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Old 02-10-2008, 10:38 PM   #1
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Peppers

I have convinced DW to expand the area I can grow veggies in and cut more of her prairie garden out. Question is, what kinds do I want to grow?
We are Zone 5b, the area has great rich black soil thanks to the prairie plants that were growing there, and we get fairly good sun (about 2/3 of the day it is sunny there).
I am thinking about chili peppers, jalapeños, red, green, and yellow peppers. etc. Wife is saying I might be limited in what I can grow here, and even though this is her area of expertise i am hoping to prove her wrong.
Any suggestions on what else to try growing? Or what I might not be able to grow?

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Old 02-10-2008, 10:59 PM   #2
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Poblanos, Jalapeños, Anaheim's, and/or lavender Bell(they look cool).

poblanos: great all around pepper, smoke them for ancho...I think?

Jalapeno: Mild heat, smoke for chipoltle, never run out of uses for them.

Annies: Great mild flavor, very nice in salsas, soups and stews.

As for the Lavender bell, just a cool looking pepper. Nothing notably different from any other bell pepper besides the color, but I love 'em.

All of these are very hearty and easy to deal with. The require a very small footprint, and if right, you get to prove Alpha Female wrong about the green thumb, get a bunch of peppers/pepper products, and hopefully, if all the planets are aligned, get MORE space next time around!
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:30 PM   #3
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Try some lemon drop peppers mildly hot and delish. From Seed Savers in Iowa
Buddy E Mail them for a catalog they have a wonderful assortment of airloom seeds from all over the world. I plant in pots and use them every year
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:08 AM   #4
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Let me second Tattrat's suggestion for poblano's - I am fortunate that they are plentiful and cheap here and I use them often in cooking instead of green peppers - they just add a nice zip (they are not at all hot, just flavorful). You do need to roast them first to get the skins off, though. And they are great for chiles rellenos. I also love serranos instead of jalapenos. Anchos, BTW, are dried poblanos. You might be thinking of chipotles, which are smoked jalapenos. Yummm - love chiles. It's a great idea to grow your own.
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:27 AM   #5
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Try anything that strikes your fancy. So long as you start them indoors early enough - in your area that would probably be mid-March for a mid/late-May plant-out date - I don't see why you wouldn't be successful with peppers.

You know what I enjoy, & might also be fun for you? Buy a couple of mixes. I do that every year, in addition to buying specific favorites. Many seed companies sell both hot & sweet pepper mixes, & it's an awful lot of fun to see what you get, as well as determining what you like & what does well without having to buy individual seed packets.

I've been growing Burpee's good old "Hot Pepper Mix" for quite a few years now, which contains the basics (Jalapeno, Cherry, Thai, Cayenne, etc.), but "The Cook's Garden" has a more interesting mix that I may try this time around. As far as the "sweets", "Park Seed" has an interesting "Sweet Rainbow Mix", which contains 4 hybrids & 2 open-pollinated varieties of bell peppers that mature to chocolate, red, orange, yellow, white, purple.
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick2272 View Post
I have convinced DW to expand the area I can grow veggies in and cut more of her prairie garden out. Question is, what kinds do I want to grow?
We are Zone 5b, the area has great rich black soil thanks to the prairie plants that were growing there, and we get fairly good sun (about 2/3 of the day it is sunny there).
I am thinking about chili peppers, jalapeños, red, green, and yellow peppers. etc. Wife is saying I might be limited in what I can grow here, and even though this is her area of expertise i am hoping to prove her wrong.
Any suggestions on what else to try growing? Or what I might not be able to grow?
What is Zone 5b? Is there a site somewhere that will tell me what zone I am in, and what I can best grow?
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:29 AM   #7
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What is Zone 5b? Is there a site somewhere that will tell me what zone I am in, and what I can best grow?
National Arboretum - USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

There are lots of gardening sites that have info on what grows best where. You can usually try something that is hardy to within a zone or so of your own zone - it might work with your microclimate, it might not. That's part of the fun of gardening - trying different things.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:33 AM   #8
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ErikC - just do a websearch for Canadian Plant Hardiness Zones. You should be able to find a map that tells you where you fall.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:56 AM   #9
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I don't put that much faith in the zone thing.

I have grown jalepenos, habarneros, serranos, cayenne, thai bird, cubanelle and other hot peppers with wild success here.

My hot peppers have always flourished, whereas my bell peppers haven't.

I go buy them as small plants, though, as I am too lazy for seeds.
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:00 PM   #10
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I am on the cusp of 5b & 6a, and we have great success with all hot and sweet peppers. I use a mix of equal parts soil, peatmoss, and mushroom compost. Last year we harvested about 500 habaneros off of ONE plant (57 on one day alone). Serranos, cayenne will give you just as large of a crop, and expect big yields on other hot peppers as well. Especially anaheim and poblano. Sweet peppers haven't had such impressive yields for us, but we really like Super Red Ruffled for an interesting and full flavored stuffer.

BTW, we order all of our core tomato and pepper plants from The Tasteful Garden. We're not patient enough for seed starting, and we have tremendous success with all of their products. Try their hot pepper sampler or sweet pepper sampler too.
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