The compound which gives chilies their heat is called capsaicinoids, higher concentrations make the plant more pungent. The heat is ranked on the ‘Scoville scale’ which measures each pepper at Scoville heat units (SHU), bell peppers are rates as 0 SHU while the worlds hottest pepper the ‘Carolina Reaper’ is rated at 2,200,000 SHU. The ‘Jalapeno’ is rated up to 10,000 SHU.
Care & Harvest:
Days to sprout: 10 – 21 days
Matures in: 60 days green; 80 days red ripe
Taste it for: 8 – 20 weeks
- Peppers grow in a ‘Y’ shape, ensure to only prune above this point. Begin pruning your peppers when they are 8-12 inches tall, pinch off the top of the plant to stunt the vertical growth of crops and increase bushiness. From above the main ‘Y’ node of the plant trim every third node, alternating inside and outside growth. Prune the first 3-4 flowers which appear on the plant, as these will take energy away from vegetative growth.
- As the plants continue to grow, prune out any stems growing towards the center of the plant, as there is limited space available for growth. Keep in mind that flowers will become fruit eventually , which will need space to grow. Prune flowers at the top of the plant and along the plant at regular intervals.
- Peppers are self pollinating, as they have male and female parts on one flower. Outdoors elements such as wind or insects help facilitate this pollination. In your Gardyn, you can use a paintbrush to pollinate. Ensure you do not use the same paintbrush between cultivars, as they will crossbreed. Tapping the pepper plants will also help in their pollination.
- Helping with pollination is key. If white flowers fall to the ground, it means they have not been pollinated.
- Peppers can be harvested when they are firm, they will be about 3 inches long. Leaving them on the plant longer they will continue to ripen and change color. Harvest by cutting off the plant.