This is my first season growing peppers in southwestern Oregon and my first season gardening on this property. From Google Earth, I know someone has been gardening on this plot since 1994. The 1994 image of the garden seems to show a well-established garden plot so I am assuming the garden was established before 1985. I had the soil tested in the spring of 2014. The soil was a little too acidic and needed a little nitrogen. I tilled in about 1/3 of the recommend lime, 4 to 5 wheelbarrow loads of mint compost, and no nitrogen.
The peppers were planted fairly densely in two rows 18-inches apart on 8-inch centers. The plants were planted in early May. I started the seeds about 3 to 4 weeks too early so the plants were very leggy (1’ to 2’) at the time they were planted. I planted them very deep with two thirds of the total plant placed below the soil level. I used two lines per row of T-Tape (Emitter Spacing: 6″, Flow Rate: 0.25 GPH) on a 20 PSI regulated line operating 45 minutes 3 times a week for irrigation.
We had a warmer and drier than normal spring so the early planting worked out okay. After a few weeks the plants shook off transplanting shock, started growing well and looked good throughout the growing season. I provided a shade structure made up of PVC pipe and light-weight row cover. This structure effectively eliminated sun scald, yet provided enough light to produce a very nice yield.
I decided to grow the same pepper varieties here that I grew in San Jose, CA. I was very encouraged with the results, all varieties produced well with the exception of the Bhut Jolokia, which fruited very well but did not ripen before the rains started. In the end, I grew 2 to 4 plants of 43 varieties of peppers.
I grew these sweet pepper varieties: Belecski, California Wonder Orange, California Wonder Red, Chervena Chushka, Coral, Corno di Toro Giallo, Corno di Toro Rosso, Cuollarici, Early Sunsation, Espelette, Garden Sunshine, Giallo di Cuneo, Goccia d’Oro, Gourmet, Karma, Marconi Golden, Marconi Red, Orange Bell, Quadrato d’Asti Rosso, Romanian Gogosari, and Wisconsin Lakes. The red lettered varieties are very nice peppers developed in Europe after 1500 AD. These varieties were developed for flavor as well as growth and vector resistance and resulted in great varieties for the garden. The Corno di Toro and Marconi varieties have great flavor both for eating out of hand and as sweet-pickled. Belecski, Giallo di Cuneo, Goccia d’Oro, Marconi Golden, Marconi Red, Quadrato d’Asti Rosso, and Romanian Gogosari, are very nice bell-type varieties that are great fresh and they freeze very well. The Chervena Chushka and Espelette are best dried and ground for paprika. Finally, Cuollarici is an Italian frying pepper. The Corno di toro, Marconi, Quadrato d’Asti, and Romanian Gogosari are our favorite sweet peppers.
I grew these mild peppers: Ancho 101, Baby Pepper Chili, Chilhuacle Negro, Mariachi, Padron, Pasilla Bajio and Szentesi. Baby Pepper Chili is the unpatented open-pollinated version of the Papadew pepper found sweet-pickled in the supermarkets and salad bars. This is one of our favorite mild varieties that we sweet-pickle and serve stuffed with soft goat cheese. Padron is a well-known fryer. Mariachi and Szentesi are very nice paprika-shaped peppers with a nice bite.
I grew these hot peppers: Aleppo, Big Bomb, Hinklehatz Yellow, Jalapeño, Manzano Orange, Manzano Red, Santa Fe Grande, Serrano, and Thai Hot Black. The Manzano and Big Bomb are great sweet-pickled and stuffed with soft goat cheese. The Aleppo dried and ground make a very flavorful spicy paprika. The Thai Hot Black is a very hot Thai pepper grown by a family of Hmong people living in the California central valley.
I grew these extremely hot peppers: Bhut Jolokia, Habanero Saint Jacobs, and Trinidad Scorpion. The Habanero and Trinidad Scorpion did very well. We make jelly from the Habanero, and hot chili sauce out of all three. All three are great dried and ground into an extremely hot paprika. When making these hot paprikas, I grind the seeds and the pods together.
I save seeds for Aleppo, Baby Pepper Chili, Belecski, Bhut Jolokia, Cuollarici, Habanero Saint Jacobs, Hinklehatz Yellow, Romanian Gogosari, Szentesi, and Thai Hot Black.