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Don S November 29, 2018 02:54 PM

Confusing Days to Maturity for Peppers
When scanning catalogs for pepper seeds, I noted some inconsistencies in the listed Days to Maturity. It is generally accepted that DTM begins when the seedling is transplanted into the garden, but when does it end? Most peppers go through two or more color stages (i.e. green to red) and are usually pickable at more than one color. Johnny Seeds is the only major retailer to list two dates: when the plant is first ready to harvest (first color) and when it has fully ripened (last color). Almost everyone else just quotes one number for DTM.

I sent emails to nine companies I have bought veggies from in the past, asking them what their pepper DTM meant. Three said it ended at first color. Two said final color or fully ripe. Two sent confusing or contradictory answers and two didn't respond.

So I guess the safest thing is to check the DTM for the same variety from several sellers (including JohnnySeeds if they carry it), and look for clues in the descriptions as to which color stage is meant. And of course always remember that local weather or soil conditions can affect the ripening process so DTM is always just an estimate.

rhines81 November 30, 2018 06:10 AM

I add about 2 weeks to DTM for fully ripe. This can be delayed more if the weather cools off near the end of season. If it is still hot out, the time can be a few days shorter. Too much rain during the DTM to fully ripe stage, the peppers may start going soft before getting fully ripe... just need to keep watch on them and use best judgment as to when to harvest.

Tormato November 30, 2018 01:53 PM

Of the few sweet peppers I've trialed, from green to ripe...add 10-14 days for very thin wall types, 20+ days for thick wall types. My trials are only once for a variety, so different seasons could mean different ripening.

ContainerTed November 30, 2018 02:53 PM

And when you get the DTM for the seller of the seeds nailed down, you will have to adjust it for your location. DTM's are only for determining whether a certain pepper or tomato is early, mid-season, or late for [U]Most growers[/U] - kind of like an average. It can also be affected by the weather in your area during that growing season. And the next year it will likely be different for the following season, and different still for subsequent seasons.

I usually deal with the following. Very Early, Early, Mid, Mid/Late, and Late. To try to track anything more than generalities like these will drive you insane. Mother Nature likes to test us and this is her biggest source of her laughter at we humans.

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