The Fruit Load

DaveChile Peppers, HarvestingLeave a Comment

The chile pepper harvest is underway but there’s still two more months (or more) in the growing season. So what should you do? Keep harvesting. Say your pods aren’t completely ripe and that’s what you’re waiting for. Well, if you keep waiting and do nothing, your harvest will be half of what you could accomplish. Enter the concept of sequential harvesting. Keep harvesting on a regular basis even if the pods are not completely mature. The reason for this is that you don’t want your faithful plants to reach their fruit load. This is the point where the plants have all the fruits that they can manage, and flowering shuts down as the plants, grown as annuals in most places, reach maturity. But if you keep harvesting, the plants will keep on producing flowers and pods until the first freeze. If they kept fruiting without a fruit load maximum, the weight of the pods might cause the plants to split, or fall over, killing them. Immature pods may not be at their maximum heat and sweetness, but they’re still ready to eat–just look at the New Mexico green chile harvest, which is massive. So, no matter what variety you’re growin’, keep pickin’!