December 10, 2023

My mom is in Florida visiting family and friends so I thought, while she is away, I’d share my harvest. This summer I decided to grow scotch bonnet peppers for the first time! Yesterday it was time to pick my peppers. I’m looking forward to using them in a recipe soon, and I’ll be sharing some with  my mother.


If you want to grow a “Jamaican garden” must-haves include scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, tomatoes, green onions and callaloo. What I mean by a Jamaican garden is one that includes ingredients used in a lot of Jamaican recipes and can be grown in most places, not just the tropics.


A handful of scotch bonnet peppers from my garden

Scotch bonnet peppers are easy to grow. I found they need little care or attention.  However, similar to tomatoes, they need a long, hot growing season. You can germinate seeds in spring, however, I “cheated” and bought seedlings.


I didn’t do anything special other than water my plants. Soon they were growing by leaps and bounds. First there were blossoms and then small peppers.  Initially the peppers were green but, as you can see in my photos, my peppers soon became a fiery orange and red. I didn’t have any bug problems, but you should know that slugs and snails are not put off by the fiery flavour of chillies.


My late harvest cherry tomatoes. Better late than never

I’ve been told that my plants will continue producing scotch bonnets into autumn, if kept in stable growing conditions. And, it’s not unusual to be picking the last few in November. I still have a lot of green peppers that haven’t hinted at turning red so I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll see a few more peppers before the year is out.


Growing up my mother taught me and my sisters how to cook and bake, but the Jamaican dishes were always her territory. So now, years later, Iike you I'm learning how to cook like a Jamaican! From time to time I also share my own recipes that feature modern twists on traditional Jamaican dishes and ingredients.


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