HEIRLOOM -Famous Spanish heirlooms, these tasty peppers were named after the town where they originated. About 1 out of 20 fruits will be hot, and the rest mild, leading one New York Times writer to call eating the fruits the game of "Spanish Roulette!" All the fruits become hot if allowed to grow 2-3" long. Most sweet and hot peppers begin green and then ripen to dizzying array of beautiful colors including red, orange, yellow and purple. Any variety of sweet bell pepper can be harvested as a green bell pepper, or left on the plant to fully ripen, becoming sweeter in the process. Hot peppers, often called chilies, can also be harvested at any stage in development and will sometimes take on new identities depending on whether they are harvested for fresh eating or dried. Ancho chilies, for example, are poblanos left to become red-ripe and then dried. Nearly every culinary tradition seems to have found a place for the joy (and occasional sorrow) of hot peppers. One or two plants will fit easily in any garden, and probably find its way into every dish! Nutrients: vitamins A, C, K, and B6. (1/2 Gram Packet) ~section~
|Average Seed / oz||Seed / 100' Row||Average Yield / 100' Row||Days to Harvest|
|4500||1/2 gr||50 lbs||60|
|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.