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Pepper, Sweet Giant Marconi Hybrid

Short Description

Incredibly versatile! Terrific in salads, salsa, roasted, grilled, or fried.

Full Description

Bred in Italy, this pepper's also an All America Selections winner. Large, tapered fruits are 8" long x 3" wide and can be picked green or left on the plant a little longer and harvested red. The fruits mature earlier to red than other varieties. Enjoy this wonderful pepper about 72 days after setting plants out in the garden. Grow in full sun, at least 6 hours of direct sun a day, in soil that is rich in organic matter and well drained. Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before your normal planting time, after the chance of all frost.
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Item#: 53181A
Order: 1 Pkt. (30 seeds)
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$3.95
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Product properties

Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

72 days

Fruit Size The average size of the fruit produced by this product.

8 inches

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

12 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

18-24 inches

Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Indoor Sow

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  • Peppers

    Peppers
    Start Indoors Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
    Transplant Transplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
    Start Outdoors Start Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summer
    Start Indoors Fall Start Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    Transplant Fall Transplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
    Start Outdoors Fall Start Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    First Date: Feb-22 - Last Date: Mar-07
    First Date: May-02 - Last Date: May-30
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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 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 a 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 Maturity
72 days
Fruit Size
8 inches
Sun
Full Sun
Spread
12 inches
Height
18-24 inches
Sow Method
Indoor Sow
Planting Time
Spring
Pepper, Sweet Giant Marconi Hybrid is rated 4.1 out of 5 by 8.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Pepper!! I usually grow bell peppers, but was convinced by the description of the Marconi, banana-type pepper to try it this season. I love sauteed and grilled peppers and freeze them for winter cooked dishes. This variety promised to ripen to a red color more readily and it certainty has done that. This is a great tasty thin-walled pepper. I have 20 plants which are keeping me and the neighborhood in all the red peppers we can use and freeze. I pick a 5 gallon bucket full every couple of days. The productivity is far greater than any other pepper I've ever grown. They can be stuffed by removing seeds,blanching slightly to make them more flexible, slicing through one side lengthwise and stuffing. Definitely a keeper!
Date published: 2011-09-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from No Luck! I ordered two packets this year and only one plant emerged. Burpee replaced the two packets with two new packets...not one planet emerged. I've been buying and ordering these fabulous Giant Marconi peppers for the last couple years from Burpee with great succes in starting them indoors and transplanting into summer garden. I'm disappointed they will not be in my garden this year :(
Date published: 2011-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful On The Vine & Deliciously Versatile!! This pepper is a dream to grow from starter plants and it takes off in well cultivated soil. It's fruits are ready to harvest in a very short time and are great either green or red. Since I have had some problems with growing bells in the last few years, these have been a life saver for me and have basically replaced bells in my garden over the last 2 years. Green they taste jest as good or slighty better than bells, and when allowed to turn red they are even more of a delight, ESPECIALLY ROASTED with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Great for antipasto, peppers & onions sauteed with italian sausages or polska kielbasa, on pizzas, or wherever else you like to use peppers! They are so beautiful on the vine with their 7 and 8 inch long fruits, some straight and some curved, and are about 2 or 3 inches in circumfrence. You'll be tempted to let them stay on the vine, but trust me, they're better on your plate or in your pan! (-:
Date published: 2010-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Pepper! After trying many different kinds of peppers to suit are fickle weather in Michigan, this is my favorite! The flavor is superb, whether green or red. It is crisp and robust when green and oh so sweet when red. We always plant in slightly sandy soil with a little magnesium salts around the base and these plants are producing often past the first frost. Tons of fruits which often need staking if you let them turn red. As with any plant, don't over water! We only water from soaker hoses in our dry August weather and have never had mold problems. We also rotate our crops and never mulch plants that have molded in the past. A hardy plant that will over produce and have your neighbors loving you.
Date published: 2009-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from best pepper ever My husband and I love gardening of all types and have a pretty impressive yard in a small neighborhood. Lots of people stop to check out our garden and even among the show piece plants everytime they were most impressed with this pepper. Our plants were literally 5 ft. tall and loaded with the greatest peppers we've ever grown. Don't be discouraged by nay sayers that mention rotting and sour taste. We have grown this plant for 6 years now, and have had little of such trouble. When we have had a problem it was due to low calcium in the soil (rotting on the bottom) and whole pepper rotting was a result of wet plants and cold temperatures, though we were still harvesting on HALLOWEEN!!! In zone 5 that is amazing. The peppers that we got were as long and thicker than my forearm, and had great thick walls great for roasting. We had 26 plants that we grew and besides giving away litterally buckets full, we froze close to 30 gallons of chopped peppers!!!! We also used them in our homemade spagetti sauce, made roasted red pepper soup, and used them fresh. I have been an avid gardener for 10 years and have never grown such an awesome pepper. You must try this!
Date published: 2008-11-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Doesn't live up to it' rep... I've tried this pepper as a plant three years running. The first two years I never got any peppers. I chalked it up to seasonal issues since the plant were beautiful each year. Last year, I tried them again and the plants were beautiful and I got tons of peppers, but many of the peppers started to rot before they started to ripen. Still, I got quite a few peppers in great condition. I was very pleased with the production, but the flavor wasn't what I had expected. They were sweet, but also almost sour. I really didn't enjoy them. So, I dried what I had left and use a little at a time to add color to soup or other recipes. I will not use these again. This year, I'll try something else.
Date published: 2008-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing overall!! We cannot get over the size and taste of this pepper!! One pepper goes a long-g-g way and tastes so-o-o pleasant! We are even using it in our homemade spaghetti sauce and just love it! We are so sold on the Marconi pepper, as we are on other Burpee products that we have purchased. We are first time Indiana customers and will be now every year to come!!
Date published: 2007-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Frying Pepper Ever! This was by far my most favorite pepper plant this season. Very high yielding and great taste!! They made excellent frying peppers :) I couldn't believe how many peppers I have been able to give away! It's almost September and these plants are still producing! I'm definitely getting these again next year!
Date published: 2007-08-22
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