Frequently Asked Questions
What is Ohio Peppers?
Ohio Peppers is more than just a suburban garden; it’s an educational outlet started during the COVID pandemic for my three daughters and their neighborhood friends. As a hobbyist company run by full-time teachers, we strive to offer numerous unique pepper varieties at a fair price. Our collection features traditional favorites, exclusive crosses specific to us, and an exciting range of superhots. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting, Ohio Peppers promises something special for every pepper enthusiast.
But Ohio Peppers is more than a seed-selling venture; it’s a living classroom that enriches our own teaching practices. As both the company owner (HS Special Education) and his wife (JH/HS Science) are full-time teachers, we’ve found that our pepper upstart provides real-life examples that breathe life into subjects like life science, math, language arts, and even social studies. From historical connections with varieties like fish pepper and datil to practical applications of cost/benefit analysis and creating the right tone in advertisements, Ohio Peppers helps us make education more engaging and relevant. And yes, our “lit” prize chest has even included pepper plants as positive behavioral supports! We invite you to explore and grow with us, as we blend the worlds of gardening, business, and education into a unique and inspiring experience.
What products do you offer?
Ohio Peppers specializes in offering pepper seeds, including a wide variety of both common and unique types. Our collection features traditional favorites, exclusive crosses specific to us, and an exciting range of superhots. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting, our selection promises something special for every pepper enthusiast.
Where can I purchase Ohio Peppers’ seeds?
You can explore and purchase our entire selection of pepper seeds exclusively on our website at ohiopeppers.com. Our online store is designed to provide a seamless shopping experience, connecting you with the finest pepper seeds right at your fingertips.
Are your seeds heirloom or non-GMO?
Heirloom seeds are traditionally defined as those that have been passed down through generations, often for more than 50 years, and are prized for their consistent characteristics. Many of Ohio Peppers’ common and traditional varieties fall into this heirloom category, reflecting a rich heritage of cultivation.
In contrast, some of our newer superhots and unique crosses are more recent developments, often with less than 8 or 9 filial generations (at which point a pepper can be considered “stable”. While these may exhibit slightly different phenotype expressions, they are equally fascinating to grow and offer a fresh and exciting dimension to pepper cultivation.
It’s important to note that all our seeds are non-GMO, provided that GMO is defined as using CRISPR gene modification or similar technologies. Selective breeding, a practice that has shaped agriculture since the dawn of non-hunter-gathering societies, is responsible for the diverse array of pepper varieties available today, including common ones like bell peppers or jalapenos. This time-honored practice is at the core of our offerings, ensuring quality, authenticity, and a connection to the rich tapestry of agricultural history. Caveat: Chinese space peppers. Over 30 years ago Chinese scientists sent pepper seeds into space to be exposed to gamma rays in hopes for beneficial mutations…. Bet you did not expect to read about Chinese space peppers and gamma ray mutations!
How do I know which pepper variety is right for me?
Choosing the right pepper variety depends on your specific needs and preferences. Consider what you plan to use the peppers for, whether it’s culinary, decorative, or experimental purposes. Feel free to explore our detailed descriptions and guides on our website, or reach out to our support team for personalized recommendations tailored to your goals
Ordering and Shipping:
How do I place an order on your website?
Placing an order with Ohio Peppers is simple and convenient. Visit the store link on our website and explore the categories that fit your needs. Select the pepper seeds you desire, add them to your cart, and proceed to checkout. Our user-friendly interface ensures a smooth shopping experience.
What payment methods do you accept?
At Ohio Peppers, we offer a variety of payment options to suit your preferences. You can pay for your order using credit cards, Bitcoin, or Dogecoin. Our secure payment gateway ensures a safe and seamless transaction.
How long does shipping take, and what are the shipping costs?
We understand the excitement of starting your pepper-growing journey, so we strive to ship items no later than 24 hours after ordering. Shipping is just $5, or free for orders greater than $25. You’ll receive an email with USPS tracking information when your item ships, keeping you informed every step of the way.
Do you ship internationally?
Currently, Ohio Peppers only ships within the United States. We appreciate your interest and encourage you to stay connected with us for any future updates on international shipping.
What is your return policy?
At Ohio Peppers, customer satisfaction is our top priority. If you are not completely happy with your product, please reach out to our support team. We will work closely with you to resolve any issues and ensure a positive experience with our products.
Growing and Gardening:
Do you provide growing guides or support for beginners?
Absolutely! At Ohio Peppers, we’re committed to supporting gardeners at all levels. You can find a comprehensive list of garden tips on our website. If you have any specific questions not covered in our guides, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help you succeed in your pepper-growing journey.
What growing zones are suitable for your pepper varieties?
Our pepper seeds can be grown in all continental U.S. grow zones. Warmer zones may allow for outdoor seed starting without a greenhouse. However, most growers will need to start seeds indoors to ensure enough time during the grow season for fruit production. Our seeds are versatile and adaptable, making them suitable for various climates and conditions. See our page on when to start our seeds here!
How do I care for my pepper plants once they’ve sprouted?
Caring for your sprouted pepper plants involves providing air movement and quality light. These key factors contribute to healthy growth and development. For more detailed tips and guidance, please refer to our guide for starting seedlings available on our website. It’s packed with valuable insights to help you nurture your young plants.
What should I do if my seeds don’t germinate?
While we strive to provide high-quality seeds with an average 92% germination rate, germination is not guaranteed. Some seeds may have a germination rate as low as 80%, while others may be nearly 100%. It’s always wise to sow multiple seeds of a particular variety to ensure success. If you encounter any challenges, please reach out to us, and we’ll be happy to assist you.
Community and Education:
Where do Ohio Peppers’ seeds come from?
Our seeds are primarily collected from locally grown Ohio peppers, right from our own growing facilities. More than 90% of all seeds come directly from us, ensuring quality and authenticity. In some uncommon circumstances, such as running out of high-volume common peppers, we may use seeds from trusted wholesale suppliers. We believe in full transparency and are committed to providing the best seeds for your gardening needs.
How does Ohio Peppers collaborate with the local community?
Ohio Peppers began as an educational venture for our children and neighborhood kids to learn about horticulture. It blossomed into an opportunity to explore ecommerce, business, and marketing. Our genetic experiments involving peppers have become a hit at local Jr/Sr High Schools, and we’ve collaborated with teachers to facilitate heredity experiments. If you’re a teacher interested in using pepper genetics to demonstrate a living Punnett Square, please reach out to us! We’re passionate about education and community engagement.
How can I get involved with Ohio Peppers?
We’re a small-time operation, and spreading the word about us is a wonderful way to get involved. If you’re in the Cincinnati area and love peppers, consider joining the Cincinnati Chili Pepper Club, an organization dedicated to the love of peppers. Their annual pepper plant sales benefit the Cincinnati Parks and Recreation/Krohn Conservatory. While we’re not affiliated with the club, we’re proud members and supporters of the local pepper-loving community.
Seed Quality and Expectations:
Are your seeds isolated?
Our seeds are partially isolated. Peppers form perfect flowers and are self-pollinated, but cross-pollination can occur in unprotected environments at a low rate. We sell most seeds as “open-pollinated,” meaning they were grown with the possibility of being cross-pollinated by wind or insects. We use mitigation strategies to minimize this, including dedicated seed-only plants for more rare/uncommon peppers, organza bags on outdoor plants, and massive flower gardens to attract pollinators away from our peppers. However, physical isolation of over 1000 pepper plants in a suburban setting is challenging, especially as we are a hobbyist seed-selling operation partially run by children in elementary school. We strive for quality and authenticity in our seeds, and we’re transparent about our process.
Why do my peppers look different than what I expected?
We suggest always growing more than one single plant of a variety to ensure the correct phenotype is grown. We grow our plants from our seed stock and have never had more than 10% hybridization. If you grow two plants, there’s only a 1% chance of neither plant growing true. More recent crosses that haven’t completely stabilized may differ in appearance from the parent plant due to Mendelian genetics, not unintentional cross-pollination. If your outcome is not what you expected, please reach out to us! We’re here to support you and ensure a satisfying pepper-growing experience.
Branding and Design:
Why does your artwork look childish?
Answer: Our artwork’s unique and charming style comes from the creative hands of our children, who are an integral part of Ohio Peppers. While the physical seed work is handled with precision to avoid mixing up seed varieties, many other aspects of our operation, including planting, harvesting, artwork, and website work, are done by my children. They inspired the creation of Ohio Peppers as a learning experience, and their contributions add a personal and authentic touch to our brand. Labels may be askew, drawings may be sloppy, but in the end, you’re getting hard-to-find pepper varieties at a price that’s right, all while supporting a family-driven educational venture!
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