Sunday, May 31, 2020

What we are harvesting from the late May garden

Chives and sage in bloom
Sunday, May 31, 2020

There are still greens for salads or steaming.  Herbs are growing robustly with plenty for salads.  By this time of year, we no longer need to purchase produce from the grocery store and can get fresh herbs to add to ordinary dishes that make them taste wonderful.

The greens we are eating-French sorrel, chard, spinach, dandelion greens, corn salad, chick weed, sweet clover, green onions, tyfon, Giant Red mustard, sprouting broccoli leaves, snow pea leaves, beet greens, kale, cabbage.  Growing fabulous lettuce and greens

Herbs to add to dishes and salads-chives, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme, horseradish, overwintered leeks, Egyptian onions, tarragon, sage, dill, young garlic, fennel.  The fruits and veggies-radishes, beets, strawberries, baby carrots.

The flowers that are blooming-spiderwort, marigolds, petunias, roses, and the herbs and veggies going to seed-white flowers on the cilantro, the sage has beautiful purple flowers, the white flowers of thyme and bolted carrots, lavender chive flowers, yellow flowers on the sprouting broccoli and broccoli raab.  All veggie and herb flowers are edible.  A fun way to add flavor and beauty to salads or other dishes.  The flowers typically taste like the leaves. 

Potted lettuce bolting
The lettuce is in full bolt so soon there will be the white, yellow and blue flowers from the different kinds of lettuce.  Carrots if not pulled, they have beautiful flowers resembling Queen Ann's Lace, which they are from the same family.  

The tomatoes, eggplants, and squash have flowers so tiny fruits should be appearing soon!  Peppers, summer squash and eggplant typically can be harvested in June and tomatoes around the 4th of July. 

Everything was fertilized with a balanced fertilizer when planted.  I'll do another round of nitrogen fertilizer when the fruits appear on the tomatoes.  I also sprayed a natural fungicide, Serenade, on all the tomatoes, squash and watermelon leaves.  I spray when it is cool outside so the plant leaves don't get scorched.  The bush zucchini looked like they were starting to get the white from fungus on the leaf veins.  I sprayed the tops and bottoms of the leaves.  Will spray every 7-10 days as a preventative.

The flea beetles are going to town on the a few eggplants.  They love eggplant leaves!  The leaves are pretty chewed up.  I will spray with an insecticidal soap when beneficial insects are not around to get them knocked back.  I usually keep a close eye on them and squash the tiny black insects to keep them in check.  You can also plant nasturtiums to attract them away from the eggplants.

Once the plants get up to a decent size, they will no longer be at risk of being killed or stunted from being an insect's meal.   Natural, organic pest strategies and how to make your own bug sprays

I have also had a very enterprising mole in the garden over the winter.  The good part of this is that they do a great job of loosening up the soil.  The bad part is that if there tunnels go under your plant, there is a good chance, the plant will die.  I got out the mole deterrents and put them in the garden.  It is just a round metal tube that vibrates and makes a buzzing noise a few times a minute.  Hopefully, they will keep the mole from the garden!

Spiderwort blooming on left, allysum on right with kale and turnip leaves
I have been harvesting the extra greens and freezing them to use when needed.  By harvesting, it stimulates the plant to grow even more leaves.  My spinach did much better this year in the pot.  I was very generous with the fertilizer!  Preservation garden

I am growing substitutes for spinach.  The New Zealand spinach is almost ready to start harvesting.  I just got seeds in this week for Red Malabar spinach.  It is a vine that did great in a pot last summer.  It's leaves are slightly more succulent than spinach and are great in salads.

On the back patio, I have re-seeded summer lettuces.  Lettuce in general likes cooler temps.  When it gets up in the 80's, they bolt, sending up a stalk that then flowers.  You can let them go to seed and then save seed for re-sowing.  Most lettuces start to get bitter when they bolt.  Red Sails is one of the few that stays fairly sweet even after bolting.  This time of year, re-sow every 3 weeks to keep in lettuce.  Also, sow the most heat tolerant varieties you can find to extend how long you can harvest.  Bolt-free, sweet summer lettuces
Lettuce seedlings

Saturday, May 30, 2020

June 2020 Edible Garden Planner

Potted edibles and flowers
Saturday, May 30, 2020

June is a productive time in the garden.  Cool season crops are peaking while summer crops are just starting to produce with herbs in full swing.  Everything is a lush green at the beginning of the month.  As your fruit producing veggies flower, they will need a boost of fertilizer.  As the rain slows down, consistent ground moisture is key.

What’s growing in the garden right now
Most of the lettuce and spinach I planted in March as well as the chard that overwintered is bolting.  The lettuce seeds started in April grew large enough to move.  I started more seeds a couple of weeks ago.  As they grow large enough, I will transplant into larger pots.  I will resow heat tolerant lettuce seeds about every 3 weeks for the summer lettuce harvesting.  I'll put them in pots so I can keep them in a cool spot or with a shade cover as lettuce doesn't like it hot!  Growing fabulous lettuce and greens

Don't worry about insect damage to the leaves on the cabbage and broccoli as long as the heads are forming nicely.  A little insect damper will not affect the quality of the head produced.   Broccoli and cauliflower growing tips  I planted a small cabbage variety and had overwintered sprouting broccoli in the garden.  The sprouting broccoli has bolted and seed pods are close to being able to use to resow.  I will keep it under shade cloth when they sprout to keep the moths from laying eggs on them.  They are great for salad greens during the summer months.  Sprouting broccoli- a year round fav

When I get an infestation of caterpillars, I like to use diatomaceous earth (de).  It is made of tiny aquatic fossils from fresh water.  Their hard edges cause scratches on caterpillars and insects resulting in dehydration.  So no chemicals involved.  I use them only on plants that don't flower as de will kill pollinators, too.  Natural, organic pest strategies and how to make your own bug sprays

Arugula, sorrels, chard and cultivated dandelions are all harvestable.  As it gets hotter, these greens become stronger.  Since they are perennials, they are the first up in the spring for fresh salads.  Harvest the new leaves in summer for the mildest taste.  You can cut them back, too, to get fresh new leaves.  It doesn't hurt them at all.

This year I am also growing kale, broccoli raab, Chinese cabbage, Giant Red mustard and purple orach to have a variety of greens for salads.  Dragon's tail radish is fun to grow and the seed pods are tasty in salads.  I have it growing in a pot.  I planted snow peas in pots in February.  I used the type that the vines don't get too long.  The flowers and leaves are great in salads and stay sweet tasting into summer.  The Chinese cabbage is one that has long leaves.  I am going to try it as a wrap substitute.

The cilantro, rosemary, sage, chives, savory, oregano, basil, lavender, tarragon, parsley and thyme are filling out nicely and flowering. The common chives have bloomed with their beautiful lavender flowers.  The flowers are edible, too.  They are fun to use in salads or as a substitute for onions in cooking.  Very pretty to add in baked potatoes and grill.  We slice our potatoes, add some diced onion or chive flowers, butter, seasoning, wrap in foil and throw on the grill.  Yum.
Start a kitchen herb garden!

Another great thing about herbs is they are a good deterrent to deer.  Deer do not like strong smells so avoid fragrant herbs.  I plant them all around the garden to keep the pesky critters away.  We now live out in the country and deer will even bed down in the yard.  What has worked to keep them out of the garden is a combination of herbs throughout the garden, a pod deer deterrent, WD40 on socks, and marigolds around the perimeter of the garden bed.  
Flowering chives
Tomatoes and eggplant have started flowering so it won't be long before we will be able to eat fresh tomatoes!  I started the peppers later so they are not flowering.  They come on quickly, though, this time of year.  This year, I am treating the tomatoes, squash and cucumbers with an organic fungicide.  We have hot humid summers here in the Midwest and fungus loves those conditions!  Keeping fungal growth down should greatly improve the plants' health and harvest.  I'll alternate a Copper fungicide with Serenade fungicide after each rain.  I always try to spray when it is cool so they plant does not get stressed.  Tomatoes 101, everything you need to know to grow great tomatoes    Peppers are for every taste and garden

I planted a few Purple Podded pole green beans.  They are actually purple, but will turn green when cooked.  They are flat Romano style beans.  I just love the meaty taste of this kind of bean.  I prefer pole beans because you get so much from one plant and they produce over the entire summer.  I grow them on a trellis so they are easy to harvest.  The advantage of bush beans is that the harvest duration is short so you don't have to worry about picking fresh beans all summer.  Growing beans

The first cucumber seeds I planted did not sprout so I replanted more this week.  They should be up in 7 days.  For cucumbers, keep an eye out for cucumber beetles and caterpillars.  Just pluck them off and throw into a can of soapy water.  How to grow cucumbers-in pots or in the garden

I have several kinds of squash I grew indoors from seed.  They are all transplanted.  Both summer squashes are flowering, Zucchini Bush and Early Prolific Straightneck.  Don't be afraid of not being able to use all your zucchini, there are great ways to preserve them.  I am still using the zucchini spaghetti noodles out of the freezer from last year.  What to do with all that zucchini?!

The winter squashes, Acorn Bush and Spaghetti, was just recently transplanted so no flowers on them yet.  I am growing the Spaghetti squash up a trellis to save space in the garden bed.  Everything you need to know to grow squash  Quick tip-Grow Up!

Overwintered carrots, onions, garlic, and leeks are all flowering, including the Egyptian walking onions Egyptian walking onions.  I am harvesting the walking onion any time I need onions for cooking.  The green stalk is great as a fresh chive, too, for salads or potatoes.

I am still getting some strawberries on the later blooming plants.  Strawberries seem to be pest free in our garden.  You just have to get to the strawberries before the birds do!  I am growing a couple different kinds of Alpine strawberries from seed, Regina and Mignonette.  I love Alpine strawberries because they produce small, sweet berries all summer long.  Back yard strawberries
Ripe Alpine strawberries
This year I also bought a bare root Chicago fig tree and a thornless raspberry bush.  I transplanted them into pots and they are doing great.  I won't get fruit from the fig tree this year, but should next.  I am not sure about the raspberry.  Time will tell.  Both can be kept in pots or transplanted into the ground.  Growing “exotic” figs  There are other varieties you can grow if you are space constrained.  I am growing a kumquat, lemon, goji berry, and aronia all in pots.  Fruit for small spaces and pots

Now is the time to provide shade for your lettuce and sow bolt resistant varieties like Summer Crisp Magenta, Green Towers and Jericho Romaine, Simpson Elite leaf.  The Red Sails are doing quite well in the heat.  You can move your lettuces if in pots to a shadier part of your patio or porch.  Shade cloths can be used for those in the garden.  You can also plant taller veggies on the south and west side of your lettuces so as they grow, they provide shade to the lettuces.  I move most of my greens around to the northeast, shady side of the house this time of the year to keep them sweet as long as possible.  This year I bought shade cloths to use over the frame of my mini greenhouses.  They do seem to be helping extend the harvest.  
Bolt-free, sweet summer lettuces

For a spinach substitute, you can grow New Zealand spinach, Malabar spinach or Strawberry spinach.  I am growing the first two.  Malabar was a prolific vine in our garden last year.  All have spinach taste and love the heat.  New Zealand spinach leaves don't have the shine of spinach.  Malabar spinach has the shine and are slightly more succulent leaves than spinach.
Growing summer salads

I always have to have lots of flowers interspersed in the garden for color, fragrance and to attract beneficial insects.  In addition to the perennial jasmine, daylilies, hollyhocks and lilies, I always have marigolds, Cardinal basil, zinnias, petunias, and sunflowers.

Best time to harvest
The best time to harvest almost any vegetable is mornings or right after a rain; this is when they are the crunchiest, fullest and sweetest.  Harvest greens in the morning before you go to work and store in the frig for the day.  Just don’t store tomatoes in the frig; this ruins the flavor.

The best time to harvest aromatic herbs like rosemary, thyme and oregano is in the afternoon when the oils are most concentrated.  Harvest herbs like parsley, cilantro and dill in the cooler part of the day.

For more tips on preserving the extra, see Preservation garden

Watering & fertilizing tips
With the heat coming, it is time to start watering.  Keep consistent moisture to your lettuces to keep taste sweet and your lettuce from bolting as long as possible.  When your lettuce does bolt, let it go to flower and seed.  The bees and beneficial insects enjoy the flowers and the seeds can easily be saved for fall and next spring planting.  

Fertilize all your fruit bearing veggies when the first flowers appear (right now we have flowers and small fruits on our peppers, eggplant and tomatoes).  Provide only compost tea or kelp the rest of the season.  Too much nitrogen will cause your plants to grow lush foliage with no fruits.  Nitrogen stimulates green growth so is great for greens but should be used in moderation for fruiting plants.  I like to add Azomite to each plant once a year.  It has a variety of trace minerals that can really boost a plant's health and harvest.

For more on summer garden care, Summer garden tips
Summer greens and herbs
Can I still plant a garden in June-Yes!
There are many vegetables and herbs that you can still plant right now.   Any of the summer vegetables love these temperatures and sun.  As a matter of fact, this is the best time to plant cucumbers and zucchini to avoid the vine borer.  Even if you have planted zucchini and tomatoes already, late June is a good time to plant a second crop.  If your seeds don't come up within a week, it is likely that they were either bad or they rotted.  Seeds can rot when the ground is really wet and chilly.  It is still a great time to start seeds.  

A list of all veggies that can be planted in June:
Broccoli raab  
Brussels sprouts  Growing Brussel sprouts
Corn  Growing corn
Bulbing fennel  Growing fennel
Lettuce (heat tolerant varieties)  Everything you need to know about growing lettuce
Mediterranean herbs (basil, thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary, chives)
Sweet potatoes  Growing sweet potatoes

Savory, thyme, lettuce, onions with day lilies in the background
Here are a couple of garden ideas

If you have a picky eater, try the kid’s pizza/spaghetti garden.  If they grow it, they want to eat it!
Tomatoes-any you can’t eat, you can easily freeze for winter pizzas, salsa, or sauce
Basil, oregano, chives, garlic for seasoning
Onions-you can grow Egyptian walking onions in a pot or ground and they are perennials to boot
Kale, arugula, broccoli and peas for spring and fall pizza toppings (also easy to freeze for later)
Green peppers, eggplant, zucchini for summer pizzas (maybe some hot peppers for the adults)
For those that are real adventuresome, you can get mushroom kits to grow mushrooms.

Or if you want a culinary garden, here is an Italian/Sicilian garden that you can grow in as little as a 6’ x 6’ space:
Herbs (1 each)-thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, and flat leaf parsley
3 basil plants (for pesto and seasoning)
2 tomatoes-1 Roma type for sauces and 1 slicer type for salads
2 sweet pepper plants
1 zucchini
1 eggplant
8 red onions (you can substitute Egyptian walking onions)
8 garlic plants
Arugula, spinach and lettuce scatter sown

For other garden themes,
Small space French kitchen garden

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Eggplant-add this native from India to your garden

Potted Black Beauty eggplant with petunias
Saturday, May 23, 2020

Eggplant is easy to grow in our Midwest garden.  It is happy in a pot or the ground.  There is an amazing array of varieties of eggplant.  I thought for years that eggplant only came in the large, dark purple Black Beauty so popular in Italian cuisine.  In fact, there are long, skinny fruits, apple sized fruits, hourglass shaped fruits, and yellow, orange, white, green, purple, red, lavender colored fruits.  The fruits can be grilled, smoked, chopped and roasted, or stuffed.

Eggplant is a staple in Greek, Italian, Middle Eastern, and many Asian cuisines.  This fruiting vegetable originated in India and has been cultivated there for thousands of years.  It had made its way to the Mediterranean region by the Middle Ages.  It is used as a substitute for meat in many dishes like eggplant parmesan we see so often in our local Italian restaurants.  
The variety in eggplants
Eggplant contains fiber, antioxidants, vitamins C, K, folate and minerals potassium and manganese.  For more details on the health benefits, check out eggplant nutritional info

Eggplant should be started indoors 6-8 weeks prior to the last frost date (for Zone 7, this is end of Feb/first of March).  Or you can buy plants and transplant after all danger of frost has passed 18-24” apart in full sun.  

They are heat loving veggies that require a long growing season so it is important to get seedlings started indoors or purchase them as plants.  Fertilize when transplanted with a balanced fertilizer and then monthly after first blooms appear.  Being part of the nightshade family, tomato fertilizer works well for eggplants as well.  The only pest issues I have had when growing eggplant are flea beetles.  You can grow nasturtiums to lure them away from your eggplants.  

Eggplants grow every well in pots.  The soil in pots warms up quicker in early summer and stays warmer than garden soil, giving these heat lovers an early boost.  When planting in pots, look for dwarfs or patio types like Casper, Listada de Gandia, White Egg or Fairytale or use a large container.  Decorative container gardening for edibles

We have also grown the Rosa Bianca and Black Beauty in a large pot and both did well.  When growing in pots, keep in a sunny location, fertilize every other week and keep soil moist.  Our summers get really hot and humid here in the Midwest.  White eggplants seem to stay sweet and skins tender in our garden even in July and August.  Summer garden tips
Turkish Orange eggplant in a container
A tip when growing eggplant is to harvest when the fruits are young.  As they stay on the vine, they produce more seeds, their skin becomes tougher, and the fruit more bitter.  In addition to loss of taste, you will also have loss of productivity.  Harvesting often keeps the plant focused on producing more fruits.  My favorite ways to preserve the extras are freezing and drying.  Be sure to blanch your eggplant before freezing so it maintains fresh taste and texture.

Eggplant can be smoked, baked, steamed or grilled.  My two favorites are stuffing them with sausage with my homemade tomato sauce and baking or brushing on olive oil, seasoning with sea salt and grilling.  Our favorite varieties so far have been the smaller white eggplants andTurkish orange for grilling and Black Beauty for stuffing.

I have also used eggplant slices in place of lasagna noodles for a low carb, high nutrition dish.  Here is a recipe for a couple of options in this blog.  Just substitute eggplant for zucchini.  They are both great!  How to use all your zucchini-really

This year, I am going to try smoking some fruits and making into baba ghanoush.  We had this in a Turkish restaurant with pita bread and it was quite tasty.

Since eggplant is a tropical perennial, you can bring it indoors at the end of the season to overwinter.  This gives you a 6-8 week head start on harvests next year.  My luck on this has been 50/50 when overwintering in the garage.  You can also save the seed from your best fruits to use next season.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Peppers are for every taste and garden

Sunday, May 17, 2020

No matter your taste buds, your style of cooking or the type of food you love, there is a pepper for you!  Besides that, peppers are pest free, come in beautiful colors, are easy to grow, and look great on the patio.
There are hot peppers, there are sweet peppers, there are smokey peppers.  There are peppers of a multitude of colors-white, yellow, orange, red, purple, brown, black, green.  They come in all shapes from the size of a blueberry to 12”, straight, crooked, puckered.

Peppers originated in South America.  Their use goes back to at least 7500 BCE and were domesticated at least 8000 years ago.  

Pepper’s heat is measured in Scoville heat units.  Some of the hottest peppers measured was a Trinidad Scorpion Butch T at 1,463,700 and a Naga Viper, at 1,382,118 SHU’s.  Now that is smokin’ hot!

Quick reference Scoville values:
*0 Sweet peppers like the classic bell and Italian sweet peppers.  
*100-900 Mild peppers such as pimento, banana and pepperoncini peppers
*1,000-2,500 Anaheim, Poblano, Peppadew peppers
*3,500-8,000 Jalapeño, Anaheim peppers
*10,000-23,000 Serrano, Peter peppers
*30,000-50,000 Tabasco, Cayenne peppers
*100,000-350,000 Habanero/Scotch bonnet peppers

One thing to keep in mind, peppers are natural plants and their heat can vary widely based on growing conditions and their pepper neighbor in the garden.  If you place a hot pepper and a sweet pepper next to each other, the sweet pepper can become a spicy pepper through cross pollination.

Once you get in the range of cayenne peppers, you should use gloves when handling.  Washing your hands with water after handling the pepper does not wash away the heat!  Transferring some of the pepper’s heat to the eyes can be extremely painful!  The best way to cool the heat is to use whole milk.  

The center of a pepper’s heat is in its seeds and ribs.  If you want a milder dish, clean the seeds and ribs from the pepper before using.

We typically grow our hot peppers in pots as they seem to do best in a container.  I try to grow enough peppers to last us all winter for salads, chili, salsa, and pepper seasonings.  The hot peppers like Jalapeños and Cayenne are prolific in pots.  One plant of the hot, smaller varieties is all we need.  We have found that the smaller sweet pepper plants like banana peppers and Nikita did equally well in pots.  The large sweet peppers like California bell and Pimento seemed to do better in the garden bed.

For planting in the pots, we just use a good organic potting soil purchased from our local garden center and place one plant per pot along with a petunia or nasturtium for additional color.  To help maintain moisture, I mulch around the peppers after planted in the pot.  I water them once/week in the summer.  Converting your favorite pot to a self watering container really helps in cutting down how often watering is required.  Decorative container gardening for edibles

If you want to give your pepper plants an extra boost, they favor phosphorous (bulb food or bone meal works well), sulfur (a book of matches in the hole does the trick), calcium to prevent blossom end rot (a half dozen crushed egg shells works well), and magnesium (which is contained in epson salts, a diluted spray when the flowers appear).  Some say if the leaves pucker, this is a sign that phosphorous is needed.  Tomato fertilizer is also good for peppers as both are fruiting plants.

You should put out pepper plants after it is nice and warm.  Peppers are in the nightshade family with tomatoes and eggplant.  They should be planted outside when night time temps are above 55 and daytime temps in the 70’s consistently.  If you buy pepper plants with peppers already on them, remove them before planting so the plant can focus its energy on developing a strong root system. 

If you are going to grow your peppers from seeds, start them indoors 6-8 weeks before you will transplant outside.  You can get unusual varieties not at your local nursery in seed catalogues.  Baker Creek Heirloom Seed company has some very unique varieties from around the world.  Although the spectrum available today in stores is quite nice.  You can also order plants as well from most seed catalogues.

Surprisingly, peppers don’t like extremely hot weather.  They get sunburned when the temps get into the 90’s consistently.  Their sunburn looks like dark spots on the exposed fruits.  If you can, move them into the shade when temps are extreme.  They won’t croak, but they are stressed during periods of high heat.  

Almost all veggies love fertile soil and consistent watering.  Peppers are no exception.  Some swear that stressing the plant will increase the heat of the pepper.  Now, a recent Guinness winner thinks the secret to getting the world’s hottest pepper was run off from a worm farm.  Summer garden tips

Peppers will get flowers on them that, if pollinated, will grow into a pepper.  If you look into the center of a flower, you can see the emerging baby pepper.
Pepper flower with baby pepper forming
Anything that produces a seed or fruit needs a visit from a friendly pollinator, like the honey bee, mason bee, bumble bee, predatory wasps, hover flies, butterflies, moths, beetles, and many other insects.  It is important to not use insecticides as they kill the pollinators along with the bad bugs or to use very sparingly and not on the flowers themselves.

I plant the peppers in a pot with nasturtium or petunias to attract the pollinators and to look good on the patio.
Pepper plant with petunias
This year I am growing several peppers:
*Purple sweet peppers for the salsa and snacking
*Cayenne for salsa and making hot sauce
*Jalapeno for salsa.  You can also smoke them to make chipotle seasoning
*Pimento peppers to add dice and add to salads
*Poblano to dry for chili powder  
*Two I have grown in the past is Pasilla bajio for mole sauces (also called chile negro because of its black color) and Pablano for chili powder (the dried pepper is called ancho).  I have enough of both preserved for another year.
                                  Pimento at top, jalapeño on bottom      Red and green cayennes

I have a Chipetin pepper I overwinter in the garage that is already producing small, very hot peppers.  Some are ready to eat size!  Peppers are a tropical perennial so can be overwintered in the garage or house to get a jump start on the next season.  Plus, if you have a pepper plant that was just outstanding the previous year, you know you will get a repeat show.

Peppers all start out green.  It is as they ripen that they turn colors.  Jalapeño will turn red if left to ripen on the vine.  The sweet peppers I am growing from seed this year will turn chocolate, red or orange.  They can be eaten either when green or after they have turned.  Their flavor, and heat, will intensify as they ripen.

The trick to keeping the pepper crop going is to harvest often.  It’s like the plant knows when it has its quota of peppers.  The blossoms will fall off until more are picked.  Save the seeds from your best pepper.  Seed saving-fun, easy and a cost saver

Here are some ways to preserve your pepper harvest if you have more than you can eat  Preserving peppers

Peppers have many great nutritional benefits.  They contain high amounts of vitamins C, A (carotene), K, potassium, manganese, B6 as well as a good source of fiber.  Its antioxidants help the body combat free radicals.  For more details, SELF magazine has a nice compilation of nutritional information of fruits and vegetables:  pepper nutritional info

The hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it contains.  A tablespoon of ground chili pepper would contain between 0.8 to 480 mg of capsaicin.  In Ayurvedic medicine, capsaicin is used for digestive and circulatory health support. 

Peppers come in so many different flavors and heat intensity.  There is a pepper out there for everyone.  Combined with their carefree horticulture, they make a great plant to add to your garden this year.