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Chilis from seed to deliciousness- 06.21.12

peppers.jpg This post is sponsored by Bing. Only Bing brings the best search and the best people from your favorite social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, together to help you spend less time searching and more time doing.  It’s amazing what you can do when your friends are part of your search.

The whole NOTCOT team scattered across the globe has somehow been on the gardening kick lately ~ perhaps its the gorgeous weather, a new found patience, or just a fascination with watching and tasting deliciousness grow out of nearly nothing! Above you can see my latest chili peppers starting to finally get their vibrant red color… They are definitely slow growing and not nearly as crazy fast as my cherry tomatoes or strawberries that seem to produce a bowl full every few days this summer! Have you tried growing your own? How are they doing? What types? Our Liqurious editor, Marcia Simmons shares what she’s been learning about the fun of chilis on the next page… and has even been trying to make her own hot sauces and sriracha!

Here’s a peek at the progress of some more or our chili peppers ~ from the flowers… to drooping… to the start of the fruits! peppers1.jpg

And massive progress on our jalapeños too! peppers2.jpg

Here’s what Liqurious editor, Marcia Simmons has to say -

varieties.jpg Picture from the Chileman!

Chili peppers are one of my favorite plants to grow because they come in a bunch of crazy varieties. I can grow Jamaican chocolate peppers to make jerk chicken, poblano peppers to dry and turn into molé sauce, kashmiri chillies for vindaloo … and so so much more. Oh yeah, and the plants are gorgeous and chillies come in so many colors and shapes. There are even more to discover when we searched on Bing! Seriously, how cute are these little purple peppers? (They are actually called “Pretty Purple Peppers!) Or these Bulgarian peppers that look like carrots and go from sweet to spicy in your mouth? Or the super-spicy ghost pepper, which is supposedly at the top of the Scoville heat scale as the world’s hottest pepper!

varieties1.jpg

If you start from seed, you can grow basically any pepper you want. (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds has never let me down when it comes to carrying seeds for beautiful and exciting plants.) I’ve done so many things wrong when growing peppers ~ pots that are too small, forgetting to water, never feeding the plant ~ and still get about 100 peppers from each plant. (I’m still using frozen, dried, and pickled peppers I picked a year ago.) All they really need is dirt and lots of sun and water. One of the tips that saved my life when growing chillies from seed is that, if the flowers seem to be growing and then dying off without producing any fruit, all you have to do is hand-pollinate them by brushing the inside of the flower with a cotton swab, watercolor brush, or even your finger to spread the pollen.

varieties2.jpg

In return for a teeny bit of work, you get spicy, spicy goodness. I’m kind of obsessed with making hot sauce right now, since my homemade sort-of-Sriracha sauce turned out better than I expected. This adorable Thai Sweet Chili Sauce on The Kitchn ~ we’ve found more onTasteologie - is just is one example of many delicious ways to use your chilies!

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