Come And Dig It

Jimmy In The Garden

Jimmy In The Garden

Come And Dig It

Recent Posts

How To Grow Bishop’s Crown Pepper From Seed

How To Grow Bishop’s Crown Pepper From Seed

The Bishop’s Crown chili pepper is an unusual looking variety of chili coming from the species Capsicum baccatum var. pendulum. It has many different names some of which you may have heard before: Joker’s Hat, Christmas Bell and Peri Peri. The pepper is thought to have originated […]

How To Grow Carolina Reaper Pepper From Seed

How To Grow Carolina Reaper Pepper From Seed

Figuring out how to grow Carolina Reaper Peppers from seed is a relatively straightforward process. Whether you’re doing it from seeds you have saved, or seeds you’ve bought, with the right preparation you should achieve success. It just requires a degree of patience as the […]

How To Save Carolina Reaper Seeds To Plant

How To Save Carolina Reaper Seeds To Plant

If you’re a fan of growing super hot chili peppers then you have to know how to save Carolina Reaper seeds. Once you know this, you’ll become self-sufficient with your chili growing and be able to start your own super hot seed bank. It’s ridiculously easy to save the seeds, let’s get started.

Step 1 – Collect Your Carolina Reapers

How To Save Carolina Reaper Seeds (1 of 1)
How To Save Carolina Reaper Seeds

You should select Carolina Reaper peppers from the healthiest, strongest and most bountiful plant. This is because the plant will pass on this genetic makeup through the seeds in the chilis it gives. Once you’ve collected the seeds prepare for cutting them open with knife, chopping board and safety wear if you choose to use it. Gloves are usually a pretty intelligent choice, I went for the no glove option and briefly touched under my eye. Felt like I went toe to toe with Mike Tyson for 12 rounds. Not good.

Step 2 – Slice Open The Pepper

Open The Carolina Reaper Pepper
Open The Carolina Reaper Pepper

Gently cut along the outside of the pepper. You should aim to just be penetrating the flesh of the pepper, don’t be cutting it completely in half – you risk damaging the seeds. You just want to open it so you can pry it open with your hands.

Step 3 – Remove The Seeds

Remove Seeds From The Carolina Reaper
Remove Seeds From The Carolina Reaper

Using your fingers or a butter knife, scrape away at the seeds in the pepper and remove them. You can use two fingers to kind of pinch them out and they will easily remove from the flesh. Move the seeds to a clean piece of paper.

Step 4 – Repeat The Process

Move Carolina Reaper Seeds Onto A Clean Sheet Of Paper
Move Carolina Reaper Seeds Onto A Clean Sheet Of Paper

Continue with the other Carolina Reapers until you’ve finished removing all of the seeds. Place the freshly removed seeds onto a clean piece of paper and move them around so they are not touching each other. Leave the paper out for 2 – 3 days for the chili seeds to dry out, then you should be good to plant them. Or store them in an airtight container, throw in a bag of silica to keep the humidity low and place in a cool dark place and you will have viable seeds for years to come!

Start saving those Carolina Reaper seeds chili heads!

Feel like making something new? Try our pickled habanero and onion in kombucha recipe.

Pickled Habaneros And Onion In Kombucha

Pickled Habaneros And Onion In Kombucha

I had the fortune of discovering a massive batch of habaneros on special at the local grocery store over the weekend. With my habanero plants still a few months away from maturity, I figured I should seize upon this spicy opportunity and learn how to […]

Basil Leaves Turning Yellow And Dying? Basil Downy Mildew!

Basil Leaves Turning Yellow And Dying? Basil Downy Mildew!

Today marks a sad, sad, truly gut-wrenching day in the history of my garden. It appears the Basil Downy Mildew (BDM) has reared its ugly head and spread throughout my basil plants faster than Usain Bolt in Berlin.

The worst thing about this disease is that there is nothing that can be done to rid your plants of it. You can slow it down, but given time it will eventually spread and kill them all 🙁

I needed to know if basil downey mildew was safe to eat, but first things first…

What Is Basil Downy Mildew?

Downy Mildew is a destructive disease that affects several plant varieties. In terms of basil, the origin of the disease has been stated as dating back to Uganda in 1933. In the Western World, it’s been stated that the disease first reached Italy in 2004, and then spread to the USA in 2007 with increasing prevalence since then. It is a ruthless killer of plants and under the right conditions can spread rapidly.

How To Identify Basil Downy Mildey

You will first start to notice small yellow lesions on the surface of the leaves of your basil plant. These will spread and become larger, eventually turning brown and killing the leaf entirely. It can initially resemble a nutrient deficiency in the plant. One way to confirm if you have BDM is by turning the leaf over to inspect the underside – if there is a powdery black substance present, then the worst has been confirmed. You can look through my photos to see what it looks like.

is Basil Downey Mildew safe to eat
Basil Downy Mildew
Markings From Basil Downey Mildew
Markings From Basil Downy Mildew
Unfortunately Plants Can't Be Saved From Basil Downey Mildew
Unfortunately Plants Can’t Be Saved From Basil Downy Mildew
Notice The Black Powder Underneath The Leaves
Notice The Black Powder Underneath The Leaves
Notice The Black Powder Underneath The Leaves
Notice The Black Powder Underneath The Leaves
Notice The Black Powder Underneath The Leaves
Notice The Black Powder Underneath The Leaves

Can BDM Be Treated?

There is no known solution to remove the disease from infected plants.

How To Prevent BDM?

Start by selecting a less susceptible variety of basil to grow. If you already have your gardening in full swing then do what you can to reduce leaf wetness and minimizes humidity. This means ensuring you water at ground level and not overhead for the plant, use drip irrigation systems etc. Place the plant in a sunny position with good airflow is about the best you can do.

What To Do After You Get Basil Downy Mildew

So the first thing you’re probably wondering, like I was, is basil downey mildew safe to eat?

Luckily, yes it is. Once you’ve cleaned the plants. But, there’s more you should do too.

Immediately remove all infected plants. Start by placing a plastic bag over the entire infected plant. You need to do this to ensure the spores do not spread to other plants in your garden that might not yet be infected. Do not try to compost any infected leaves or plants, the spores have a very long life (around 8 years) and so you risk reinfection. Also, do not attempt to save any seeds from the infected plants.

You will need to be aware that it is likely that the soil is now infected from BDM and so remember not to plant basil in the same place, ensure proper crop rotation.

Sunny days are the optimum time to destroy the basil plants as any spores that travel due to the plant being disturbed will be killed by UV radiation from the sun.

Is Basil Downy Mildew Safe To Eat?

It is safe to eat, but not recommended.

Are There Downey Mildew Resistant Basil Seeds?

Yes, luckily there is. Somewhat resistant. There is a basil seed called Eleonora that you can now purchase that provides an intermediate resistance to downey mildew. You can get them places like Johnny Seeds or for organic seeds try High Mowing Seeds.

How To Grow Bird’s Eye Chili Peppers From Seed

How To Grow Bird’s Eye Chili Peppers From Seed

Bird’s Eye Chili Peppers can be notoriously difficult to germinate from seed. Funnily enough, they germinate best after being consumed by a bird and having gone through the entire digestive process. This in effect prepares the seed for germination by weakening the shell of the […]

How I Built A Solar Powered Hydroponic System At Home For Cheap

How I Built A Solar Powered Hydroponic System At Home For Cheap

I’d been working up to building a hydroponic system at home for a few months now and with the success of my solar powered, fully automated irrigation system, I realised it would be simple enough to combine the two into a hydroponic set up. I’ve […]

How To Grow Super Hot Peppers (Chillies) From Seed

How To Grow Super Hot Peppers (Chillies) From Seed

Growing hot peppers indoors from seed is an immensely enjoyable experience. Particularly once you have an established plant that provides the spice of Satan’s stick hot peppers on demand.

There’s a few things you can do and that should be considered best practises when starting super hot peppers from seed. First we’ll start with soil.

What Is The Best Soil For Peppers?

The best soil for peppers
Peppers love a well draining nutrient rich soil

Most peppers love a well draining, nutrient rich soil in combination with deep and sparse watering patterns. A tried and true method to get a good soil mix is to combine:

  • 10% Vermiculite
  • 10% Perlite
  • 10% Manure (horse’s is good)
  • 70% High quality seedling raising mix

Different chilli growers will have different opinions on what the best soil mix is for growing peppers and that’s the fun part about gardening – experimenting with what works and what doesn’t, and developing a mix that best suits you. This is a great starting point however and will see your peppers germinate with great success.

A little more about each of the components

Vermiculite

Vermiculite
Vermiculite helps moisture retention

Vermiculite is a hydrous mineral substance that is mainly used to improve soil quality by bettering moisture retention.

Perlite

Perlite
Perlite helps with soil drainage and aeration

Perlite is a superheated volcanic glass. It’s kind of like a miniature piece of popcorn in that it has a very low density and is comprised of many tiny air compartments. It improves soil drainage and aeration in the soil.

Where To Germinate The Peppers?

If you’re wondering how to germinate pepper seeds fast then it’s a great idea to start them indoors. This should lead to better and faster germination rates as you have a more controlled and consistent temperature.

You’ve got a couple of different methods when starting out, I’m testing two of them now to see which results in the fastest germination of seeds.

The first method is using a heat mat with a mini greenhouse. This ensures temperatures are at a consistent 30 degrees Celsius which should accelerate germination due to the high and consistent temperature.

Mini greenhouse with heat mat
Mini greenhouse with heat mat

The second method is using the disposable cups, I have these sitting on a window sill so they are exposed to more temperature fluctuation and lower temperatures. I’ll keep documenting the process on a week by week basis and share my results between the two.

Growing peppers in disposable cups
Growing peppers in disposable cups

There is some debate however as to the effectiveness of using transparent containers when growing plants. There is some research that suggests exposing the roots to light can hamper the growing rates of plants.

A couple of notes:

  • When planting the seeds wear gloves or use tweezers to handle the super hot peppers, otherwise that capsaicin is going to be on your fingers and could potentially spread to your eyes or somewhere even worse..
  • Plant the seed no more than 5mm deep. This is important to ensure that the seedling doesn’t die before breaking through the surface of the soil
  • Do not keep the soil too moist or you risk the seed rotting before it germinates

Where do I get my seeds from?

I usually order seeds from eBay which has plenty of options for the more common vegetables and chillies, however I have received some duds from time to time. If you are looking for high quality chilli seeds and are prepared to pay a little extra, I buy from The Hippy Seed Company in Australia.

7 Days Later

Three seedlings have poked their heads through, I’ve got the jalapeno, pequin and hot lemon showing. Still no signs of the super hots from either the cups or the mini greenhouse.

I’ve bought an LED grow light to sit on top of the greenhouse and will plug it into a weekly programmable timer.

11 Days Later

The first Carolina Reaper has started breaking through the surface with a second one following close behind. A second hot lemon has come through and a habanero has joined the party as well. The seedlings look like they are suffering a bit in the high humidity environment so I’ve decided to change the setup. I’ve removed the lid and installed a grow light now, it should provide a bit of warmth that will radiate off the aluminium foil sides. The first seedling from the cups have come through (hot lemon), the Carolina Reaper seeds in the moist paper towels in a ziplock bag don’t seem to be doing too much.

I’ve updated my system now that the seeds have started to come through. I grabbed a vegetable box, wrapped the inside with aluminium foil to reflect more of the LED grow light, and moved the reptile heat pad inside of this. See below.

35 Days Later

No more plants have broken through the surface. This has led me to believe that they must have been sowed too deep and didn’t survive their initial push through. In terms of the Bird’s Eye seeds of which none have come through, I did some research and found out that it may be because of the tough exterior shell of the seed. Apparently soaking them for a few hours before planting aids in germination.

If you’re looking for how to germinate pepper seeds fast, then the best option is the mini greenhouse with temperature control from the reptile heat mat.

Indian Army Develops Diabolical Chilli Grenade From Bhut Jolokia

Indian Army Develops Diabolical Chilli Grenade From Bhut Jolokia

In a savage move, the Indian army has developed a grenade that comprises of ground Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper) chilli. For those of you not in the know, the Ghost Pepper measures at around 1,041,427 Scoville Units. To give that a comparison you’ll understand – it’s […]