Sorry year for chiles

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Well, 2005 will not go down as the best year ever for chiles in my garden. The cold, wet weather till mid-summer had the chile plants growing in slow motion for most of the season, and the only hot peppers that turned red in any quantity were the cayennes and the Chimayos. A fair number of Thai and Kung Pao chiles set, but they never turned color, so I brought them in and dried them green. The same thing for the passillas, they just never turned to their ripe color.

I did okay on the Anaheim, Big Jim and Barker green chiles, but certainly not great. The only reason that I was able to freeze up the anount that I did was because I had so many plants.

What really hurt was the poor performance of the chiles that want warm weather. Out of a dozen habanero seedlings, I picked 4 small green pods in November. I actually had to buy some Red Savinas at the farmer's market to make up my Inner Beauty Hot Sauce this year. That just seemed wrong.

I was able to scavenge a few Jalapenos for salsa, but I never came close to producing any quantity of red ripe jalapenos to try makeing my own chipotles, which was my plan.

While the sweet peppers did better, they were way behind last year as well. Some of the mini-belles ripened, but none of the full sized bells ever got to their ripe color. Even the sweet banana peppers only seemed to want to turn the pre-ripe yellow instead of ripening all the way to red. But at least there were enough bananas, and they taste pretty good, even in the young green stage.

Next year, there will be a lot more low tunnels, and possibly even a greenhouse or two.