Feeling lucky, punk? Ghost chile pepper comes to L.A.


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I was at my favorite nursery this weekend, shopping for my summer garden, when this sign caught my eye. Attention, chile-heads: Now you can grow the hottest peppers in the world, right in your own backyard. I’m not sure why you would want this, but I almost picked up a plant just to play with the squirrels that seem to beat me to the harvest. That would certainly send them up a tree.

I’m playing it safe in the garden this year. We’re only a couple miles inland and the combination of cool summer temperatures and relatively high humidity have thwarted all my attempts to grow heirloom tomatoes and zucchini. Every year I put in Brandywine and Cherokee tomatoes and cocozelle zucchini with big dreams, but the tomatoes never ripen and the zucchini faints from the mildew like somebody’s maiden aunt. So this summer I bought just Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes and Celebrity and Early Girl slicers. I got some lemon cucumbers and Blue Lake Green beans. And so we’d have something to pick while we’re waiting for those to get ready, I scattered watermelon and French breakfast radish seeds among the tomato starts.


But I still want zucchini. Does anyone have any tips for controlling mildew? Maybe I ought to just spray them with Bhut Jolokia puree.


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