Hot Pepper - Catarina
Capsicum annuum -- 85 days -- A lovely little pepper that is as ornamental as it is useful. Fruits are 1" long by ½" wide and produce heavily. They turn from green to red when mature and are said to have a flavor of berry and tobacco. Excellent for pickling, salsa, soup, and other dishes you would like to give a kick to.
|Average Seed / oz||Seed / 100' Row||Average Yield / 100' Row||Days to Harvest|
|4500||1/2 gr||50 lbs||80|
|Planting Season||Ideal Soil Temp||Sun||Frost Tolerance|
|After Last Frost||65-85°F||Full Sun||Frost Sensitive|
|Sowing Method||Seed Depth||Direct Seed Spacing||Seeds Per Packet|
|Mature Spacing||Days to Sprout||Production Cycle||Seed Viability|
Peppers are frost-sensitive annuals that require full sun and evenly moist soil to thrive.
Sow pepper seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date. Plant seed 1/4-1/2" deep in 3-4" pots. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 65-85°F and seeds will not germinate below 55°F. Seeds will sprout in 8-25 days.
Transplant outdoors 2-3 weeks after the last frost, when the soil has warmed. Black plastic or row covers can help speed up soil warming and plant growth. Mature plants should be spaced 18-24" apart in rows 2 -3' apart. Pepper plants tend to be self-supportive, but taller varieties and those with large, heavy fruit may need to be staked.
Peppers will be ready to harvest in approximately 65-75 days, depending on the variety. Harvest peppers either when green or when fully ripe and colored.
All pepper varieties are self-pollinating annuals, but insects do visit the flowers, so allow at least 100 feet between varieties. More would be better if you are concerned with variety preservation. For best seed quality and longevity, allow the fruits you are saving for seed to mature and dry as much as possible on the plant itself. When the pepper is nice and dry, you can simply cut it open and shake out the seeds. Alternatively you can put not yet dry (but still mature!) peppers in a blender with at least twice as much water and blend on low for a minute or two. Allow the mixture to sit and the pepper chaff and immature seeds will float to the top to be easily poured off. Spread clean seeds on a screen or several sheets of newspaper to dry completely before storing. Always use caution when handling the seeds of hot peppers.