Gildo’s Paso Robles Pepper Strip
The Spring weather out here in California has been near perfect for the last month and the ground has warmed up to above a 55 degrees, so I decided to go ahead and order up my pepper plants and get this year’s pepper strip going. Typically I purchase my pepper plants at local nurseries and growers, but this year I wanted an assortment of super hot and unusual varieties that they don’t carry. So not really knowing where to look, I turned to the internet and found Cross County Nurseries in Rosemont, New Jersey. They sell what they claim to be the world’s largest selection of pepper plants and tomatoes from April thru June, and ship them anywhere in the country via 3-day UPS. I’m not sure exactly how many varieties they actually offer, but their inventory is enormous and took quite a while to browse through. You can search for plants by heat levels, colors, uses, and even flesh types, allowing you to easily narrow down the choices. The ordering process was also easy and their prices reasonable, despite a 12 plant minimum order policy and the UPS charges.
For this season I decided to go with one plant each of 9 different varieties, and three of the Bhut Jolokia. The others include a Red Savinaâ„¢ habanero, chocolate habanero, peter pepper, Bishop’s crown, Brazilian Starfish, Bulgarian carrot, yellow squash, billygoat, and cherry bomb. They arrived the first week of April via UPS and to my surprise, were completely unscathed. They were all packed tightly and neatly into one small cardboard box and were held into place with a custom looking cardboard insert that kept all the soil in place and the plants upright and secure. The soil was moist and they were insect free. Excellent!
I put them in the ground on April 7th and gave them a healthy dose of both granular vegetable fertilizer and liquid kelp and fish fertilizer. Now, with the warm California sun and some TLC, I should have my first peppers sometime in late May. I’ll keep you posted on this year’s pepper strip as it progresses throughout the summer, particularly the Bhut Jolokias. ‘Till then, good luck with your own plantings!
Cross County Nurseries
PO Box 170,
199 Kingwood-Locktown Road
Rosemont, NJ 08556-0170