String Up Your Bounty of Hot Peppers

Cayenne peppers grew so well this year we probably have enough for the next five years or more. Of course we’ve shared with friends, but how many strings of hot peppers does one kitchen need?

Hot Peppers Hanging in the Kitchen
Hot Peppers Hanging in the Kitchen

Hanging a collection of peppers is a nice way to display the colorful fruits and have easy access to them while cooking. By stringing them up the peppers will have room enough to dry out and not mold. If you have lots of counter space you could just dry them on a tray making sure to turn them every day. Just throw away any that turn black- not so appetizing. If you’re short on places to put a tray of peppers for a couple of weeks, try stringing them up. It can be a fun way to get the kids to help out with the end of the growing season chores.

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Cayenne Peppers Explode in Super Soil

Well, not explode as in Ka-Boom!, but explode in numbers. Take a look at our harvest of peppers from two plants. Two bowls or colanders full from each plant made for a healthy harvest, wouldn’t you say?

bowls of peppers
Two bowls of peppers harvested from each cayenne pepper plant.

On one plant I started counting the peppers and lost track after 180. The plants grew to 5 feet tall and that’s certainly the biggest I’ve ever seen them. Probably won’t be planting any cayenne peppers next year as we’ll have enough dried peppers for the next five years!

Huge Cayenne Pepper Plant
Huge Cayenne Pepper Plant

large pepper plant stem
Girth of this pepper plant stem is over an inch in diameter.

These bountiful plants grew in a brand new section of the vegetable garden where we had a truck load of super soil dumped. In the mountains we definitely have to amend the soil as it’s mostly clay and rock. And I mean there are LOTS of rocks in that dirt.

cayenne pepper plant in front of garage door
Harvested cayenne pepper plant laid in front of garage door.

I’m going to find out exactly how the super soil was made so we can replicate that for next year’s growing season. Compost is one component for sure, but what other ‘ingredients’ and in what combination is unknown at this point. Next year we’ll have to pick up a tumbler composter and make our own compost to amend the soil that’s already in the garden. So far, the Compost Wizard Dueling Tumbler and the Envirocycle Original Composter look very promising. I really like the idea of capturing compost tea with these tumblers.

We already use compost in the garden and flower beds, but since we have the room we just dump everything in a couple of piles near the edge of the yard and let nature take its course. Some ‘black dirt’ can be shoveled from the bottom of the piles, but the roots of nearby plants tend to grow up into the compost piles. Not the best solution for getting enough compost, but the price is right. However, if we could do away with pouring on fertilizers, like MiracleGro, then the cost of a composter would be insignificant.

Here’s to making our own Super Soil next year! BTW, tomatoes did awesome in the super soil, too!