Thursday, August 11, 2016

So… First off, apologies to our fan(s) for the extended period of ‘radio silence’.  Our goal was to make a blog update once a month, but… y’all know how it goes with the plans of mice and men?  So, too, goes it with peppers and blogs! 

To say it has been a BUSY summer here at BobbyGitr is an understatement.  SO much work owning a small business, but... labor of love and all that jazz. 

Not quite the whole garden - view from upstairs
PEPPERS:  There was a rough cold snap that hit us about two weeks after our first planting, and we lost several of those we were attempting to harden off for sale.  Fortunately, all the peppers that lived came back stronger and more beautiful than we could have hoped!

Though we sent a chunk of plants to good homes, there were too many left at the ‘end’ of planting season to simply trash… so we just said ‘whatevs’ and planted more.  A LOT more.  All told, we put over 120 pepper plants in the ground in our limited space, with another 30 or so in containers on the porch. 

One big downside to putting so many plants in the ground is that some nutrients have been depleted quicker than expected.  We noticed some leaf retardation in July due to calcium deficiency and began periodically collecting and grinding egg shells into a fine powder and letting the kids put them around the base of the plants.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough; dropped fruits with end rot appeared this week (lack of calcium).  Issues like this can easily be corrected with a Calcium-Magnesium spray, but it can’t save those brave soldiers that have already fallen—God speed, li'l buddies!  Hopefully we can do enough to prevent more fruit loss.

We’ve basically left them alone since—only periodic checking, weeding, and letting nature take its course.  (Things go best, we think, when Ma Nature is left to her work.)  Just because it's nearly harvest time doesn't mean we can sit on our laurels, though; we still have to keep an eye out for destructive forces.  Even at this stage, a well-established crop can be ruined with lack of attention.    

Another issue rearing its ugly head this time of year is that of pests.  In one night, the entire top of a reaper plant—leaves, peppers, and all—were eaten down to the STEMS.  At first we thought it might be some kind of animal, but the dogs usually scare off four-footed bandits, so we were left a bit stumped.  There was, however, a lot of unfamiliar critter scat on the ground around the mauled plants.  For quick answers, we took to "the Internets" and, after a quick pic and post to our pepper group, we were pretty sure that the culprit was a tomato hornworm. Looked it up and...


Did not know they could do so much damage so quickly!  Since we could not find the buggers by hand for fish food, we made the decision to hose ‘em down with Triazicide.  Prior to our little skirmish with the Corn Earworms last year, we were basically organic gardeners out of laziness, but we have taken to pesticides when the peppers are threatened and we can't get things under control ourselves.  We haven’t seen any further damage, and are hoping it stays that way through harvest so we don't have to put anything else on them, but we are thankful to have them in a pinch.

It’s that time of year where things are just getting beautiful. The power of nature is evident in it boldest and brightest these days... and this is where it's at, for me. 

Most of the plants are setting fruit (except the ones we planted late), and about a quarter are changing into their late summer colors.

We allow the plants to pollinate without interference from us, resulting in some visually stunning pods and crosses—bright orange “peach” bhut jolokias, red fataliis, chocolate UBSCs, to name a few. 

You'll catch more #pepperporn as pics of the aforementioned (and more) go up throughout the season.

SAUCE: The first harvest and hot sauce makin’ will be THIS WEEKEND, and probably every week through September/October, depending on the weather.  Unfortunately, we could not partner with a commercial kitchen in time to get sauce into the Farmer’s Market, but we look VERY forward to getting our HACCP plan down and ‘official’ go-ahead for local retail sales next year.  In the meantime, we will continue with BobbyGitr’s Bottle Sale—purchase a BobbyGitr Hot Sauce Bottle, and you’ll get a sample of the sauce of your choosing for free!

We love to talk peppers and disc golf, so chat us up in the comments section, on Facebook, or @bobbygitr on Twitter!

The HaPeppaMama

“You can always tell when it’s me writing… the blog posts are longer and not funny.”  

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The big guy

Well, you might think there is nothing special about habanero. Even if it is a super fancy chocolate habanero. However, this particular plant holds a special place in my heart. This is possibly the largest plant we have grown so far. Nearly 4 feet tall, this thing is just loaded down with fruit. It stands 6 inches to a foot taller than any of our other plants, and that's with plenty of summer left to go!

I probably can't wait more than another week to pick this guy, so I think Habanero will be my first hot sauce of the year.  The way this thing is bearing, I think I will end up making habanero sauces almost every single week for a while. #GoodProblemToHave

Hots Breeds

Remember last year when I thought I had bred two types of peppers to create a crossbreed between chocolate fatalii and Trinidad scorpion?

While it was entirely accidental, I saved as many seeds as I could from the "crossbreed" plant and saved them for this year. I am growing quite a few of them in hopes that I can repeat, and that this plant bears the same types of fruit as last year.

Well guess what? So far, so good. Please take a gander at these pictures. In my opinion, these are looking even more dangerous, scary, frightening, and any other synonyms you can think of, as well as twice is crossbreedy as last year.

While it will take several years to keep grooming this plant, I am really starting to think I am on to something. I can't wait for a couple more weeks to pass for me to start making some hot sauce out of these babies. I can pretty much guarantee it gonna be hot.  


Wow, we have been slacking! It has been a while since we have put a worthwhile post, so, not counting this one, I'm going to put two up back to back! Wouldn't that be great? Please enjoy the following pepper blogs