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Tips On How To Grow Hot Portugal Peppers

Hot Portugal Peppers

I have fond and not so fond memories of hot Portugal peppers. In this article, we’ll provide some handy tips on how to grow them as well as a little laugh at my expense.

If you’ve read any of the articles on this site, you’ll know I grew up on a farm, actually a vineyard and my parents were not just expert farmers but expert gardeners. They grew all their own produce.

And hot Portugal peppers were almost pride of place in the large garden.

If you didn’t know, Portugal peppers are a type of chili pepper that are highly prized for their mild to fiery flavor. They can vary on the Scoville scale from 5000 to over 20,000. Some have this figure as high as 50,000.

They are also one of the most versatile and popular types of chili peppers, able to be used in a variety of dishes. Portugal peppers can be eaten fresh or dried, and can be found in both green and red varieties.

In a moment, I’ll tell you about my not so happy encounter with one of these “spicy suckers”.

How To Grow Hot Portugal Peppers

how often should you water hot portugal peppersPortugal peppers are not hard to grow. In fact, I find them an easy plant to grow both from seed and seedling.

You can do this one of two ways.

Either grow them from seeds indoors in which case you will need to provide lighting in the form of grow lights. You keep them indoors for at least two months before replanting them in the garden.

Or, if you live in an apartment, then just leave them indoors where space will dictate how many you can have.

Keep in mind the Portugal Pepper plant can grow to two feet or more in height so just plant one pepper plant per container which in itself, should be up to five gallons in depth.

Secondly, you can grow them from seeds outdoors which is what I am used to doing.

Portugal peppers thrive in warm weather so make sure you put them in an area of the garden that gets at least eight hours of sunshine each day.

They love a soil that is rich in nutrients so after initially preparing the ground, add some organic top soil to the patch of garden you’re planting them in. This may not be necessary if you live in an area where the soil is naturally rich.

Portugal pepper plants like a moist soil in the initial stages of growth but they detest ground that is constantly soggy.

Water evenly. I liked to give them a water at the break of dawn and then again in the evening without soaking the ground.

As they matured to the point of producing peppers, this was backed off to watering every two to three days. This is something you’ll have to determine in you area and use your judgement with.

How Far Apart Should You Plant Portugal Pepper Plants

how far apart should you plant peppers

I lived in a hot and dry climate so the ground dried up quickly. When planting these peppers, plant them at least twelve to eighteen inches apart. I’d suggest eighteen.

When you give hot Portugal peppers a little space, they are capable of producing a lot of fruit. Expect yields up to fifty peppers per plant.

You can expect produce from these plants about two plants after planting them. That seems like a long time but it isn’t really. Time your initial planting in early spring. For those of you who live in frost-prone areas you need to wait until the last frost has been and gone. Again, use your judgement and current tools like weather apps etc.

Once the hot Portugal pepper plants reach maturity, they’ll resemble a “slot machine” in the height of the summer months, spitting out peppers six to eight inches in length during their most productive stage.

So they’re are just a few things to remember when growing these peppers.

– Avoid planting during frost periods.

– Night temperatures shouldn’t fall below 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit.

– They love a rich soil.

– They love plenty of sunshine and sunny spots up to eight hours a day.

– If growing indoors use a grow light which should be no higher than eight inches from the top of the plants.

– Portugal pepper plants appreciate regular watering during the initial growth stage.

– They appreciate being spaced apart at least eighteen inches in the garden.

Best Way To Eat Portuguese Peppers?

how to grow peppersWell, everyone is going to have their favorite way of eating the Portuguese pepper. I am not fond of too much heat in my product so I always like to get them before they were fully mature.

Using the pepper as an “accessory” when you eat your dinner was the favorite way to eat these for my family.

What I mean by this is, if you were eating a plate of pasta you’d have a fork in one hand and a pepper in the other. As you took a mouthful of food, you took a nibble from the pepper.

I still do this.

Later, my parents, who always dried the bulk of their Portugal pepper crop by sowing cotton through the stems until they had a bunch and hanging them.

When they were completely dried, they would mash them to create a chill/cayenne type of powder. This replaced the pepper in hand style for my dad who replaced it by simply spreading the dried pepper powder over his food.

Mark my words, he loves his food hot and I always said he would have lost his taste.

I know people who love using the Portugal pepper in salads. My mom would often use the friend version in omelets and frittatas.

The bottom line is, it’s going to be whatever your preference is.

My Not So Good Hot Portugal Peppers Story

how to eat hot peppersAs kids, my brother and I often found ourselves walking around in mom and dad’s garden.

I’m talking about when we were between three and five years old. One day, my brother, who is nineteen months younger than I am, picked a hot Portugal pepper.

I asked him what he was going to do with it? He replied, “I dare you to eat it”.

I have always been a competitive beast. When he followed it up with, “or are you chicken” well, I had no choice. I still remember clearly at five years of age feeling extremely nervous but I wasn’t letting my little brother think I was “chicken”.

Long story short, I took a bite and ended up in hospital. This was just before my parents bought our farm. We were in the city and thankfully, the hospital was within walking distance.

It was an unpleasant experience which I have both my little brother and my “stupidity” to thank.

Do you have a hot Portugal peppers story? Heck do you have any hot pepper story? Why not share it with us in the comments below.

Hot Portugal Pepper Plants
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JD Dean

Growing up on a farm gave me and my family some huge advantages. One of them was learning to grow our own food. Apart from acres and acres of crops, we had a magnificent fruit and vegetable garden plus, we canned our own food. I’m hoping to pass on some of this expertise and experience to you.

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