Padrón Pepper (Heirloom 60 Days)
Heirloom. The Padrón Pepper was brought back from South America by Spanish monks in the 16 century, over the last 400 years they became a favorite in the Northwestern region of Spain. What makes this pepper interesting is that only a small percentage, 1 out of 20 of the small ( 1- 1 ½”) peppers are considered hot. Is it hot or is it not? You don't know until you try one! Customarily they are fried in oil and served as tapas. Mature peppers elongate with a conic undulating shape; pick them green, small or big, or leave them on until they turn red. The Padrón Pepper has a flavorful spice to it, not too much, less than a jalapeño with the mature reds having a sassy sweetness. The plants were highly productive for us, harvesting a few gallons from 2 plants.
Germination: 10-14 days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 75-85ºF. Cooler soil temperatures slow germination time.
Seed Sowing Depth: ¼” deep
Starting Indoors: 8-10 weeks before the last frost. Sow in flats/cells/pots. Provide 75-85ºF soil temperatures. Fertilize the seedlings every 7-10 days with a liquid or water-soluble fertilizer (diluted to ¼ of suggested measurement). Transplant seedlings 18-24” apart after the last frost.
Sowing Outdoors: Not recommended, especially in northern areas
How much does a packet plant: 20-25 foot single row
Harvest: Use a sharp instrument to cut the peppers from the plant. Pick the first fruits when they reach usable size, this helps accelerate the growth of the other peppers on the plant. Leave some peppers on the plant to mature so they can change color and sweeten up.
Tips: Pinch off early flowers or tiny fruit on any seedlings before placing them in the ground. The Padrón Pepper should be planted in fertile soil and amended with compost if needed. It helps to use row cover early in the season, giving the plants extra warmth, especially in the north. Side dress when flowers begin to form.