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Chili peppers are amazing year round. They're perfect for heating up your winter dishes, but equally good for spicing up a weekend barbecue. They're also, as I'm learning now that my garden has started to truly take off, fairly easy to grow.

While I just have some the usual suspects (read: jalapenos, poblanos and banana peppers) coming up in my backyard, the team at NOTCOT is knee-deep in peppers of all shapes and sizes. Since I bought all of my peppers as seedlings, I wasn't really exposed to the huge variety available. Turns out, if you grow from seed, you can fill your garden with all kinds of creative shapes and colors, from the UFO-shaped Aji Brazilian Starfish chili to the Scotch Bonnet chilies. The variety is truly amazing, and actually kind of beautiful.

I'm probably never going to grow a ghost pepper—supposedly, this is the spiciest pepper in the world and tops out the Scovile heat scale—but I might try growing some thai chilies or even some purple jalapenos, purely for the color shock. And once you master the growing portion, you can turn those spicy peppers into your very own homemade hot sauce. And if you're as Sriracha-obsessed as I am, here's a recipe on how to make the good stuff from scratch. Put it on your eggs, put it on your pizza, put it on your hand and just lick it off. Yep, it's that good. 

Chilies From Seed To Deliciousness