Pepper, Sweet, Costa Rican Sweet
Unique fruity sweetness, more flavor than any bell pepper.
Days To Maturity
8-12 weeks BLF
Plant Shipping Information
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How to Sow and Plant
- Only home gardeners who enjoy long growing seasons in the Deep South should attempt to sow pepper seeds directly in the vegetable garden. Most of us must start our own pepper plants indoors about 8-10 weeks before transplanting, which should be done 2-3 weeks after the expected last frost.
- Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed-starting formula
- Keep the soil moist at 75 degrees F
- Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days
- As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
- Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
- If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
- Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Planting in the Garden:
- To get an early start with your pepper plants, particularly in the North, cover the prepared bed with a dark colored polyethylene mulch at least a week before transplanting. This will heat the soil beneath and provide a better growing condition for young pepper plants. The mulch will also help the soil retain moisture throughout the season as the pepper plants grow.
- Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil. Make sure you did not grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or potatoes in the bed the previous year to avoid disease problems.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
- Peppers should be set 18 inches apart in a row with the rows spaced 2-3 feet inches apart.
- Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
- Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development.
- Fill the planting hole with soil to the top and press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water.
- Use the plant tag as a location marker. This is particularly important if you are trying different varieties. It is very difficult to tell which variety is which from the foliage.
- Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
- Peppers may also be planted in containers. Use a container at least 18-24 inches wide and deep and use a commercial potting mix rather than garden soil.
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. This is especially important for peppers as their roots may be easily damaged when weeding, and this can lead to blossom end rot.
- Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2" of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- Note that hot peppers tend to be hotter when they have less water and fertilizer. If they receive plenty of water and fertilizer they may be more mild than expected.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
- Try planting pepper plants near tomatoes, parsley, basil, and carrots in your home vegetable garden. Don't plant them near fennel or kohlrabi. Peppers are very colorful when in full fruit and combine well with green herbs, okra, beans and cucumber fences in the garden bed.
Harvesting and Preserving Tips
- Like cucumbers and summer squash, peppers are usually harvested at an immature stage. The traditional bell pepper, for example, is harvested green, even though most varieties will mature red, orange, or yellow. Peppers may be harvested at any stage, but their flavor doesn’t fully develop until maturity. Fully ripe peppers in multi-colors are delightful in the garden as well as in salads.
- Cut the fruit from the plant with a sharp knife or pruners leaving a small part of the stem attached.
- Sweet bell, pimento and cherry peppers are delicious eaten green but are sweeter and higher in vitamins if allowed to turn bright red before harvest. Some varieties are yellow at maturity or may mature from green through yellow and red.
- Hot peppers may be harvested at any stage. Anaheim is usually picked green and cayenne types red.
- Bell peppers may be chopped and quick frozen for use in many recipes; sweet cherry and banana peppers and hot cherry peppers are perfect for pickling.
- A popular and trouble-free way to store hot peppers is to dry them. String mature red peppers by piercing the stem with a needle and heavy thread. Hang the string in a warm, dry, airy place (not in the sun!) to dry. They can make a colorful kitchen accent. Pull a pepper from the string when you need one. Hot peppers remain hot even after they are dried. Remember that in recipes a little hot pepper can go a long way.
- Please note that hot peppers can burn sensitive skin on contact and fumes from grinding or cooking them can irritate the lungs and eyes. When working with hot peppers use rubber gloves and wash your hands before touching your face or eyes.
Days To Maturity70 daysFruit Size6 inchesSunFull SunSpread12 inchesHeight18-24 inchesSow MethodIndoor SowPlanting TimeSpringSow Time8-12 weeks BLFThin24 inchesLife CycleAnnual
Pepper, Sweet, Costa Rican Sweet is rated out of 5 by 21.Rated 5 out of 5 by Doug25 from Awesome Plants Very vigorous plants with numerous peppers that quickly turn red.Date published: 2015-12-26Rated 5 out of 5 by JSFarms from Love this pepper! I'm a container gardener. This was my first year starting seeds indoors, and I made a slew of newbie errors, losing a fair amount of seedlings, but these Costa Rican peppers did not want to die! Around Memorial Day, I transplanted them into four-inch starters, and then cruelly left them sitting outside for five weeks while I was out of town, hoping that between rainfall and the person we had coming twice a week to water, they'd live long enough for a real transplant into an actual container. And they did! They had a late start to the growing season, but once I got them into the containers (in early July), they shot up and started producing. By the middle of August, the plants were dripping with green peppers, which slowly turned red one after another. They're so prolific: one plant had eleven peppers hanging from it at once -- quite a miracle, it seems, considering that it's in only a moderately-sized container. Now, at the end of September, I'm still watching gorgeous peppers change color. They taste wonderfully sweet, too!Date published: 2015-09-28Rated 5 out of 5 by mathchef from Great Success Grew these for the first time this year. Often in the past I had trouble getting peppers to turn from green to red or yellow. But our summer has been a bit cooler this year and this pepper did very well. I got 5 or 6 peppers already from my one plant and they turned a nice ripe red by late July. Flavor is very sweet and tasty. Size is large.Date published: 2015-08-09Rated 4 out of 5 by HoldenIron from Great taste! I grew these from seed last year and they grew great big bushes with a ton of great tasting peppers....only one thing that kept me from giving these peppers 5 stars was the fact all I ever got was green peppers! I let these peppers grow till they where almost as long and wide as my hand but My peppers would never turn red!Date published: 2015-04-24Rated 5 out of 5 by Selph from Very Sweet! This was a free seed packet with my order this spring. My customers absolutely LOVED this sweet pepper! It does take some time to turn red, so just be patient; most sweet peppers do take time. This was a very prolific plant. We had some 114° temps early this spring but our average is 95-105 during the summer. Most of my pepper plants went into a standstill when it got too hot. Also, pepper flavor and heat are all a result of their environment, so some areas may get sweeter or hotter results depending on your region.Date published: 2014-12-31Rated 5 out of 5 by WeezyG from Easy to grow I grew 3 of these plants in my garden that I started from seed. They germinated really well and also produced lots of peppers. Plenty for the 2 of us, plus I shared loads of them and also froze a lot of them too. They were slow to turn red, we used most of them green but they were still good.Date published: 2014-10-21Rated 4 out of 5 by INDYGARDEN63 from Took awhile to turn red This is my second pepper to try other than a regular bell . It took awhile to turn red , but may be due to our weird weather this summer . The plants took off and are still bearing peppers ( sept 20) . I am hoping to get some red ones before frost still. They taste fine green too however . The plants are tall, three feet, and need caging . I never do any special fertilizing except tilling in organic turkey "droppings " in the fall and every other year some type if organic mulch , mushroom this year in spring . They seem happy and healthy bearing tons of peppers ! Will order again .Date published: 2014-09-21Rated 5 out of 5 by TheOrganicGardener from GREAT TASTING!!! I planted these peppers really early this year and I had a TON of red peppers compared to the green the plant produced last year. I LOVE this pepper. If it's green or red it is still enjoyable. I no longer plant and grow bell peppers. This is my new go to pepper of choice. Please keep selling this thing!!Date published: 2013-10-16