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Shirley Bovshow’s Peppers 101

























What Conditions Do Peppers Need To Grow Successfully?

Peppers are from the same family as tomatoes and potatoes. Peppers need at least 6 hours of sunlight everyday and consistent soil temperatures of 60 degrees and above at night. Peppers need at least 1" inch of water per week, sometimes each day if extremely hot. Warm days and cooler nights is the best climate for peppers.


What Is The Scoville Rating System?

Wilbur Scoville developed the scale that scientists use to describe a chili’s heat in 1912. He would dilute a pepper extract in sugar water until the heat was no longer detectable by a panel of trained tasters; that threshold is its Scoville rating. A bell pepper, for instance, rates a zero, while a jalapeño falls between 2,500 and 8,000 Scoville heat units. It’s the ingredient Capsaicin that causes a neurological response in people that causes a burning sensation, even though they are not physically burning.

Scoville Heating Chart>>


Peppers In Our Home & Family Garden:

Sweet/Mild Peppers:

Yellow & Red Bell - With a 4-6 OZ yield, these sweep peppers range in size from 4 to 5 inches, and have multiple health benefits and are chalked full of vitamins and minerals. They also taste amazing! Eat as many as you like – they rate 0 on the Scoville Chart! You won’t get burned!


Carmen Italian Sweet Pepper - Not available commercially, but can be grown throughout country, even in cooler summer temperatures, ideal for short growing season. Sweet, mild, this is THE roasted Italian pepper of choice for your antipasti platter.


Giant Marconi - Not available commercially but you can grow Marconi, one of the largest, Italian sweet tomatoes, fruit is 8"inches by 2"-inches wide. Roasted, stuffed, has smoky flavor.


Gypsy Sweet - Not available commercially, intense flavor and thin skin great for grilling or frying them in olive oil, or leave them raw in a salad.


Hot Peppers:
Shishito Pepper - Scoville - 0-50 mild. Shishito peppers are one of the trendiest newer varieties now available in markets and as plants. Shishitos are classic side dish to order when you go to a Japanese restaurant grilled with soy sauce... a mild burn variety.


Anaheim Pepper - Scoville - 500 to 2,500 (mild). Thick walled for Chile Rellenos! Derived from the famous New Mexico Hatch Chile. Use in place of poblano or pasilla chiles for chile rellenos.


Jalapeno - Scoville - 2,500 to 5,000 (medium), Most popular chile variety in the US, fresh, grilled, pickled, stuffed.


Big Jalapeno "Mucho Nacho" - Scoville - 4K to 8K (medium), bigger and hotter than regular Jalapeño.


Tabasco - Scoville heat units: 30K to 50K (hot), Not available commercially- Especially grown to make Tabasco brand hot sauce and can be grown at home.


Dragon Cayenne - Scoville: 30K- -50K (hot), 5 times hotter than Jalapeño, Use fresh or dried as a spice for Mexican and Asian recipes.


Thai Hot Pepper - Scoville heat units: 50K to 100K (extra hot), Super hot pepper on beautiful dwarf plants, Pick red for hottest taste.


Habanero - Scoville heat units: 100,000 to 300,000 (extreme), 100 times hotter than Jalapeno- Good substitute to the Scotch Bonnet pepper. Ten years ago, Habanero's used to be considered the hottest variety, since then, varieties like Carolina Reaper chilies are the hottest chili reaching a searing 2 million Scoville heat units!


What Is Hotter, Raw Or Cooked Peppers? - Cooked. Flavor is dispersed by oil. Hottest part of the chili peppers is the vein, not the seeds. Seeds are the 2nd hottest, then the flesh. To make a recipe milder, remove the seeds and the veins before cooking with them.


How Do You Cool A Burning Mouth? - Dairy - Milk, yogurt, ice cream. Don’t drink water! The water will only spread the oil around you mouth and throat. Wash hands and use gloves when cutting.



Check out Shirley Bovshow’s Garden Designing Expertise at FoodieGardener.com, and follow her on Twitter @FoodieGardeners.

Thank you to Bonnie Plants for all of our garden plants. Get more at BonniePlants.com.

Thank you to Melissa's Produce for our fresh peppers. Learn more by visiting Melissas.com.


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