Pepper Update

Patiently I wait for this beautiful fruit! So slow to grow… maybe it is the waiting that makes them taste so sweet.

My goal this year was to be a better succession planter so that vegetables get spread out throughout the year. In prior years I would get a big harvest all at once and then I would have to deal with preserving it. I wanted to try to avoid that. But because peppers grow so slowly and continue to produce fruit until the first frost, they may not be the best candidate for succession planting. I suppose I will know for sure at the first frost in October.

Phase 1:

I organized the planting into 3 phases. The peppers below I stared from seed on Feb 7th and transplanted end of April. This was probably perfect timing. They are now getting quite large with significant fruit growing. To the right are yellow Flavorburst I got from Johnny’s Seeds and grew last year. They are delicious! These peppers start with a lighter green before turning yellow, and don’t taste good as a green pepper. To the left are red Jupiter peppers from Baker’s Creek. In the front of the bed is a simply fantastic row of basil that is doing incredibly well.

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Below is a close up of my young Jupiter red peppers. When they are a little more mature, they probably could be harvested and used as green peppers, if so desired.

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Phase 2:

The next phase of peppers was started on Feb 15th, which really was only one week later than phase 1. I transplanted these later than phase 1, though. I wish I kept a better journal because I am not sure how much delay there was. It was  maybe 2 weeks, maybe more. They are considerably smaller with less fruit. To the right are more Jupiter red peppers, and to the left are orange Horizon peppers from Baker’s Creek.  In the foreground is the latest succession of Cherokee Wax beans, replacing the spring peas there.

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Some baby orange Horizon peppers. There definitely is a difference in delaying transplanting. Getting them into their new home should be as soon as possible after the danger of frost.

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Phase 3:

To be honest, I don’t know when these Jupiter and Horizon peppers were started. Probably mid-March when I was busy. And they were not treated so well by me. I kept them in 2″ soil blocks too long before transplanting. They were transferred to the garden about mid-May and their growth has really been stunted but are growing well now.

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My poblano peppers were started with the phase 3 peppers, but were transplanted around the same time as the phase 2 peppers. The are much taller and developed, are flowering, but have no fruit. One thing I love about this bed is the addition of the orange Calendula flowers. Sorry, it is a little blurry.

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Current Conclusion

This probably a “duh” statement, but the quicker I can get the transplants into the ground, the better. Again, something may change my mind through the rest of the season, but next year I am going to start the seeds  and transplant the plants at the same time and just deal with whatever excess crop of peppers comes about. If maximizing produce is my goal, this is the way to go.

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