Growing Pepper California Wonder
in Northeast Florida Vegetable Gardens
( Capsicum annuum )
California Wonder is an open pollinated Heirloom pepper selection that has been the standard all others are judged by for many years! California Wonder bell peppers produce large meaty peppers with a mild sweet flavor.
Foliage, Origins, and Use of Pepper California Wonder for Northeast Florida vegetable gardens:
Large leafy plants of the California Wonder bell pepper stay compact at just 18-24 inches tall and 14+ inches wide.
California wonder is an American Heirloom dating back to 1928.
Bell peppers are perfect for slicing up to serve fresh with salsas and salads, roasting on the grill, stuffing, in a skillet with mixed vegetables, or adding to soups and stews. Add fresh thick wedges to vegetable trays or use them as a dipper with your favorite dip!
Planting Season for Pepper California Wonder in Jacksonville and St. Augustine Florida and the surrounding areas:
Pepper California wonder can be planted as soon as the weather warms in spring. Late February to early March through April and again in July an August are considered a warm season crop, they are frost sensitive and should only be planted in frost free months in Northeast Florida vegetable gardens, or placed on a porch or patio to keep the frost off during the winter season.
Start your peppers in February from seed and March from S & J Nursery transplants. Growing season for bell peppers in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area garden is February to July.
Sun Exposure for growing Pepper California Wonder in Northeast Florida Vegetable Gardens:
Unlike peppers grown in most climates, Bell Pepper California Wonder grown in the Northeast Florida area need a bit of protection from direct sun, especially in the heat of the summer months. Plant your California Wonder bell peppers into a Partially shaded environment for best results. Morning sun with afternoon shade or afternoon sun with morning shade locations will work well. Or plant your peppers under taller native Pine trees where they will receive dappled light all day.
Soil Preferences for Pepper California Wonder in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine Florida areas:
Bell Pepper California Wonder will do best in the Northeast Florida garden when grown in soils that have been generously amended with compost.
Be sure to plant into well drained soils that do not hold water for prolonged periods after heavy rains.
Care of Pepper California Wonder Plants in the Northeast Florida Vegetable Garden:
Watering Your Pepper California Wonder:
Newly planted California Wonder peppers will require watering daily for the first few days to a week after being planted from seed or transplanted from an S & J Nursery container.
Once the bell pepper plants are established and growing, be sure to keep the soil moist by watering at least once per week if rainfall is scarce, when plants are bearing fruits, start watering twice a week.
Mulching Your Pepper California Wonder Plants:
For maximum growth potential, mulch plants generously, this will help conserve moisture.
Fertilizing Your Pepper California Wonder Peppers:
Feed every two to three weeks with an all purpose fertilizer like 6-6-6.
Or for an organic approach, try fertilizing with a mixture of fish emulsions and seaweed (kelp) at one ounce each per gallon of water. Apply semi weekly as a foliar spray.
If your vegetable plants look like they could use a boost, give them a good watering with homemade compost tea as soon as the top few inches of soil around your plant is dry to the touch!
Harvesting Your Pepper California Wonder in the Northeast Florida Vegetable Garden:
Your Pepper California Wonder can be harvested when skins still green or once they have ripened to the bright red stage. Store at room temperature for a few days or refrigerate for about a week.