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Feel the burn

In many parts of South America, chile plants aren't dainty little annuals, but bushes and trees. That's mind-blowing for a gardener in the northern climes, who has to start plants from seeds or seedlings every damn spring.

Here's a shortcut. Cross Country Nurseriesin New Jersey sells live chile plant seedlings. In fact, they claim to have the world's largest selection, with over 500 varieties. I've used them three or four times and have been quite satisfied. The plants arrive at the appropriate time for my zone and they're healthy, not withered as you might expect. However, I have noticed that they tend to run out of certain varieties, especially the rarer breeds coveted by true chileheads. So if you want to be sure of getting your wrinkly, yellow Fatali or lush, smoky Habanero-Chocolate peppers, you should place your order soon.

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