Peppers turn color!

Orange Sun and Gypsy sweet peppers

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!

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3 Responses to “Peppers turn color!”

  1. Kevin says:

    Nice!  We’re far away from the end of the season down here in Loooosiana, but I thought for certain that you’re peppers would be dead by now.  Peppers, beans, peas and basil all die completely down here at the mere suggestion of frost.
    Glad to see that it’s not as big of a problem for you guys up in the great white.

  2. EtienneG says:

    I have a really hard time growing good peppers with thick wall.  It’s something I will have to work on in the future.  Very likely, the solution is to grow these in a tunnel.

    • Mike (tfb) says:

      Yes, in general, for more “assured” pepper production in these parts, I think the easiest route is black or IRT (green) plastic mulch definitely, and possibly row cover and poytunnels at one or both ends of the season. Also, being quite meticulous with seedling production, fertilizing and especially potting up in time—I find that not allowing peppers to grow freely in pots seems to hold them back in the field, to stunt them for a bit. 

      Finding varieties suited to particular farms and fields would also no doubt work, eventually, for most years, but that could take relatively A LOT of time and effort! In my small chunk of pepper-growing experience, I have found that Ace (green-to-red) has invariably produced usable green peppers of good quality, fairly large, fairly thick walls, even in awful cold, wet summer conditions. And North Star (green-to-red) has been slower to produce, but first to turn color… Both are hybrids, and both I simply found from catalog descriptions at William Dam and tried ‘em over a few years. With diligent real research and trials, the possibilities seem promising! :)

  3. With the color and the picture, I can actually say that its sweet. Makes me want to taste one.

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