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harvesting Advice for unripened peppers at the end of the season.

I have 4 cayenne and 4 tabasco pepper plants that are still full of peppers that aren't ripe yet. The weather is starting to get cool here in Kentucky and I'm afraid a hard frost is gonna hit before they are ripened and harvested. Any advice on how to handle this?
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thoroughburro

Extreme Member
As I understand it, there are only a few options: harvest early, bring inside, or submit to nature.

If you harvest early, any that have started to ripen will generally finish off the plant. That will still leave a lot of green chiles, which is fine for most annuums (roasted green New Mexican type chiles are a goal unto themselves) but dodgy otherwise. Green chile powders can be surprisingly good.

If you bring them in, you have a new problem: the batch you wanted ripens, but now there is a new batch. Either you have a new house plant, permanently, or you still need to decide when to call it done.

Ultimately, harvest, plowing under the old crops, death for the benefit of life later… that’s just the season.
 
Here in Western NC have in some years put 4 stakes around the plant & drape a light frost cover over the entire plant.
Leave it all day to help build heat up like a little tent & help ripen the peppers sooner.

Just last week we got that frigid blast from the north my peppers plants are cold in the mornings now but all I grew was Jalapeños & Bekinyos this year & they are picked & pickled :hotsauce: now. Next year all peppers in 5 gallon buckets from now on.
 
Here in Western NC have in some years put 4 stakes around the plant & drape a light frost cover over the entire plant.
Leave it all day to help build heat up like a little tent & help ripen the peppers sooner.

Just last week we got that frigid blast from the north my peppers plants are cold in the mornings now but all I grew was Jalapeños & Bekinyos this year & they are picked & pickled :hotsauce: now. Next year all peppers in 5 gallon buckets from now on.


last year we were going to have one night with possible freezing temp then back up to no risk for a few more weeks.

i threw a tarp over my raised beds and put a small space heater inside with them.

i also watered them with warm water once it got dark to give the soil temp a boost.

no idea how much effect this actually had, but my plants survived and got me to one more round of picking ripe peppers.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Here in Western NC have in some years put 4 stakes around the plant & drape a light frost cover over the entire plant.
Leave it all day to help build heat up like a little tent & help ripen the peppers sooner.
I'd imagine if it was transparent vinyl, even better?
 
WarrantMan's advice is one of my favorite answers and it can be applied to most things from the garden.

I cut plants and leave them to hang and save seeds from the ones that ripen up well enough, but usually I have seeds from earlier fruit and honestly if by frost I don't good fruit the plant is not worth growing a second time in my climate.
 
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