Carolina Reaper Battle Round 2 — The Results Are In

Welcome to 7 Pot Club. I’m Rob. 🎵 I grow hot peppers 🎵 It’s the final day of September, and it’s
80ºF here in Minneapolis. But tomorrow it starts getting colder, and this is likely
the last 80º temp of 2019. Our pepper garden is winding down for the season. Some of the
plants have already ripened all their peppers and dropped their leaves, while others are
still bearing and will hang in there until first frost. That could happen anytime, but
will probably hold off until the last half of October. Today we’re going to check back in on the
10 Carolina Reaper plants I’ve been growing to compare results from feeding with chemical
vs. organic fertilizer. 5 of these plants have been fertilized with the same chemically-derived
products I used for last year’s crop, while the remainder have been nourished with Fishnure
organic fish manure compost, generously supplied to us by Jim White, owner of the company. For this episode, I’ve gathered the plants
for an end-of-season comparison. Then, we’ll weigh the peppers we’ve collected from each
plant, and learn which group was most productive — organic or chemical. Finally I’ll do
a tasting to see if I can tell a difference in flavor. I’ll taste one from each group,
plus one from the plants in our ground bed. Today’s shoutout is to our good friend Leo
from Berlin, who we enjoyed meeting when he visited Minneapolis recently. He’s been
traveling all over the world, and Leo, we hope you’re having a great time. Now, let’s
get started. 🎵 [Sound Effects] 🎵 Here’s what the test Carolina Reaper plants
looked like back in July when we filmed part one and harvested the first ripe pods. The
plants in the light blue pots are chemically fertilized, while the plants in the honeydew
pots have been organically fertilized with Fishnure. And here’s how they look today, at the end
of the season. Just like me, they’re nearing retirement age. 8 of the plants are kept on
this cart, and the other 2 are out in front just behind our stone wall. While the peppers are looking tired and scraggly,
it’s the height of the season for this purple aster, which is getting a whole lot of attention
from pollinators. If you want to get the complete rundown on
how these plants were fertilized, please watch the part 1 episode. I’ll provide a link
in the video description. I want to stress that this is a comparison of the results from
two fertilizing protocols — the one I used to use vs. the new one I’m adopting. It’s
not a scientific test of organic vs. chemical gardening or farming — that’s a test I don’t feel qualified
to conduct. Every pepper plant other than the 5 chemically-fertilized
Reapers got its main source of nourishment from Fishnure, a no-odor organic fish manure
compost that’s teeming with diverse microbial life — a byproduct of catfish farming. I’m
not an expert on aquaculture or organic gardening, but I’ve been very satisfied with the job
Fishnure has done for us this year. The plants in our larger ground bed have been incredible
producers, and many of the pods have been larger than any I’ve grown before. But it
was a tough year for the potted plants. I’ll tell you more as we do a visual comparison
of the test Reaper plants. Remember, blue pots are chemical and honeydew
are organic. Something I noticed right away was that some of the organic plants had already
dropped most of their leaves. I’m not sure why, but I have an idea. Overall, it was a
cool, wet summer. In fact, 2019 is shaping up to be the wettest year ever recorded in
MN. The plants in the ground had good drainage and could better deal with the rain. Frequent
downpours kept the pots saturated much of the time, and probably washed out a lot of
the nutrients. I added a slow release granular fertilizer
to the chemical plants in July, but the organic plants haven’t had any additional nutrients
since they were transplanted into these pots back in May. They probably could have used
an extra bump too. Next year, especially if it’s as wet as this year, I’ll want to
consider some mid-season feeding. I’ll be consulting with Jim White from Fishnure to
get his insight and recommendation. I want to stress that we still got good yields from
the potted plants, especially considering the weather. I just wonder if they could have
done even better. I’ve preselected the pods I’m going to
use for the taste test. One from chemical plant #3, and one from organic plant #5. To
make it more interesting, I’ll also taste a Reaper from the ground bed plants. Before we taste, let’s weigh the harvested
fruit. Except for the 2 pods we’ll be tasting, we’ve frozen every pepper we’ve harvested
from these Reapers, with a separate bag for each plant. We’ll still harvest a few more,
but we’re close enough to the end to get a good idea of which group of plants did better. So I hauled out our old but still accurate
DigiWeigh postal scale. First I weighed an empty bag so I could subtract that amount
from the total weight. Since a bag weighs a fifth of an ounce, and there are five of
each type, this is dead easy. I’ll just subtract an ounce from each total. I know that watching peppers being weighed
is kind of like watching paint dry, so I’ll speed it up a little. But I wanted you to
show you the whole process. I tried to make it more interesting by adding an animation
that took way too long to make. Weighing these bags kind of reminds me of a job I once had,
standing for 12 hours a day in a refrigerated room, filling, weighing, and stacking 75 pound
boxes of beef. Bad memories from that job are probably part of the reason why I’m
a vegetarian today. So here’s the nearly final result. We’ll
take away 1 oz. from each total to account for bag weight. There are still a few peppers
ripening on the test plants, so we’ll post the officially final result in a couple of
weeks. I don’t expect it will be much different. So we harvested about 8% more fruit from the
organic plants. Probably not statistically definitive with such a small sample, but it
definitely establishes that our new organic fertilization protocol with Fishnure did at
least as well, and probably a little better than chemical fertilizer. I’m very pleased
to report that! Time for tasting. I waited until it stopped
raining because I wanted to film outdoors one last time before the end of the season.
It’s not quite 50ºF, so I guess this is what you call a crisp fall day in MN. I have
to be careful with reapers, which I don’t normally consume fresh. Typically, I don’t
have a lot of trouble until about half an hour after I eat them. That’s when the cramps
begin. As I like to say, my mouth writes checks that my gut can’t cash. What I really want
to know is if there is any difference in taste, so I’ll take a reasonable bite of each one
and share my impressions. Let’s start with the chemically fertilized
pepper. I find that, compared to most other superhots, eating a Reaper involves a quicker
transition from taste to burn. There’s a serene second of sweet fruitiness, then it’s
eclipsed by manic minutes of searing heat. [chewing] I’m really always surprised how sweet and
fruity they are, and like I said, how quickly it changes to extreme heat. Wow. That’s amazing. Now, let’s try the organic. [chewing] It’s maybe a little sweeter, a little smoother,
but [hiccup] after you’ve eaten one [hiccup], it’s kind of hard to tell the difference
with the next one. Uh-oh. Hiccups are starting. [hiccup] I’m going to take a break for a quick moment
until the hiccups subside, before I eat the next one. I’ll be back in just a minute.
[hiccup] Finally, the pepper grown in the ground. Not
organic, but with organic soil amendments this year including Fishnure. [chewing] Very similar to the organic one. Very sweet,
maybe a little earthy. All three taste really good. I’m realy excited to make pastes and sauces
with these. As I’m wrapping up this fertilization experiment,
my main takeaway is there is no downside to switching to organic nutrients. The plants
are just as productive, the pods taste great, and there’s no chemical fertilizer runoff
to pollute our local lakes. I’m a believer. If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe to our channel and tap the bell to receive
a notification each time we post a new episode. We have merch — 7 Pot Club logo merch, plus
classic, clever and quirky hot pepper themed apparel, stickers, magnets, and buttons, available
in lots of designs and colors. Check out our newest design — “I grow hot peppers.”
If you’re interested, please head over to to learn more. And for even
more 7 Pot Club, follow our daily exploits on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. For 7 Pot Club, I’m Rob. My main takeaway is that there is no downside
to switching to [hiccup]. As I wrap-up this fertilization experiment
[hiccup] Cut. I grow hot peppers. If [airplane noise] Clever and quirky hot pepper themed apparel,
stickles [laughter], stickles! [laughter]

84 Replies to “Carolina Reaper Battle Round 2 — The Results Are In”

  1. Love it, and love your commitment to the scientific method (even with disclaimers, it's honest.) Put a stickle on my computer the other day. 🙂

  2. Damn I thought u were going to toss your cookies there for a moment. Been waiting for this video. Very curious. I'm glad to see the natural fert out yield the chem. Wish u had also given a midway feeding to the organic plants. I think I'm going to do the fishnure next season. Thanks for doing this!

  3. Great video! I'll be growing Carolina Reapers over the winter in my new grow tent and Mars Hydro sp250 lights. Can't wait to get them started!

  4. I have discovered that I love the taste of reapers. I already really liked a lot of peppers of the chinense species so I grew Carolina reapers for the first time ever this year. I grew them in Tennessee using only organic products. The plants have been heavy producers with consistent phenotype representation. Makes good Caribbean/Trinidad-style pepper sauces if you like it hot! I seeded my peppers because I thought it would probably improve the flavor and texture. The sauce was plenty hot without the seeds. My sauce contains peppers, steamed carrots, raw garlic, peeled ginger, lime juice, cilantro, thyme, white vinegar, and salt.

  5. Been following this video and the results were indeed very interesting! Just got my Brain Strain lid flip hoodie and I LOVE IT! Thanks for being you Rob!

  6. Goodness Gracious! Great Pods of Fire! 😂 As always a great video!! Thank you for taking the time to make videos for us. Always informative and ….chuckles along the way!! 😂😂. You are Amazing!! 🙃🔥❣️

  7. Happy fall Rob! Enjoyed this update. Thanks for taking one (or three) for the team! Can’t wait to be able to do this in a couple of months.

  8. I've been wondering on these results all summer! I'm switching from chemical to organic in 2020 so it's nice to hear at least one person's honest experience with this transition. Thanks Rob!!

  9. I grew mine in the ground with a little chemical and a little organic fertilizer. They are very earthy in flavor, but delicious.

  10. Rob, you are much braver than I. Can’t imagine tasting 3 reapers and still maintaining composure. The results were interesting and I was happy to see that organic did just as well as chemical. Thank you for doing this comparison.

  11. good video one correction though. Organic fertilizer run off is just as bad if not worse for polluting water as "chemical". The main nutrients are the same with exception of nitrogen where organic often has higher levels of ammonia compared to nitrate.

  12. Well finally. I've been waiting for the results. Both did great in my opinion and those peppers looked absolutely beautiful 💗 You are so amazing for not showing the pain in your face & hickups were funny 😱😂👏👍👍 We were supposed to have our pepper tasting this weekend but shhhht happen again. They are doing good so far. If & when we get to video making part….I would like little bit of your help. I'll give you more details later 😃 I feel like all forces has stop me from getting from A to B…but I'm planning some funny !! Anyways I much enjoyed your video 👍 Thanks

  13. Thanks for the research, Rob! I have done as close to 100% organic as possible for my peppers raised bed. No plastics, cedar wood, organic soil, only organic food waste in the compost. There was an aphid and ant/ladybug war recently but spraying the plants with just the water hose knocked off 90% of the aphids and the ladybugs did the rest. The special effects are awesome. Your videos will be like the pyramids are to the Egyptians to the pepper community for the millennia to come.

  14. My digestive trac hurts more when I don’t chew hot peppers well. Do you have the same experience? Or does your stomach get rocked no matter what? I have yet to experience super hots, I’m working up the ladder.

  15. i just got some nice ghost peepers of my plant here in Charleston. my ghost are spiky almost like reapers. is that normal? most i see on the internet dont have tiny spikes on them.

  16. You are a brave man. I would have skipped the taste test. So your season comes to an end, I hope that you make videos during winter.

  17. Great info Rob, those look delicious, thanks for commenting back at me on twitter the other day, I've learned a lot from your videos, this was my 3rd year growing super hots, cant wait till next year to start the magic once more

  18. Hi Rob
    I do Aquaponics here in Thailand and i have to add Chelared Iron and Banana skins to compensate what the fish dont provide, i am sure with your variety of Organic Fertilisers ( English speling) that you are providing all the essential nutrients that the peppers need.
    Becareful with that gut.

  19. There you have it. Even without that mid season bump feed, organic won not only in weight but flavor as well. Awesome test Rob and thank you for making that weighing segment!

  20. Awesome comparison test and great results, thanks for throwing your tongue into the fire for us…. i wish there was a chilli effects jingle, hiccup song would be fun, love your work as always…

  21. First of all, thank you for doing this experiment! It is great to know the result of Organic growing, since I am an organic grower. Again, another great video! Thank you

  22. I'm not going to lie, I was sure that the chemical ones would yield more, really interesting to see the results.

    Also, I loved the animation and appreciate you showing the whole weighing process. Great video as usual!

  23. Wow! I have been growing peppers the last few years in the UK, though due to weather I have had to get a greenhouse or they would be wet throughout, lol. But, well done on eating those, I fear they may be a little too hot for my taste but total respect for doing all 3 to show us. Love the channel, much love from the UK.

  24. Why do you cut the peppers and don't break the stems from the plant? I thought cutting stems is bad because the plant tries to put energy in the fruit that is not there anymore. Please excuse my terrible english it is only my second language 🙂

    Anyway great video!

  25. Fishners motto: 'Where there's muck there's brass'.
    Same motto as 'Chickners' and 'Cowners', now I come to think about it.
    All the best Rob. (From the sunny UK).

  26. Is that a squirrel @ 8:35 ? Anyway, Ciara asked me who were you. I told that is her friend Rob in America. She thought you hiccups were very funny

  27. Fantastic video as always. I was happy to see the results of this experiment. I know Ed Currie is all organic and he is growing some massive reapers this year with one weighing 27 grams. However, this process was fascinating to watch. Thanks for all you do!

  28. Not gonna lie: I've only recently found your channel, and I was concerned when a video didn't drop a few days ago.

    Awesome content, keep at the great work!

  29. Mine still looks pretty green and still putting on Looks like mine going to last until the 1st freeze. he hee lots of the fruit been ready for a month now . just waiting until they turn RED Cayenne peppers> i want them red! not green! He hee dam you eat em like candy HOLLY COW there ya go> there biting now> by HICCUPS lmao get the shotgun squirrels in the back ground 7:40 > JUST KEEP BURNING FOR HOURS makes for a bad day> Fry squirrels helps put the fire out! There so good rite now> with the pecan favor in them

  30. I apply compost tea to my organically grown peppers every week and that gives them a fantastic boost. I make the tea with my own compost plus a couple of other organic amendments.

  31. I find it amazing that you grow these in Minnesota! I always picture the area as covered in snow (various TV shows depict that). I’m in South Africa and struggle to grow from seed with a 10 month summer. This year I managed 1 reaper plant, it’s early in our season.

  32. Well done Rob, it's been very brave to taste the 3 killers, I didn't even see one tear from your eyes . I grow them in Belgium and they only comes to maturity now and so my Aji Charapita. Thanks for the bonus part at the end, this was quite funny.

  33. I've no idea how you manage to eat reapers fresh. I just tried a very tiny piece of yellow habanero and it felt like molten lava. Had to go fetch the milk lol!

  34. I love your videos always a amazing feed back about hot peppers…oh yeah my new song i grow all peppers😲😁

  35. Loved those outtakes Rob. What I gathered from your conclusion: there is little to no difference between the chemical and organic fertilizer other than the large benefit of not completely fudging up the earth with the chemical 'nutes. That Fishnure looks like good stuff, and I am convinced its worth a try for next season.

  36. This showed up in my recommended. I clicked on it wondering why someone would torture their self like that. I've seen what a ghost pepper did to a co-worker last year. Even if I could have peppers (can't due to rheumatoid), I don't think I'd be man enough to try a reaper. I tip my hat to you

  37. I would recommend cloth pots from Amazon, they are made from nylon, lightweight and cheap and also have stitched on handles for ease of moving. Most of my peppers i've used the 5 gallon pots and they have grown much larger than my plastic potted plants in smaller pots. I like them because they drain without any kind of modifications and makes my life easier. My purple creams have grown over 5ft tall and lots of roots show on the top of the soil before a top dressing so im planning on using large cloth pots next season, I'm curious how big I can grow the plants

  38. So sad to see you let the plants die in the fall.
    I bring mine inside. I just can't part with them and I do get another harvest during the winter.
    I am probably just nuts, I got 26 chiliplants in my livingroom now…

  39. I love the video! Run off from chemical fertilizers is something I never even considered, luckily I already don't use chemical fertilizers. Next year you should consider making mini videos only a couple minutes long reviewing different peppers and your experiences with them, it would be really interesting since there's so many varieties and not many people have the dedication you have to trying different ones. It's also great to hear that you're a vegetarian too! There's a severe lack of spicy vegetarian food available in restaurants in my area, so it's great having fresh peppers on hand for cooking

  40. Carolina Reaper's are extremely late to finish here in England. Only the Tabasco is later to crop for me. Based on the past 3 seasons, my first reapers aren't ready until early October here. With the bulk of them coming during mid-late October. Many don't even ripen before the first frost arrives during the last week of October. Whereas many of my other chillies can be cropped months earlier, starting in mid June.

  41. You’re a brave soul munching on those little devils while on camera. I had mixed results in container gardening as I battled pests of all sizes, from cut worms to groundhogs and deer. At any rate I used one application of miracle grow hose end sprayer. Above all the plants that have done the best we’re the plants that were topped, or pruned. Most of my peppers are from Sorento Italy

  42. Lmao. Skeleton eating hot peppers. I love and grow these peppers. So I see he is really eating them. Lol. Wtf. Hippie pepper dude. I Love him. Stockton,ca.

  43. 😂😂😂 glad I’m not the only one who gets an attack of the hiccups! Excellent and funny as video Rob! Loved it 🔥🌶

  44. Enjoyed seeing stats off a chemical versus organic grow. Thank you for this video. Looked downright painful watching you eat those reaper pods. That song kept going through my mind about "I eat hot peppers".

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