Are You an Addiction or Just Add Flavor to Your Garden? Growing sweet and chili peppers can be an exciting, enjoyable, and satisfying project!
Like tomatoes, peppers require an ideal potting mix as well as ample sun and water for best results. For optimal growth use a premium product like Miracle-Gro Performance Organics All Purpose Container Mix or Raised Bed Mix for best results.
Peppers To Consider
Peppers make an excellent addition to any garden, adding both flavor and color to many meals. Easy to grow both in containers and raised beds, pepper plants thrive in many soil types and provide delicious results!
When selecting peppers to grow in your garden, it is essential that they fit with the climate in which you reside. Sweet varieties typically work better in cooler regions while hot varieties perform best in hotter areas.
One of the most versatile and readily available peppers, bell peppers are an increasingly popular and widely available addition to many meals, adding delicious color and shape variety to salads, salsa, pizza, pasta dishes and other meals. They grow easily in any sunny, sheltered location and add delicious flare to dishes like salads, salsa pizza pasta and other recipes.
Other varieties that will thrive in your garden include banana pepper, known as a “sweet” variety, and mad hatter pepper which produces hat-shaped fruits with mild heat levels and floral flavors. Both varieties are resistant to various diseases while being harvested early so as to provide fresh produce throughout the growing season.
Shishito peppers, also renowned for their thin walls and versatility in using them in stir fries or saute dishes, are another highly-desirable variety of Japanese peppers that come in multiple hues including yellow and red.
Some pepper varieties are perfect for long-term storage in the fridge or jar, and can even be dried out later for use later in the year. If storing peppers for longer than one week, it would be prudent to wash them prior to storing in order to prevent discoloration or mold growth.
Harvest peppers at their desired color for optimal harvest results, yet avoid picking too early – picking prematurely can cause too much green color in the fruit, altering its taste.
When planting peppers, select a nutritious seed mix. For in-ground gardens, mix several inches of compost into the top layer of soil while for pots and raised beds use premium potting mix containing essential minerals and trace elements that will ensure their full potential is reached. Doing this will allow them to flourish and bloom into full potential growth.
Sweet peppers add vibrant color and delicious sweetness to both vegetables and your cooking. Enjoyed both fresh or dried for longer shelf life, sweet peppers add texture and sweetness to soups, stews, braises, marinades, salads, sauces, omelets casseroles or pasta dishes.
While jalapenos are among the most widely grown varieties of sweet peppers, there are other varieties you should also consider growing such as mini sweet peppers (also referred to as gypsy peppers), green bell peppers, yellow banana peppers and red banana peppers.
Mini sweet peppers can be enjoyed roasted, fried or added to stews, soups or omelets as an ingredient. They’re great stuffed with tuna, chicken, rice and meat mixtures or cheese for stuffing; also delicious in sandwiches, pizza toppings or dips!
As with other sweet pepper varieties, mini peppers contain high concentrations of vitamins A and C with no saturated fat or cholesterol content, while having minimal carbohydrates and moderate protein.
Once the seeds sprout, transfer them to larger containers filled with damp potting soil in order to minimize settling and promote strong growth. Be sure to provide regular watering as well as organic fertilizer according to label recommendations for best results.
If your garden experiences cool temperatures, it’s wise to start seeds indoors a few weeks prior to transplanting them outdoors. When temperatures consistently surpass 50 F in your garden, harden off seedlings until frost risk has passed before transplanting 12-18 inch spacing rows 24-36 inches apart.
Once your sweet peppers have reached maturity, harvest them for maximum sweetness and increased vitamin C intake. They’ll keep in the fridge for approximately three days and may also be frozen after blanching; or dried for even greater shelf life and use in sandwiches or raw dishes as toppings.
Peppers (chilies or chilies in various languages), are the fruit of the Capsicum annum chile plant and come in an assortment of shapes and sizes that can be eaten raw, used in spicy recipes or ground into spice powder for use as seasoning. Their heat comes from capsaicin present both in their seeds as well as within a white membrane that lines their inner fruits.
Hot peppers range in intensity from mild to super-hot depending on their variety and preparation method; those harvested while still green tend to have the hottest spice level; others may remain on their vine until turning red, orange or golden before harvest.
Grow hot peppers from seed or purchase seedlings at your garden center; starting from seed allows for greater variety.
To germinate pepper seeds, start them indoors or outdoors at least 8 weeks before your last frost date in flats with heat mats or greenhouse domes to facilitate rapid germination.
Once the pepper seeds have germinated, plant them either directly into soil or an easily-draining flat. Place these flats in a sunny but not overheated spot and water regularly until two true sets of leaves have emerged from each stem. After their roots are established in your garden they can then be transplanted out.
Before transplanting peppers into their gardens, harden off by leaving them in a protected outdoor location for 10 days – this will allow the peppers to adapt to outside temperatures more readily and move them into their final locations once nightly temperatures surpass 60 degrees.
Selecting the ideal pepper variety for your climate is an important decision. If your growing season is limited, choose varieties that won’t bloom until days shorten in fall – these could include varieties like Jalapenos that don’t produce fruits until evening comes around!
A great variety should produce an abundant harvest, and selecting only ripened peppers from each plant will increase their quality and provide you with enough for friends and family.
Shishito peppers are an enjoyable, straightforward crop to cultivate that can flourish almost anywhere. Their thin skin makes for quick frying sessions, and you can consume them raw or cooked according to your taste – or create a zesty soup from them to spice up any meal!
To successfully cultivate shishito peppers, it is crucial that the right time of year and conditions for sowing seeds is selected and that specific growing instructions are heeded. You may choose indoors at the beginning of spring or outdoors once temperatures have exceeded 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prior to planting, prepare the soil by enriching it with compost and adding lime for calcium deficiency prevention. Water your shishito plants regularly but do not overwater. Consider applying mulch around them as this will retain moisture and help prevent weed growth.
Once your shishito pepper seedlings have reached maturity, transplant them into a protected section of your garden. They thrive best in pots or raised beds but ideally need 6-8 hours of sun per day in full sunlight to flourish fully.
After just a few weeks, your pepper plants should have two true leaves, at which point you can fertilize with organic balanced fertilizer every few months during their growing season. Additionally, consider “topping” them by cutting off sprouting stems that sprouted from its main stem – this will encourage two new branches from its main stem, yielding larger peppers with increased heat levels.
Once your shishito peppers have been harvested, they can be stored for up to one week in either your fridge or pantry before enjoying as a delicious snack or appetizer when served alongside homemade dipping sauce such as Blistered Shishito Pepper Dip with Flaky Sea Salt and Lime!