Posted February 11, 2008 by Jay in Peppers

Makin’ Habaneros


Hello all! Let me start by letting you know a little about me. My name is Jay Calvert and well, when I set my mind to doing something, I learn everything I can about it then try to get it right the first time. I have many hobbies that have come from this, cooking, woodworking, gardening and that technical stuff that I get paid for on a day to day basis.

I have been growing peppers for quite a few years I have soaked up a lot of information on the subject of growing hot peppers and I would like to pass that along to you. One thing I must stress is that I am not a horticulturalist, I have no formal education in gardening, pest control or plant diseases, I am just a guy who loves growing hot peppers and the many rewards that follow.

Now, I don’t have the luxury of living in one of the warmer climates of the world but luckily enough do have a summer that generally lasts for about 4 months of pure sun. To get around this shorter growing season, I start as early as possible. Most pepper plants have a maturity period that goes from 70 – 90 degree days (that means from rock hard seed to producing edible peppers). Some can be really stubborn to get going so extra care is really required if you want to fit it into that 90 days (before the frost comes). For example, I have seen cases where Habanero seeds took 60 days to get to a seedling. The main reason for this is that the Habanero is from a really warm climate, starting a seed in a cold environment can really hinder its growth if not properly planned.

Now is about the time that I get started planning for my First Weekend in March seed planting ritual. What we are about to cover in the coming articles, anybody can do. You do not need to have a large garden already prepared for our plants, nor do you really have to even have a balcony. All you really need is room to put some pots that will get as much sun exposure as possible. If you are looking at growing some of the more prolific plants such as Habaneros, I suggest a larger pot (1 foot across) but if you are looking at some of the smaller bush peppers, you can get away with a 8-10 inch pot that you can probably sit on a window sill or even still – a planter box. These plants actually do not even need to be outdoors.

Coming up we will cover seeds, soil, containers, lighting and heat.

— Jay