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April 2012
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Tabasco Pepper – a variety of chili pepper belonging to Capsicum Frutescens species.

Image of Tabasco Pepper plant at Google

The tabasco pepper is a variety of chili pepper which belongs to the species Capsicum frutescens.

• It is best known through its use in Tabasco sauce.
• The tabasco plant has a typical bushy growth.
• The tapered fruits are around 4 cm long.
• They are initially pale yellowish-green and turn yellow and orange before ripening to bright red.
• Tabasco’s rate from 30,000 to 50,000 on the Scoville scale of heat levels.
• These are the only variety of chili pepper whose fruits are “juicy”.
• They are not dry on the inside.
• A large part of the tabasco pepper stock fell victim to the tobacco mosaic virus in the 1960s.
• The peppers are named after the Mexican state of Tabasco.
• All of the peppers used to make Tabasco sauce was grown on Avery Island, Louisiana.

Growing/Caring conditions for Tabasco pepper
• Sow seedlings indoors.
• Sow those eight to ten weeks before the last frost date for your area.
• They are a difficult in germination and seedlings grow slowly at first.
• Provide bottom heat or heat lamps to raise the soil temperature to 80 degrees.
• This will promote better and quicker germination.
• A heated germination mat works well.
• While your seedlings are growing, get your garden ready.
• Add plenty of compost, manure, and a general fertilizer.
• Peppers like hot weather.
• Transplant young seedlings outdoors after the last chance of frost.
• If the weather is still cool, delay transplanting a few days.
• Keep them in a cold frame, indoors.
• Space 18-24 inches apart, in rows 24 to 30 inches apart.
• Mulching around the peppers to keep down weeds, retain moisture, and help to feed the plant.
• As the peppers develop, use a fertilizer higher in Phosphorous and Potassium.
• Providing too much nitrogen will result in a great looking bushy, green plant, but few fruits.
• Peppers can be picked as soon as they reach a size which is edible.
• Continuous harvesting encourages the fruit to produce new flowers.
• Spider mites and aphids are the most common problems.
• An occasional borer insect is also known to attack this plant.
• Try an organic insecticide or dust.
• Fungal infections can be treated with fungicides. Apply treatment as soon as you see it.
• Frost will stunt or kill the plants.
• Cold weather can cause the plant to slow down or stunt it.
• Use a hot cap in on cold and frosty spring nights.

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