I planted something sold to me as "Santa Fe" peppers, which weren't producing as of Sept 15th. To my astonishment, they're growing like crazy here (Region 8) on Oct 23rd. They're light green-ish, about 2.5 inches long. When do I harvest them? PS: Per random Googling, they don't actually exist; help!
maybe this is them:
(i took this from a seed site)
Sante Fe Grande Pepper Seeds
75+ Days from transplant
Fiery hot conical peppers with thick, firm walls grow to 3½" long.
Stunning fruits ripen from yellow to orange to red.
Sturdy 3' plants with continuous heavy yields.
Excellent for pickling, salsa, and hot pepper vinegar.
MEDIUM HOT 4/10 on my scale, 10 being Jolokia/Viper
If it's Santa Fe Grande, it's a very nice pepper. A very underrated pepper imo. Productive, tasty and really cool looking when they start ripening. They start light yellow, to orange then finally to red when ripe. I eat them at all stages of ripeness.
They kinda look like Christmas lights when the sun hits them right.
My Santa Fe peppers are small and are not turning colors...there are lots of them. After 75 days of 100+ temp here in Dallas, I'm worried that they're doing something abnormal. Should I harvest them all before the weather turns cold?
Harvest them before you get a hard frost, because if they freeze they'll be soft and damaged. Other than that, I'd keep an eye on the nighttime temp forecasts and leave them on the plants as long as possible. You can use them at any color stage, but I think peppers are always more flavorful when they're ripe.
Those should make good chiles rellenos - there are lots of recipes you can find thru Google.
Some People pull the plant up .roots and all and hang the plant untill the pods ripen or the plant is totally dried out.
That way the peppers that are too green can use the plant to ripen more and the plant can be braught indoors-basement,garage or whatever.
I've hung Tabasco pepper plants in my laundry room. Got tired of picking all those darn peppers, and you can only use so many, well at least I can. Hanging the plants worked great I just ended up with tons of pepper pods. When I grew the seeds our I realized that they had X with my Purple Jals which were at the opposite end of the pepper row. Why they didn't X with any of the other peppers is beyond me.
This year has been a terrible year for my garden. Besides the heat I also have to take some responsiblity for a couple of the mishaps. One has to do with a Wht Hab, but I'll save that one for later. It's the poor Chiltepin that I feel the worst about. I planted it in the ground in April on the edge of the garden. I kept telling my self not to step on it. Well, my feet didn't seem to hear me and the deer kept nibbling on it. I even put a tomato cage over it but this was only modestly successful. Finally, after I had stepped on it a broke the main stem, I dug it up and stuck it in a container on the back porch. All was well until I noticed that the adolescent peafowl had removed the pepper from the container usually I just replant them but this time there was only a corpse left. STOP laughing Ray!
The Santa Fe Grandes in my garden this year are more like a 7/10 on the scale which is a result of the ridiculous summer we had (80+ days of 100 degree temperatures). And this will translate into some very interesting pickled peppers! Quite a few notches above your average jalapeno.
How cold is too cold to peppers? We have had some low temps down to 40 so far, but have had hot days. I see it is forecast for 37 tomorrow AM, but with cooler days. My peppers are are in pots, so I am thinking of moving (dragging) them to to a sunny South facing wall. Is a 'hard' frost a sustained frost (day and night). Last year we had quite a few lows in the 20's, but our daytime temps are seldom much below 60, maybe 55.
Anything below freezing will kill them. Ive heard others say they will come back, from the roots when it warms up. That has not been my experience. They can survive but not thrive in temps above freezing. All of mine are coming in tonight. The one in the garden is getting covered.
Peppers are real tender, any freeze, no matter how brief, will kill them.
After freezing, any peppers left on the plants won't be usable, either. We've had a couple of freezes here now - not terribly cold, just a little below 32 degrees at night and nice during the day. In taking out my garden plants I was able to salvage lots of green tomatoes that were sheltered down in the vines. Any peppers still on the plants were lost though, as they turned soft and mushy with the first freeze.