2020 Pepper Season: Week 9 Update

July 21, 2020 | Article Topics:

I can’t believe it’s been nine weeks since the pepper plants made their way outside. I also can’t believe that I can finally now proclaim that all of the plants have at least one fruit on them. Both the Chocolate Reaper and Ghostly Jalapeno went through some serious blossom/pod drop a while back, but are doing better now, setting small pods with frequency.

pepper plants

I’m not going to go into too much individual plant detail with today’s update as everything is set to “wait” mode. Working remotely from home every day of the week during this pandemic has been a blessing and a curse with regard to the plants. It’s been great in that I can see and care for the fellas (and ladies) when they need attention. Seeing them every day, however, has been annoying because I don’t really see any marked growth or development – everything is incremental when around them 24/7.

That’s why I like these every-other-week updates. Looking back at the previous garden update allows me to compare photos and actually see that, yes, the plants are still growing and developing nicely. The photo above, when viewed next to the same angle from two weeks ago is quite reassuring. As is the photo of the dense jungle of self-watering buckets below.

pepper plants

And that makes for a somewhat nice segue into my watering practices. The plants are doing their best against the ongoing Virginia heat wave – we’ve been sitting in the high 90° range for a couple of weeks now.

I know that allowing the plants to stress a bit can make them “hotter” in potency, but I’ve always been one to do what is necessary to help them survive direct sun and no rain for almost two weeks. A light amount of water at the base of the plant every morning has kept them going strong even at the worst of our heat wave. I’m not too worried about affecting a nearly imperceptible shift in capsaicin pungency.

Those plants in the self-watering buckets, of course, have yet to wilt in the sun as the reservoir has provided a near constant supply of nutrients. I love these setups since they require less attention – I top them off maybe every three days.

A Couple of Photos

I wouldn’t be a good pepper plant parent if I didn’t at least show off a few of the kids, so here are a couple of shots I snapped this morning.

The two Caramel Scorponeros below were planted from the same seed pack. Both are absolutely packed with immature pods which is great, but as you can plainly see, the phenotypes couldn’t be more different. I’m curious to see how they ripen, if they will, in fact, have the same coloring, flavor and heat.

pepper plants

The below Yellow Nagabrain has been putting out some nice clusters of pods and while we wait for them to ripen, I can’t help but notice just how big the fruit are. I know that it’s hard to gauge without a reference point in the below photo, but these things are getting pretty darn large and hefty. I can’t wait to see how they turn out, as well.

pepper plants

Until the next update, happy pepper gardening!