And finally the Bhut Jolokia and Trinidad Scorpion are in a manner of speaking, off the charts!Gaging general tolerance for heat, even over 5,000 on the scale is acceptably spicy to most people.The range including the cayenne peppers, hungarians and serrano start to produce significant heat that many people are not comfortable eating.When a pepper reaches its ultimate color at full maturity, its flavor is at it’s fullest.Remember in the north that our season is cut too short to allow some varieties to fully mature.But try to select faster maturing varieties, likely carried by your local nursery. .

Zone 4 Planting Calendar

These dates will vary a week or two so it’s important to watch the weather before planting. .

Vegetables and Herbs to Plant in July

Despite common perception, July is definitely not too late to plant garden vegetables and herbs. Many edibles, including both vegetables and herbs that yield multiple harvests, can be planted in midsummer for a fruitful bounty come fall.And while July may be too late for varieties like tomatoes or squash (depending on where you live), you can still pick seeds that work for your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone's climate pattern.Greens like arugula, spinach, parsley, and cilantro go to seed quickly in hot, dry temperatures.Root vegetables like beets and carrots also flourish when sown midsummer, as they can stand a little frostnip and can be left under the snowpack to harvest later for a sweeter taste.Broccoli and cabbage starts or transplants also stand a chance when planted in July.Carrots (Zone 2).Radishes, turnips, beets, and carrots can all benefit from a second planting in zones 4 and 5, where warm fall weather is common.Radishes, with their relatively short maturation, will peak early and can be snacked on in late summer.Brussels sprouts, basil, and leeks planted from starts provide a nice addition to soups as the hot weather turns cool.And even late bloomers like winter squash planted from starts can be harvested well into fall, as long as you have row covers to keep the frost off.Mild temperatures with late frost create optimal seasonal conditions for most vegetables in zones 6 and 7.Plant arugula, kale, and lettuces for a second (or even third) round.Traditionally enjoyed in spring, peas and radishes can also be given another go, starting in July.And the bolting nature of parsley, dill, and cilantro eases once the heat of summer passes.Zones 8, 9, and 10 cover the southern United States and California.Lucky gardeners in this general region can plant nightshades, like peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant, and pick their ripe fruit from the vine into early winter.In the middle of summer, this climate tends to be too hot for most herbs.Still, dill and cilantro (traditionally grown in Mexico) may fare well, depending on the given season's weather pattern.Year-round growing is one of the many benefits of living in Hawaii, where melon, sweet potatoes, and even garlic can be planted in July.Nightshades also can be planted here in July (but wait for September to plant tomatoes). .

Growing Chile Peppers From North to South - Grit

They need warmth and light for germination and early growth, and they flower and set fruit best when days are 8 to 12 hours long and nighttime temperatures are 60 to 70 degrees.Because they’re sun worshippers that like moist soil, chiles can demand a balancing act when planted, especially in the northern regions of the United States and in Canada.For some general rules of thumb for growing chiles, it is helpful to divide the country into three regions based on frost-free dates and USDA Hardiness Zones.Since the growing season is short, you need to ensure that your plants have maximum garden time to mature before warm weather ends.If necessary, plants can be set out early and protected from frost overnight with plastic milk jugs or bottles; remove them each morning.An additional benefit of black plastic and mesh is that they help warm the earth around the plant, unlike heavy straw.In areas of the central United States where the soil needs help retaining heat and moisture, it is a good idea to mulch your chile plants.Toward the end of the season, if all of the fruits are not yet mature at harvest time, you may have to cover your chile plants to protect them from an early fall frost (see above). .


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