Plant a Hot Pepper Garden


Want to bring on the heat this summer? We have a range of hot peppers to satisfy your inner daredevil! Be adventurous, try growing a pepper you’ve never had before.

Not only do they spice up dishes, they are also packed with vitamin D, vitamin C, potassium, fiber and beta-carotene.

Scoville Hot Units

Choosing the right peppers to grow, depends on how spicy you like them. Scoville Heat Units, also known as SHU is the measurement used to measure a chili pepper’s pungency and heat. The range is determined by the number of times capsaicin needs to be diluted by sugar-water. The higher the number, the hotter the pepper.

Steps to Success

  1. Planting – Ready to grow some peppers? Hot peppers can be planted directly into a garden bed or in containers with good drainage. Space the plants 2-3 ft. apart and use a stake or cage to give it support. It’s best to prepare the soil, prior to planting, with hen manure or worm castings.
  2. Maintenance – Hot peppers generally prefer drier soil conditions, you will need to water when the soil feels dry about 1-2 inches below the surface. You can fertilize with All Gro several times throughout the growing season to give the plants an extra boost.
  3. Harvesting – Peppers will be ready about 65-95 days from planting and once they’ve reached their mature colour. You can wear gloves or use shears to avoid unwanted burning. There are several ways you can use your newly harvested peppers! They work well in soups, sauces, chilli’s and many more recipes.
  4. Storing – Don’t let your hard work in the garden go to waste! Freezing or drying your peppers will extend their life by many days.

Freezing Peppers

By freezing your peppers, the heat and flavour will be preserved if you freeze them right away. To freeze peppers, follow these instructions below.

  1. Step 1: Wash – Thoroughly wash and dry your peppers in lukewarm water.
  2. Step 2: Dry – You want to make sure you dry your peppers thoroughly with a paper towel in order to remove all moisture. Otherwise, they will stick together when frozen.
  3. Step 3: Plan – You can either freeze your peppers whole or dice them into smaller pieces to make it easier to use in the future. Either way works, it depends on how you plan on using them.
  4. Step 4: Store – Store your peppers in an airtight freezer bag. You want to ensure you remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag closed. Peppers can last up to 9 months if stored properly!

Drying Peppers

Drying peppers is a very popular way to preserve so you continue enjoying them. You can use dried peppers in many aspects of cooking! There are two methods for drying peppers below.

Air Drying Method

  1. Thoroughly was and dry your peppers to remove any dirt.
  2. Keep them whole, you will need the stems in order to hang them.
  3. Choose a method for hanging the peppers, either use a long needle and thread to string the peppers together, or you can tie a string around the stems. Make sure you leave enough room between each pepper for airflow between.
  4. Hang the peppers in direct sunlight.
  5. It will take 3-4 weeks until your peppers are fully dried. You can then store them in jars for easy access.
Oven Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 120F degrees.
  2. Thoroughly was and dry your peppers to remove any dirt.
  3. Cut peppers in half length-wise, and arrange them on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Place in the oven.
  5. It could take 1-3 hours for the peppers to completely dry out depending on the size of the pepper. Ensure you turn them every now and then to prevent burning.

Once your peppers are dried out, you can keep them whole and rehydrate down the line, throw them into stews/chillies or you can grind them and sprinkle them on food. No matter what method you choose, you will be able to bring the heat all season long!


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