Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Zavory Peppers

Do you remember, way back in February, when I started my pepper plants?  Growing peppers is such a wonderful hobby for someone like me; it gives me some gardening to do just when I'm starting to be convinced winter will never be over, and then the little plants are pretty happy to be ignored until time for harvest.

This year, you may recall, I grew a new offering from Burpee called Zavory.  These are the pretty little red peppers you see at the top of the photos.  (The three darker green chiles on the left are Salsa Delight, and the lighter green one on the right is a Bananarama, both also from Burpee.)  At the time, I conjectured that the Zavory peppers would be hotter than I could handle, because my typical growing methods seem to produce very hot peppers.

Was I pleasantly surprised!  The Zavory have a little snap to them, but not a tremendous amount of heat.  Best of all, they have just the right spicy flavor to go perfectly on pizza, which is how we ate a handful of these this weekend.   Yum!

What did I do differently?
  • I started my seedlings in newspaper pots filled with potting soil rather than in peat pellets.  I think this allowed me to let them stay put longer before their first transplant, and it didn't stress the young seedlings with looking for nutrients.
  • I "abused" my peppers less.  I always say I abuse my peppers; I tend to expose them to the wind from a fan for several hours a day from the time they have their first real leaves until they go into the large outdoor containers where they live.  This year, I exposed them to shorter bursts from the fan to keep their stems strong and keep them from growing leggy, but I didn't make them stand up to wind all day.
  • I moved them outside to harden off earlier.  This spring had a number of early warm days, and the peppers got a much longer period of sitting on the patio during the day and only coming in at night.
  • I watered them much more regularly.
Combined, I think this kept my peppers from being overly-stressed, which I think keeps the capsaicin at a manageable level.

Ultimately, many things in the garden this year were disappointing due to some very erratic weather in the Midwest, and I didn't get nearly the harvest of many things I would have liked.  However, I got quite a few of these lovely Zavory peppers, and they are on my list for next year!

The Analysis

Fast:  Peppers are the biggest long-term commitment (you will note seven and a half month from  seeds to harvest here), but they don't require a lot of attention except during that time of year when you really need a garden plant to love!

Cheap:  Even with a relatively small harvest, I don't think I could have purchased the same quantity of Zavory peppers at the farmer's market for the cost of seeds.  For one thing, I didn't see any Zavorys at the market this year.

Good:  Seriously, these taste just like they were tailor made for a pizza. 
Pin It!

No comments :

Post a Comment