This was an interesting week for my peppers. And not interesting in a good way.
To start things off, I started chopping up what I thought were very small Red Beauty bell peppers. I’d remarked on them in previous Harvest Mondays, thinking that two of my three Red Beauty plants had just put up a crop of tiny, crowded bell peppers.
Turns out these were hot little bastards a la Cherry Bomb peppers.
That blew my mind. These Red Beauty bell pepper seeds were from a seed packet that I’d had around for a number of years. I thought, maybe, because these peppers were next to my Tabasco container, the pollen from those hot peppers crossed into the sweet bell peppers and created a hybrid. ABSOLUTELY WRONG.
Peppers cannot become hot hybrids like this until the next generation, if this was the case. If these were sweet bell peppers, I saved the seeds, and planted them next year, then there would be a chance that these peppers would be a hot child. The likelihood is that whatever seeds that I had from the packet were most likely cross-pollinated. Or I’ve somehow mixed up seeds over the years, still managing to get one Red Beauty bell pepper plant.
Regardless, I am disappointed. While I appreciate hot peppers, I really just wanted a solid crop of sweet Red Beauty bell peppers. Instead, there was about a couple dozen or so hot peppers that I hadn’t prepared for! I chopped some up, melted them in with Brie cheese, and made turkey-wrap presses with them. Made a great, fiery lunch!
My wife chopped all my peppers, over the weekend, and we’re going to make sweet and hot bell pepper spread and probably give it to people as Christmas presents. While she worked in Boston, she learned about a sandwich condiment called “Hots”, which is a hot pepper relish spread. She swears by it, as do many others on the Internet. So, we’re going to give it a shot.
The mini bell peppers put out a massive crop, all ripening at once. Usually, I’m not that lucky. Almost a pound of peppers that will be added to the hot relish.
Same with the Fish and Chinese Five-colored peppers.
I was forced to harvest two of my Red Beauty bell peppers that were actually bell peppers. One had begun to rot, and it wasn’t quite ready to come off yet, but I cut it anyway. The other, was attacked by these smart-as-shit birds that plague my area of North Carolina. Added to the relish.
The Boston Pickling cucumbers produced several nice fruits this week. Along with the two from last week, I’m going to make another jar of pickles to go with the four aging in my cabinet. I actually might make refrigerator pickles from them, the more I think about it. I don’t really know if I want to boil just ONE jar…
The devastating blow came this week when I went to check on my Aconcagua pepper plant. I had two long, soon-to-ripen peppers. I noticed that one was yellowed, sagging, and wrinkled. I picked it off and it immediately dropped from the stem, splattering onto the ground in a wet, sicking mess. It smelled absolutely awful. Somehow, the pepper putrefied or liquefied, right on the plant! I tried Googling for similar experiences, but nothing came up quickly. This pepper plant is cursed! Luckily, there is still one healthy looking fruit and another following closely behind.
I also scrapped the three mini bell pepper plants that were in the deep water culture hydroponics bucket, in my kitchen. The three have been fighting an aphid infestation for just too long, and I don’t feel like continuing to prop them up. I learned some mighty valuable lessons from my patient zeroes. Now, it’s time to move on to another plant (like a real bell pepper!)
I’ll end on a good note: since I couldn’t sleep on Saturday night because of some wicked acid reflux, I began to research overwintering these pepper plants properly. I’m probably going to build a mini-hot house for the containers. I’d love to keep some of them into next season for an even bigger crop, especially early! With how cold it was to start the summer, I’ll probably only get one more solid harvest out of these plants.
This week: new pepper plants and feeding!
Red Beauty Bell Peppers: 10 oz.
Chinese and Fish Peppers: 2 3/4 oz.
Mini yellow and orange Bell Peppers: 15 1/2 oz.
Red Beauty Cherry Bombs: 11 1/8 oz.
Boston Pickling Cucumbers: 1 lb. 3 1/8 oz.
I’m linking to Daphne’s Harvest Monday.