will they ripen?

noinwiSeptember 14, 2006

Due to a hailstorm in early August, my pepper plants were set back about a month in growth...they pretty much had to start all over again. Right now I've got lots of green guajillos and a few aji dulce. They're both medium hot when ripe. There'll be another week, maybe two(if I'm very lucky) of decent night temps before the first frost. Will these peppers ripen if picked green? Or should I just throw them in the freezer and use them as I would jalapenos? I had originally planned on stringing them up to dry like I do with cayennes, as they have rather thin walls. Any advice is appreciated. Below is a pic of the guajillos from earlier in the week.

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mg60

I would pick now and let ripen indoors the peppers look
too good to gamble on'''

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 9:41PM
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john47_johnf(Maine z4/5)

Dig up the plant, getting as much of the root ball and soil as you can, put it in a pot , and bring inside. I end up bring a bunch in each fall when frost time arrives and they will ripen with very little light. Also if you get a warm period you can put the pots back outside for the day.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 7:00AM
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noinwi

I am going to pot up and bring in couple of smaller plants(about 1' tall), but don't have room for the guajillos(2 1/2' tall), as we are in a small apartment. It has been difficult to decide which plants, out of a dozen or so, get saved. I've decided on one aji dulce, and a sebes that is still quite small. That is why I asked about picking the others before they're ripe. The weather just hasn't been very cooperative this year. Thank you both for the feedback.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 7:57AM
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cmpman1974(Zone 6 MI)

John,

I'm going through the same dilemma. I have 15-20 plants I'd love to overwinter, but realistically maybe 8 can come in. If I just had a sunroom, things would be easier. Unfortunately, that won't be happening any time soon.

Chris

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 9:33AM
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john47_johnf(Maine z4/5)

You don't need a sun room if all you want to do is finish ripening. Last year I had pots all over the house, most nowhere near windows and not under lights and it worked to ripen the pods and then I chucked the plants.Just put a plastic drop cloth down to protect the floor and put 'em everywhere.

John

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 10:46AM
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cmpman1974(Zone 6 MI)

John,

I really want them to suvive over the winter. I have a few I don't want to lose and did not isolate branches or the entire plant so I can't ensure purity next season if I grow from saved seed.

I want to move a few from a 24" planter to a 14" planter and bring indoors.

Several I will bring indoors to ripen only as you mentioned. I would like to attempt to OW 8 plants for next year. Still new to that part.

Chris

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 11:07AM
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john47_johnf(Maine z4/5)

Chris

Even overwintering can be done with less light than you think. I have overwintered plants with very little light. They did not thrive but they survived-not all of them, but nothing venturd nothing gained.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 11:44AM
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noinwi

Chris,
I once overwintered a Big Jim that I dug up and crammed into a 6" pot, initially to ripen the peppers on it, but it not only survived the winter in front of a south facing window, it put out a couple more peppers(although very small). I brought it along when we moved to this apartment, and planted it later that spring. It only put out a few peppers that season, but I still consider it a success.
This year I started a bunch of peppers under a hood with 6 compact flourescent bulbs and they flowered and formed fruit even before I put them outside. They were still in their 16oz plastic cups. So unless room is an issue as it is with me(2 people, a dog and a cat in a 1 bdrm apt), your plants should do ok without a sunroom. I may end up having to perform triage, and replace a few of my houseplants with pepper plants. Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 12:30PM
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danial

EVERY YEAR JUST BE FOR THE FRIST FROST I PICK EVERY PEPPER ON MY PLANTS. STRING THEM UP HANG IN WINDOWS ALL THRU THE HOUSE, THEY STRAT TO RIPEN IN A FEW DAYS LEAVE THEM OR PULL WHAT YOU WANT THAT IS WHAT PICK I STAT TO MAKE MY SAUCE OUT OF TAKE A TIME BUT IT IS ALL HOT. I BEEN DOING THIS FOR 35 YEARS NO JOKE
DAN

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 5:44PM
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noinwi

Well, I dug up 6 plants(couldn't do just two), stuffed them into pots and brought them inside. I have about 11 more that I secured a tarp over. Tonight and tomorrow night are supposed to be garden killers, but then the night temps will be back in the 40's for a while. When I absolutely have to, I'll pick everything on the plants, string 'em up and hopefully they'll ripen and not rot. We'll see how that compares to bringing them in, in pots. I brought in Sebes, Guajillo, Chimayo, Aji Dulce Hot, and Aji Dulce 2(not hot). Once they get over their transplant shock I'll post a pic. And thank you all for your input.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 11:33PM
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jjhallfarm

You and several of the other people who replied mentioned stringing your peppers up to dry. Anyone got any good suggestions or an instructive website that could show me how to do that? I have had an incredible influx of beautiful red chiles and would love to string them up instead of drying them loose like I've done before. Also, thanks to everyone for the great advice on overwintering pepper plants. I had no idea that was possible.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 12:05PM
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willardb3

Try here for ristra (strung chiles):

Here is a link that might be useful: Ristra

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 12:40PM
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noinwi

To string mine up, I just use a large sewing needle and upholstry thread and run it throught the base of the stems.
Also an update...a lot of the peppers on the plants that I brought in are starting to shrivel(after 4 days inside)...it doesn't look like they're going to ripen properly...anyone know why, and is there anything I can do about it? I did lose more of the root ball than I wanted to when I dug them up and expected some wilting, but didn't think that would include the fruit. Hopefully the weather will stay mild for a while for the ones still out in the garden.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 12:45AM
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