Growing Datil Peppers - This Works for Me
by Mike Usina
I start with fresh seeds, I collect only the large Datil pods that are just starting to turn yellow. I remove the seeds right
away being sure to wear rubber gloves, after removing the seeds I separate them from the inner wall of the pod. I then
put the seeds in a bowl covering them with 2" water, and add about 1/4 small spoon of house hold bleach. Allow to soak
for 10 minutes then rinse good in fresh water, discard any seeds that float as they will not germinate. Next dry the seeds,
a paper plate with a paper napkin works great. Allow the seeds to dry thoroughly before storing them in a cool dry
location. DO NOT use a zip lock bag. The germination rate on Datil pepper seeds that are over 1 year old seems to be
very low. Only use seeds that are under 1 year old. Do not use the seed pods that are dry, they germinate very poorly.

To start seeds use a tray such as one that 6 packs of seedlings come in from the garden centers. Only the solid bottom
types with the slotes in the bottom will do. Use a starter soil mix that you can get at Wall Mart. Fill the tray about 3/4 full.
Then wet the mix using a spray bottle, this will keep you from over watering. Next spread seeds over the top of the wet
mix, cover the seeds with about 1/4" on dray soil mix and wet again. It takes Datil pepper seeds from 10 to 30 days to
germinate depending on the night time temperature. Place seed tray in an area that will not be in full sun, filtered sun will
not dry your seed mix out. When the seedlings put out their second set of leaves it is time to put them in small pots using
a good soil mix, I find that Miracle Grow is good. After your young plants get about 6" tall they are ready to go into the
ground or a larger pot. Never put a 6" plant into a 5 gallon bucket as you will over water and kill it quick. Datil peppers
do best in the ground with some shade. NEVER use sand out of your yard to fill your containers, it packs too tight and
your Datils will do very poorly. Fertilize often, such as Peters or Miracle Grow water soluble 20 20 20.

I find it necessary to stake your plants, if done right they will grow to 6' or more in one spring and summer. Keep a close
eye on your plants as bugs love them. 7 Dust takes care of most pests. Datil peppers can take 32 degrees, but the
lightest frost will kill them.

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