California Wonder Pepper Guide
Pack it in with this hearty pepper that will have Peter Piper passing on a second stuffed pepper. If dipping fresh veggies is more your jam then try California Wonder -it is known for having a sweeter flavor in general but harvest right after they turn from green to red for a sweet treat while avoiding a slight bitter aftertaste that can emerge later in the cycle.
California Wonder peppers grow best in warmer weather between 70°F-80°F. They do great in containers and small gardens. Bank on Seeds recommends transplanting.
If Direct Seeding
- Direct seed outside 4-6 weeks after last frost date; or
- Direct seed into a container 10-12 inches deep and wide anytime of the year. It can be placed outside when the temperature is between 70°F-80°F; or
Begin the growing season early and start the pepper seeds indoors in trays or pods 8-10 weeks before the last frost date; clingwrap the container to seal in the warmth. Germination is best and fastest between 70°F-85°F. It can be transplanted outside 12 weeks later.
Sow seeds ¼ inch deep and 12-18 inches apart with rows spaced 18-24 inches apart. Germination will take 14-21 days.
Cal Wonder peppers like well-draining soil with lots of organic matter. They also love full sun and warm weather. Water regularly and consistently to avoid forming uneven or bumpy peppers. Let dry between watering - check the top 2-3 inches of soil and if it’s dry, then water it. Avoid soggy roots as this may lead to blossom-end rot.
Peppers like fertilizer when they are actively growing. Use organic fertilizer, aged compost, or 5-10-10 fertilizer every 6-8 weeks.
California Wonder peppers develop in 75-80 days. When the first blossoms develop pinch them off gently to encourage stronger growth. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the peppers from the plant. Pick the first peppers when they reach usable size, this helps accelerate the growth of the other peppers on the plant. Leave some peppers on the plant to mature so they can change color and get sweeter.
Powdery mildew –keep free of weeds and debris, don’t handle when leaves are wet, avoid overwatering, don’t water from above the foliage, remove diseased or dead foliage
Aphids, cutworms – handpick or spray off, neem oil
*Companion plant peppers with basil, carrots, cucumbers, eggplants, oregano, parsley, and many others. Avoid planting with beans, cabbage, kale, and fennel. *