21 September 2019

It's Chili Time

Two peppers are being harvested right now and both are front cottage garden products. First, the Japanese Shishito peppers. I grew these a few years ago in the front yard alongside the pepperoncini which I came to love. They were mild and made excellent pickled peppers with salt, vinegar, pepper, and garlic. The Shishito did not make good pickled peppers -- they were softer, thin-walled, and had lots more seeds. My biggest problem with them is that they were a roll of the dice when it came to "hot or not." For no obvious reason, some were hot, and some were mild - from the same plant harvested at the same time.

I saved the pepperoncini seeds and started them this spring, but what came up were Shishitos. I saved the wrong seeds. After last week's vacation, I came home to ripe red Shishitos, so here they are. I have had them on a burger and in salsa, but taking all those seeds out is time-consuming and I would rather be just consuming. They are edible, and recipes abound for roasted or grilled Shishitos, seeds and all. I know they are currently a trendy pepper, so maybe I should give some away to enhance my image as a trendy gardener with the latest and greatest.

The Anaheim chilis have another story. I grew them about five years ago in the back vegetable garden with very little success. Maybe one or two small peppers came from them. I tried them again on the side yard where they became engulfed by rudbeckia, never to be seen or heard from again. I tried them again the following year in the sunny front. They were slow-growing and again, I may have had one or two. End of the seed packet; end of Anaheim chilis.

This spring, I spied a seed packet of Anaheim Chilis at a Master Gardener function -- free for the taking. Dare I try for more disappointment and misery? Of course. The were fertilized, planted in the sunny front again, and this year, we have Anaheim chilis! I do like them because they are "mildly hot" and are great on burgers, in salads, or grilled. One discovery I have made: pick when turning red, and leave out to turn fully-red. For some reason, leaving them on the plant to fully ripen brings out a little black rot on the fruit interior.

If at first you don't succeed, try and try and try and try again.

For The Record:
  • Mostly rich, well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Small amount of fertilizer
  • No serious pests/disease


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