When To Sow: January-April Harvest: August-October
Germination: 7-14 days Full Sun
Starting Indoors: Sow 7-10 weeks before your last frost. Using a well-drained seed starting mix, sow ¼” deep and place in a bright, sunny location or supplement with artificial light. For ideal germination, soil temperatures should be between 80-85F. To aid germination, place the tray in a plastic bag or place a thin layer of plastic over the top to keep the soil moist. Chilli peppers have sensitive root systems and do better in single modules than grouped together in a flat.
Once your seedlings have 2-4 true leaves, transplant into a larger container and apply a good feed.
Transplant outside or into permanent pots once the soil has warmed—it no colder than 50F at any given time. 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).
Plants should be set 1-2’ apart, in rows 2-3’ 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. Once flowering, provide organic liquid feed once a week to help produce quality fruits.
Chili peppers are 2-3” long and about an inch wide when mature. They can be picked either green or red, depending on which flavour you’re looking for.
Hot Tip: When your chilli peppers first come into bloom, sprinkle a pinch of Epsom salts on top of the soil to help them set their fruit.
Direct Seed: Not recommended.
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, the pepper sdoes best with a lot of feed. Choose organic fertilizers that are high in phosphorus, potassium and calcium. Too much nitrogen can deter fruit growth.
Most Chilli peppers measure between 2-3” long when mature. Most folks prefer to harvest them when they’re green. Harvest the fruits 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 upside down in the kitchen for use all year round. Chilli peppers grown outdoors must be harvested before the first frosts.