The Way Too Premature 2018 Pepper Season Plan

seed packets

It’s just but a week into December and I figured I’d share my tentative plans for the 2018 pepper growing season. This past year marked the first time that I had started my own plants from seed and I plan on doing that again this coming year — I’m sure I’ll probably purchase the random plant here or there, as well. There’s much more in store for next year, however.

For those of you that have been following along on Twitter, you’re probably aware of the raised bed frames (8′ by 4′) that I’ve built in preparation of expanding my pepper efforts this coming Spring. Each bed — the wife stole one as her own, so I get the other two — should comfortably hold 10 pepper plants. I plan on dedicating one of the beds to a variety of habaneros (more on that below). In addition to the two beds, I’ll also be running the same “self-watering” buckets that I played around with last season. That brings my total up to thirty plants.

The wife has asked me not to crowd up the deck like I did last year, but I’m sure I can probably get away with a couple of potted plants up there. I’m also on the waiting list for a small plot at a local community garden and a gracious neighbor has donated a small section of their own garden spot, as well. All in all, I’m hoping to maintain anywhere from 30-45 plants depending on how things work out. And that’s why this plan is so premature — I have no idea how the seeds will perform to begin with.

That all aside, here is the preliminary list of plants and their planned locations.

Raised Bed #1: Habaneroville

For this bed I plan on growing at least two plants of each variety. These peppers are so versatile, it only makes sense to take advantage and grow as many as I can this time around.

  • Chocolate (Kearley Seeds & Pepper Company)
  • Mustard (Baker Creek Heirloom)
  • Orange (harvested from plant purchased two seasons ago)
  • Red (harvested from plant purchased two seasons ago)
  • White (Baker Creek Heirloom)

Raised Bed #2: Bhut Jolokia and Friends

A good portion of this bed is dedicated to new varieties. I also plan on growing two sets of both a Bhut Jolokia and Peach Bhut Jolokia purchased from Puckerbutt prior to last season.

  • Bhut Jolokia – Red
  • Bhut Jolokia – Peach
  • Scorpion – Chocolate (courtesy Mr. Rich Hickey)
  • Scorpion – Giant Yellow Cardi (The Hippy Seed Company)
  • Scorpion – Trinidad Red (Baker Creek Heirloom)
  • Scorpion – Trinidad Yellow 7 Pot (Kearley Seeds & Pepper Company)
  • 7 Pot – Chocolate Bubblegum (courtesy Mr. Rich Hickey)
  • Bahamian Goat (The Hippy Seed Company)

Self-watering Buckets

I’m reserving these two-bucket setups for one-offs and items that I’m looking to perhaps grow more of after next season. I plan on sprouting two of each of the following with some of them, perhaps, bleeding into the other plots that I am hoping to procure for 2018.

  • Pequin (Tyler Farms)
  • NuMex Twighlight (Tyler Farms)
  • Datil (Baker Creek Heirloom)
  • Fatalii – Yellow (Kearley Seeds & Pepper Company)
  • Jalapeno – Craig’s Grande (Baker Creek Heirloom)
  • Jalapeno – Purple (Kearley Seeds & Pepper Company)
  • Scotch Bonnet – Jamaica Yellow (Kearley Seeds & Pepper Company)
  • Sugar Rush Peach (The Hippy Seed Company)
  • Thai Dragon (The Hippy Seed Company)
  • Chocolate Bhutlah (courtesy Mr. Rich Hickey)

Miscellaneous Plots

And finally, the two plots that I hope will both be mine before I need to get seedlings into the ground. Much of what will go in these spots is based on their availability and what sort of germination rate I get on all of the plants listed on this post. At the very least, I would like to get the following plants into the ground.

  • Aji Lemon (Burpee seeds)
  • Chocolate Butch T (courtesy Mr. Rich Hickey)
  • Golden Cayenne (Baker Creek Heirloom)
  • 7 Pot – Mutant (courtesy Mr. Rich Hickey)
  • Carolina Reaper (Tyler Farms)

Now, as stated, this is a very early list and subject to much change, especially when we see how things start shaping up with the seedlings. I plan to get the seeds into some potting soil and seed starter by mid-to-late February. I’m starting a bit later than I did last year as I don’t want to repeat the mistake of getting them outdoors too early like at the beginning of the 2017 season.