About Tabasco Pepper: This fiery pepper was first known near Tabasco, Mexico in the 1840s and imported in 1848 to Louisiana. Edmund McIlhenny, a native of Avery Island, Louisiana, began brewing his famous Tabasco pepper sauce in 1868 using these peppers. Since then, Tabasco pepper sauce has become the most loved and well known hot sauce available.
Tabasco 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 Tabasco 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.
Harvesting Tabasco 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.
Saving Tabasco 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 Tabasco Pepper Info: Capsicum frutescens. Annual. 80 days. 6,500 seeds per oz. 48-60" height. 12-18" spacing. Produces 2-3" tapered hot peppers that mature from green to red. SHU 30,000-50,000