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My Poblano Plant Rocks

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Lois Chaplin with a huge poblano pepper plant in her garden in November.
Lois Chaplin has harvested 145 peppers from this one poblano plant in her home garden.

By Lois Chaplin

This is the second year that I’ve grown a Poblano pepper plant and the success from year one is repeated once again. What an incredible plant this is! Both years it has grown 5 feet tall and so wide that we’ve tied the branches to tall stakes to keep them from breaking under the load of the fruit.  The plant doesn’t seem tired, either. It keeps its beautiful dark green color even after yielding an incredible 145 full-sized peppers weighing in at more than 20 pounds.

Lois Chaplin holds a poblano pepper from the plant in her garden.
Poblano is the pepper for making chiles rellenos.

I have a long frost-free season here in urban Birmingham—from at least mid-April to early November—so my plant can make several crops. This year I carefully recorded each harvest; they came in cycles of almost a month apart. Here is how the harvest broke out. You can see the effects of extreme heat in late summer and how the plant really stepped it up as the nights cooled down a bit in fall.

July 20: 3 peppers, 6 oz
August 18 29 peppers, 4 lb
September 18 13 peppers, 1 lb 13 oz
October 7 41 peppers, 8 lb 6 oz
November 10 53 peppers, 9 lbs 8 oz
November 16 6 peppers, 14 oz

I’m hoping to protect the plants with a frost cloth during the next cold snap because it will likely be followed by another week of mild weather. If we’re lucky, it will be mild enough to enlarge the last batch of little peppers still dangling like Christmas ornaments. I counted more than 20. But, if my plants don’t make it, I’m happy with 145 peppers!  My friends have been, too.