Hello again!

I call it ‘pepper roulette’. You’re taking your chances when enjoying my favorite pepper, Shishito Japanese pepper. Shishitos range from 100 to 1,000 Scoville heat units, which is hotter than bell peppers but much milder than jalapeños, which range from 2,500 to 8,000 Scovilles. The Scoville Scale and Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) were named for scientist Wilbur Scoville in 1912. At the time, Scoville worked for a pharmaceutical company named Parke-Davis where he developed a test called the ‘Scoville Organoleptic Test’ which is used to measure a chile pepper's pungency and heat.

Shishito peppers var y in heat from pepper to pepper. That’s where the roulette comes in. When grilled in EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and sprinkled with salt they make a great summertime snack. Angie seems to always get the ‘hot’ one from the group; I, on the other hand, don’t seem to ever be so lucky. In the fall, I’ll refrigerate the peppers and add them to an omelet. They’re about index finger size, and they thrive when planted in a container on the patio or in the ground. When mature they turn red and make a nice ornamental addition to the garden.

Jalapeño is another favorite of mine. I enjoy them all, from ‘Fooled You’ or ‘Tricked You’ which have no heat at all, to my favorite jalapeño var iety ‘Mucho Nacho’ which are a jumbo fruited, medium hot pepper around 5,000 - 8,000 SHU’s.

To take the heat up some (or a lot) I’ll plant Habanero - 150,000+ SHU, Ghost - 800,000+ SHU, or Carolina Reaper which tops out at up to 2,200,000 SHU!

While you may not go to the far heat ranges of peppers, I encourage you to expand your pepper var ieties this season. They're low in calories and are loaded with good nutrition. All var ieties are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber. Endurance athletes go to peppers as well, because they contain a high percentage of water.

With colorful var ieties of green, red, orange, yellow, and purple, peppers make a beautiful addition to any meal. Plant them as we visited about in last week's e-news, with ferti-lome Blooming and Rooting at planting time and Gardener’s Special monthly to enjoy fresh peppers until frost!

As you are planting flowers and vegetables, keep in mind our Soil Recipe. It’s a great addition to not only clay soils, but sandy as well. Our Soil Recipe is great for incorporating into both existing and new planting areas. The recipe adds both valuable compost and beneficials to the soil, and contains both fast and slow release fertilizers.

Save when you purchase Johnson's Soil Recipe ingredients as a package! Here’s our standard package. There’s also a 500 sq. ft. package available.

Johnson's Soil Recipe Package

Three bags Cotton Burr Compost (2 cu. ft.)
One bag Hi-Yield Bone Meal (4 lbs.)
One bag ferti-lome Gardener's Special (4 lbs.) One bag Natural Guard HuMic (4 lbs.)

Incorporate amendments into soil before planting. Recipe covers 100 sq. ft. area.

While you’re planting, tune into a podcast! Jeremy and I are scheduled to appear on the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Accelerator Podcast later this month. Check it out; a new episode is out every Wednesday.

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center