About Santa Fe Grande Pepper: A popular variety in the southwestern United States, Santa Fe Grande hot peppers were introduced to gardeners by Peto Seeds in 1965.
Santa Fe Grande Pepper Germination: Start pepper seeds indoors in peat pots about 8 weeks before the last expected spring frost. Sow them 1/4" deep and keep the soil at 80-85 degrees F until germination; provide sunlight or a grow light for 12-16 hours a day. When the outdoor temperature reaches 60-65 degrees F during the day and no less than 50 degrees F at night, transplant the seedlings 12-16" apart. Exposing the plants to the weather for several hours a day before transplanting may help prevent shock. Peppers also grow well in containers or raised beds.
Growing Santa Fe Grande Pepper Seeds: Keep the soil evenly moist and weeds under control; mulching the plants may help with this. If excess heat and sun cause the plants to wilt, provide shade. Santa Fe Grande peppers are resistant to tobacco mosaic virus.
Harvesting Santa Fe Grande Pepper: Harvesting hot peppers is basically a matter of personal preference. Generally, the longer the peppers mature on the vine, the hotter they will taste. Mature peppers, however, signal the plant to stop producing; if the peppers are picked when still at the green stage, the plant will go on producing. Always use a knife or scissors to remove peppers to prevent damage to the fragile stems. Santa Fe Grande peppers work equally well for salsas, pickling, and preserving.
Saving Santa Fe Grande Pepper Seeds: Keep in mind that peppers will cross pollinate with other varietes of pepper, so isolation or caging may be necessary to preserve genetic purity. Allow the pepper to fully mature, than cut it open and remove the seeds. Spread out the seeds to dry for about two weeks. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place for up to two years.
Detailed Santa Fe Grande Pepper Info: Capsicum annuum. Also known as Yellow Hot Chili, Caribe, Guero Chili. Annual. 80 days. 4,150 seeds per oz. 24-36" height. 12-18" spacing. Produces 4-5" tapered hot peppers that mature from pale yellow to orange to red. SHU 500-700