Red and orange peppers! It’d be nice if this was a normal sight, but with our short season and often as not inconsistent heat and sun—peppers love decent heat—peppers that fully turn color are fairly unusual in this market garden. Because they’re more uncertain, I’ve tended to give them lower priority, often transplanting them at the end of the queue, which doesn’t improve their chances. I also usually don’t mulch—peppers appreciate decent mulch of any sort (plastic especially, it’s so…efficient), the heated earth seems to really help them grow.
This year, we lucked out with the weather—unfortunately, we also planted the smallest amount of peppers ever. Oh, well, that’s how the garden gambling goes! Here we have Gypsy, a tapered hybrid that has a rather quick 65-day maturity, but takes longer to go from its pretty yellow-lime green starting color to…sweet red. I’ve grown this for a while, it always comes through, a tasty, prolific, all-purpose pepper that’s nice even when it’s not red. And then there’s the open-pollinated, heirloom Orange Sun, from seed I’ve had for years, a blocky bell pepper that needs a full 80 to 90 days, that I’ve seldom seen beyond its dark green initial color, now in a satisfyingly deep, rich orange. Taste changes with color, smoothing and sweetening—these guys are delicious!