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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ghosts, Scorpions & Beyond

Although it will be smaller in scale than originally planned, I will be planting a garden this year.
We've had herbs and a few tomato and pepper plants growing in whiskey barrels and other smaller containers over the past 15+ years, but late last summer I decided it was time to start an "in the ground" garden. Our rocky clay soil will take several years to amend with leaves, grass clippings & compost...but we'll get there.
For the inaugural season, I opted to replenish our dwindling supply of homemade habanero/jalapeno pepper sauce. According to several websites, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion ( lower right ) has replaced the Bhut Jolokia "Ghost" pepper ( upper left ) as the hottest pepper on the planet. The other two packs of seeds I ordered are also supposed to be incredibly hot...so I will hopefully have enough peppers to make several batches of what should be an insanely incendiary assault on the senses...and just about everywhere else.
From Wikipedia: Paul Bosland, a chili pepper expert and director of the Chile Institute, said that, "You take a bite. It doesn't seem so bad, and then it builds and it builds and it builds. So it is quite nasty."
Back in college, one of my independent research projects was to monitor/document the effect of black plastic mulch on the growth/yield of pepper plants in my backyard garden. From what I recall, I had thermometers on the surface of the black plastic, just below, and stuck in the ground at several depths. The end result I remember was that the plants in the section covered by the plastic matured ~ 2-3 weeks faster than the pepper plants grown in uncovered soil. The yield of peppers per plant was also much higher since the season was almost a month longer.
Anyway, the black (perforated) plastic is ready to roll, I located the heating strip last night, and I'll be starting the seeds this weekend.
Updates throughout the season.

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