into small bushes and need good air circulation, well-drained soil, and plenty of sun.

Soil temperatures for growing hot peppers should be kept at around 80degrees Fahrenheit (17degrees Centigrade) from first planting to harvest. Because of these care considerations, you may find growing hot peppers in a container is a simpler way to produce a healthy pepper plant. Container growing hot peppers will also add a touch of flair to your deck, porch, or patio.

Because they contain oils on their skins, it is best to wear gloves when growing or handling hot peppers. Be very careful not to touch your eyes, nose, or even mouth when handling hot peppers. Their oils can seriously irritate skin and mucous membranes,

While all these caveats may sound like growing hot peppers is troublesome, you?ll find that they are well worth the extra care they need! Growing hot peppers adds beautiful color to your garden spot and variety to your menus at harvest time.

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