Since the economy has been on a turn for the worst, people have begun planting their own fruits and vegetables. Planting a garden at your home will save you a lot of money and it is fun to see the various plants grow. One item that a lot people are choosing to plant this year are cayenne peppers, but you need to know when to harvest them. In order to get the best flavor out of your cayenne peppers, you need to know when to pick them. If you have planted cayenne peppers in your garden, here are some easy tips for the appropriate time to harvest them.
1. During the hottest days of summer is when your cayenne peppers will thrive and start producing multiple vegetables. August is when you should see the cayenne pepper plant full of dark green peppers that are about five inches long. If you want to pick the dark green peppers, it is important to know they will be a mild pepper flavor. The dark green peppers are great for decorations on various foods and provide a hint of flavor you can add on anything. The dark green peppers should be firm in texture before you pick them for the beginning harvest for the best flavor.
2. For a more hot and flavorful cayenne pepper, you should wait to pick them a little longer. A hotter cayenne pepper should not be picked until you notice that the tip is changing from green to red. The cayenne pepper should still be firm to the touch so you should pick them soon after the tip changes colors. If you are looking to use the cayenne pepper as a fresh vegetable then this is the perfect opportunity to pick them. Be very careful with the pepper at this stage because the seeds will be very hot and be full of delicious flavor.
3. If you wait a little longer after the tip color changes you will notice the whole pepper turning red. The red pepper will be firm to the touch and this is the best time to pick for a sweet and fruity flavor. Although the pepper might taste fruity, there is still a lot of heat being produced by it so always be cautious when eating the pepper. Usually, people pick the completely red peppers to dry out for winter use. You can dry out the red peppers to use during your Christmas dinner either as a side dish or decoration. Waiting until the pepper is completely red in color will give you a nice mellow flavor with some serious heat behind it. So if you want to dry out your pepper for later use, you should wait until the peppers are completely red in color for best results.
4. Planting cayenne peppers is a long process and usually starts between eight to ten weeks before they are transplanted outside. You want to make sure the soil temperature is about 80 degrees during the germination period. Take the young plants outside during the warm spring days but bring them in at night to prevent frost. In the late spring you should be able to plant the cayenne peppers outside for good. The sprouting will occur between 12 and 20 days after you planted the seeds. The plants will mature within 75 days, and it is at that time you can begin to harvest them depending on the flavor you prefer.
Always make sure that you are never picking a cayenne pepper that is below four-inches, because they will not be mature until about that length. If you follow these simple tips when you go to pick your cayenne peppers, you will get them exactly how you want them. It is always a good idea to check your planting zone to make sure that cayenne peppers will grow properly in your location.