Tabasco

AT A GLANCE

This fiery hot pepper made Tabasco sauce famous. Great for seasoning any spicy-hot dish and commonly used to infuse vinegar.

More details

SunFull
Germination7 - 14 Days
Sowing MethodIndoors Sow (trays)
Days to Maturity90 Days
Height18 - 24 inches
Greenhouse / PolytunnelRecommended
Seed Count25
Hot ScaleHot
Scoville Rating30,000 – 50,000 SHU
Recommended Soil pH5.0-6.0

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[80 days] Originally from Mexico, the Tabasco pepper produces small, very hot peppersthat start from yellow-green and later turn to red. The plants grow up to four feet tall and are very prolific once they start producing. They do need a lot of heat, however, to get going.

Tabasco peppers can be used fresh, or dried and ground into a powder. They are definitely one of the hotter peppers, and if you haven’t used them before, go easy with them your first time around. If you like it hot, make sure to wait until they’re red before harvesting.

As long as you have enough heat (at least 6 hours of full sun a day), this hot pepper is easy to grow in the greenhouse or in containers on a sunny patio.

Height: 50cm (20”). Spread: 40cm (16”).

Starting out

Select a sunny location where other members of the Solanaceae family (tomatoes, potatoes, etc.) have not been planted recently and in soil that is well drained and slightly acidic (pH 5.5-7.0).

Starting Indoors: Sow ¼” deep into well-draining seed starting mix 7-10 weeks before your last frost. Place in a bright, sunny location or supplement with artificial light. For ideal germination, soil temperatures should be between 80-85F. Without added heat, the seeds can take up to two weeks to germinate.

Sowing Seeds Indoors
Transplant to Pots

Once your seedlings have 2-4 true leaves, transplant into a larger container and apply a good feed.



Transplanting

Transplant outside or into permanent pots once the soil has warmed – no colder than 50F at any given time. Harden off gradually before transplanting.

Plants should be set 12-24” apart, in rows 24-36” apart, or spaced about 14-16” apart in raised beds. Peppers like to be planted fairly close to one another, so that there is slight contact between them. This variety also does well in large containers.

Transplant to ground
Watering and Feeding

Maintenance

For optimum fruit set, peppers need a steady supply of water and stable temperatures. If nighttime temperatures reach below 60 F or above 75F, fruit set can be greatly reduced. Mulching is a great way to maintain heat and preserve soil moisture. In greenhouses, you can help maintain high humidity by damping down paths daily. Make sure to spray the foliage, as it will help set the fruit.

Once fruit starts to form, peppers do best with a lot of feed. Choose organic fertilizers that are high in phosphorus, potassium and calcium. Too much nitrogen can deter fruit growth.

Harvest chillies singly by cutting them individually from the plant. Alternatively, you can pull up the entire plant when it’s full of red peppers and hang it upside down in the kitchen for use all year round. Chilli peppers grown outdoors must be harvested before the first frosts.


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