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Naga Jolokia

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1. Introduction. Peppers prefer hot weather. They are renowned in fiery cuisines of India, Thailand and throughout the rest of the world. Peppers can be picked at any color stage, but are hottest when fully ripened; bright red. Peppers are a warm-season vegetables. For optimum growth, peppers require somewhat higher temperatures than tomatoes. 2. Varieties Peppers. Some group different types of peppers together as some look alike and are comparable in their extreme hotness. Ours is an Indian str
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  1. Introduction. Peppers prefer hot weather. They are renowned in fiery cuisines of India, Thailand andthroughout the rest of the world. Peppers can be picked at any color stage, but are hottestwhen fully ripened; bright red. Peppers are a warm-season vegetables. For optimum growth,peppers require somewhat higher temperatures than tomatoes. 2. Varieties Peppers. Some group different types of peppers together as some look alike and arecomparable in their extreme hotness. Ours is an Indian strain which through careful breedingbecame Guinness record holder at over a million Scoville units, roughly twice as hot as theprevious record holder; the Red Savina .Warning: Direct consumption of these peppers can be dangerous. Merely handling the seeds can cause irritation to the hands. 3. Starting Seeds Peppers are difficult to grow. They are best started from seeds indoors in late winter roughly6 to 8 weeks before they are to be set out and transplanted into the garden. Start pepperplants indoors several weeks earlier than tomatoes; well before the last frost date. Pepperseeds are infamous for slow germination, or germinating at different times. Even when grownunder optimal conditions, germination can be slow and irregular. It is not unusual for someseeds to sprout weeks after the first ones. Some varieties may take more than 6 weeks orlonger to germinate; be patient. Try soaking seeds overnight in warm water to stimulategermination or start them in moist paper towels, in plastic bags that aren't completely sealed .Start pepper seeds in pre-moistened seed starting mix or light potting soil. To avoid soil-borndiseases clean commercial starting mix is recommended. Plant seeds flat, and then coverlightly with soil or sow them 1/4-inch deep in 2-to 3-inch containers such as peat ornewspaper pots. To water, spray soil daily just enough to keep it moist. Keep planted seedsin a well-lighted, warm area preferably under fluorescent lights and with subsoil heat. Seedsgerminate best above 65 degrees; Ideal germination temperature is 75 to 85 degrees. Aheated germination mat works well. Prevent seedlings from damping off by keeping soil dampbut not wet to saturation, and by providing good air circulation. Do not water from below, asthis can adversely affect germination.Transplant in spring only after soil and air have warmed and weather is warm and settled.Seedlings or plants cannot tolerate frost and do not grow well in cold, wet soil. If nighttemperatures fall below 50° to 55°F, plants may be stunted and grow slowly, leaves may turnyellow, and flowers to drop off. Black plastic mulch and/or floating row covers may be used toadvantage to warm soil and enhance early spring growing conditions; or whenever coolweather threatens. Transplant seedlings, as soon as they are large enough to handle, intoflats, 2 to 3 inches apart or individually in small pots. Once plants are roughly five inches talland nighttime temperature is above 60ºF, harden the plants off by slowly acclimatizing them tothe garden. Keep plants shaded at first to avoid sun scald and finally transplant to a gardenlocation in full sun. For best results, do not plant peppers seeds directly outside. More sunand less water are known to increase flavor and heat intensity. Feed seedlings with half-strength water-soluble nitrogen fertilizer every two weeks. Plants mature in 100 days. 4. Planting Hardened-off seedlings may be planted outdoors two to three weeks after the last frost whenthe soil temperature has reached 60 degrees F. peppers need full sun, warm rich soil(amended with compost, well-rotted manure, or leaf mold) and good drainage. PH 6 to 7 ispreferred. When peppers begin to produce flower buds, pinch them off and continue to dothis for the first 1 to 2 weeks in order to force plants to develop leaves and a strong rootsystem. Mulch with 2 to 3 inches of organic matter or black/clear plastic to keep weed growthdown, and to maintain soil moisture and temperature. peppers spread and have brittlebranches. In order to work the rows without damaging the plants, plant them in rows 5-6 feetapart. In-row spacing should be 16-18 inches so they can support each other. Peppers dowell in raised beds.  5 . Agronomy Peppers thrive in a well-drained, fertile pH neutral soil well supplied with moisture. Use astarter fertilizer when transplanting. Work a moderate amount of compost or manure into thesoil, then dust the soil surface with a fine layer of Epsom salts and work it into the soil toprovide magnesium, which peppers need for good development. Mulch around the peppers tokeep down weeds, retain moisture, and help to feed the plant. Plastic mulch increases soiltemperature and may help to increase yields. Apply supplemental fertilizer (side-dressing)after the first flush of peppers is set. A uniform moisture supply is essential with peppers,especially during harvest season, irrigate during dry periods. Spread compost or a balancedorganic fertilizer around plants when they flower and again three weeks later. As peppersdevelop, switch over to a fertilizer higher in Phosphorous and Potassium. Gardeners oftenmake the mistake of providing too much nitrogen which results in great looking bushy, greenplants with few fruit.Keep the plants lightly moist, but not soggy wet. Too dry soil may prevent fruit set or causeabortion of small immature fruits. Pull any weeds as they appear. Feed plants with an all-purpose water-soluble fertilizer. Peppers generally need about the same level of care asTomatoes, but they are more vulnerable to cold. Peppers need to be grown in soil that will notdry out quickly and is supplied with plenty of organic matter. Cultivate the surface of the soiloften to get rid of weeds, but not so deeply that roots are harmed. Peppers will bearthroughout the summer as long as fruits are picked regularly.Peppers are self pollinators. Occasionally, they will cross pollinate from pollen carried by beesor other insects. If you are going to save seeds for next year, you need to minimize anypossibility for cross pollinating. Do not plant different varieties near each other. 6. Growing in Containers Peppers can be grown in containers. Use containers that are rust-resistant and have holes in the bottom fordrainage. Plastic pots are inexpensive, lightweight, durable, easy to disinfect, and easy to move around. Other typesof plastic containers with handles may be used for larger and heavier plants. When planting in containers, useporous, well-drained soil. Liquidfertilizer may be applied occasionally to prevent the leaves from yellowing. Don't over water;by keeping the soil a bit on the dry side, bushier and more compact plants will form. Plantsusually don't need pinching, but if any shoots seem to stray, they may be pinched. Peppersmust have full sun all the time. During hot weather, they may be kept in a greenhouse oroutside buried up to their rims in the garden. They must be brought inside before cold weathersets in. Fertilize after transplanting and again if the plants start to look pale or the leaves aresmall. 7. Harvesting Fruits may be harvested at any size desired. Mature fruits easily break from the plant. Lessdamage is done to the plants, however, if fruits are cut rather than pulled off. Hot peppers areusually harvested at the red-ripe stage. To increase yields, harvest some fruit when it is in themature green stage (just before it turns red). Peppers stop setting fruit when plants are loadedso harvesting mature green fruit encourages plants to continue producing. Peppers are greenwhen unripe and turn red when fully ripe. If left on the bush, virtually all peppers will turn red.Carefully remove peppers using clippers, as branches of pepper plants are brittle and tend tobreak off readily. 8. Drying Keep peppers in a warm dry place or dehydrator until brittle dry. Individual fruits can bepicked and strung in a ristras or entire plants can be pulled in the fall, before frost, and hungin an outbuilding or basement to dry. To avoid painful irritation, always exercise caution whenhandling hot varieties. Plastic or rubber gloves may be helpful when picking or handlingpeppers fruits.  9. Sav in    See ds   Har ves ¡ ¢£¤  y ¥  ¦¤¤  y- rip e p e pp e r s ¥  ¢   r see §¨  (Mo s ¡  p e pp e r s turn r e §   wh e n full y matur e ¨©  If fro s tthr e at e n s b e for e p e pp e r s matur e   pull e ntir e plant and hang in c ool, dr y lo c ation to allowp e pp e r s to matur e ¨  Th e r e ar e two m e thod s , dr y or w e t, to har ves t p e pp e r see d s ¨  Th e dr y  m e thod i s ad e    uat e for s mall numb e r s of p e pp e r s ¨  Cut bottom s off th e fruit and c ar e full y   s trip see d s   s urrounding th e   c or e ¨    See d s u s uall y n ee d no furth e r c l e aning. To pro cess   see d fromlarg e amount s of p e pp e r s , fir s t c ut off th e top s    j u s t b e low th e   s t e m. F ill a bl e nd e r withp e pp e r s and wat e r and g e ntl y bl e nd to se parat e   see d s . H e alth y   see d will s ink to th e bottomwhil e p e pp e r d e bri s and immatur e   see d s will float and c an b e   s kimm e d off. S pr e ad c l e an e d see d s on a pap e r tow e l and allow th e m to air - dr y . Wh e n see d i s full y dr y it will br e ak wh e nfold e d. Dri e d see d s hould b e   s tor e d in a c ool, dr y , pla ce . See d s hould r e main v iabl e for atl e a s t two to thr ee   ye ar s if  s tor e d prop e rl y . 10 .S to   in    a nd Pre s erv in      S tor e dri e d p e pp e r s in airtight c ontain e r s . If m e al moth s ar e a probl e m, s tor e p e pp e r s inzipp e r -s t y l e fr ee z e r bag s in th e fr ee z e r F r ee zing p e pp e r s . S impl y wa s h and dr y th e p e pp e r s , r e mo ve th e   s t e m s and see d s and c hopa s d es ir e d. Pa c k into fr ee z e r bag s , c ontain e r s , or c anning  j ar s . Be   s ur e to lab e l and dat e   e a c hpa c kag e . P e pp e r s will k ee p in y our fr ee z e r for 3 to 6 month s .Pi c kl e d p e pp e r s   4 lb s . hot long r e d, gr ee n, or ye llow p e pp e r s   3 lb s . s w ee t r e d and gr ee n p e pp e r s   5   c . v in e gar 5%   1   c . wat e r 4 tb s p. c anning or pi c kling s alt 2 tb s p. s ugar 2   c lo ve garli c  If  s mall p e pp e r s ar e l e ft whol e , s la s h 1   1    2 to 2   s lit s in e a c h. Quart e r larg e p e pp e r s . B lan c h inboiling wat e r and p ee l. Cool. F latt e n s mall p e pp e r s . F ill  j ar s l e a v ing 1    2 in c h h e ad s pa ce .Combin e and h e at oth e r ingr e di e nt s to boiling and s imm e r 10 minut es . R e mo ve garli c . Addhot pi c kling s olution o ve r p e pp e r s , l e a v ing 1    2 in c h h e ad s pa ce . Ad  j u s t lid s and pro cess .Pro cess in boiling wat e r c ann e r for 15 minut es for half pint s , or pint s .Mak es 9 pint s . B a s i c Hot P e pp e r S au ce   3   c Di s till e d whit e   v in e gar 2 lb p e pp e r s   see d e d and c hopp e d 2 t s   S alt S imm e r v in e gar, s alt and p e pp e r s at l e a s t 5 minut es . Pro cess . S tor e in a gla ss bottl e . Put in adark c abin e t and l e t ag e at l e a s t 3 month s . S train wh e n r e ad y to u se .    11.Diseases and Pests Peppers are generally quite healthy although pests are an occasional problem. Damp-off is the arch-enemy of anygardener trying to grow plants from seed. Damping-off is fairly easy to spot  stems of healthy new seedlingssuddenly begin to rot at the soil line for no apparentreason! Damping-off is caused by a fungus, and can be spread through contaminated soil orpots. It is typically more of a problem for younger seedlings. Avoid damping-off by alwaysusing clean seed starting mix   for planting seeds. Do not re-use old pots for planting newseeds without first disinfecting them by washing in sudsy water containing bleach. If peat potsare over watered and get soggy they quickly begin to support growth of damping-off mold.Excessive humidity favors development of mold. Although high humidity is good for seedsprouting, it favors development of damping-off of sprouted seeds.   If seeds were germinatedunder a plastic cover, it must be removed as soon as seedlings begin to emerge.   Greenaphids are always a nagging problem.   They quickly weaken and deform plants.   Moreimportantly, aphids sometimes spread viruses. The most common is tobacco mosaic virus,which causes mottled yellow leaves and misshapen fruits. Because there are no cures forviruses, infected plants must be destroyed to prevent further spread of disease. Prevent virusdiseases from spreading by using insecticide soap sprays to control aphids
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