I love red peppers, and the past decade I have been on a quest to find the sweetest red pepper that would turn “red” in our garden before frost hit. Our Midwest weather is not the best for peppers. Maybe it works out for those that live in a very sunny location without buildings or large trees shading out your garden. My Urban Potager is not a pepper growing paradise. I have been trialing red peppers for several years and finally saved seed last year to grow out my own red peppers.
I have finally achieved my goal this summer! I have to admit it has been a bit of luck for our urban lot does not provide consistent full sun which a pepper plant needs. I do get afternoon sun but not all day. I am thrilled that I got a pile of red peppers this year and they were coming right up till the end of last week. My plants were covered with blossoms. Oh, what I could grow if I lived in the land of opportunity; you know where full sunlight and warm weather graces your home 12 months a year! I would not have to buy red peppers and pay $4.99 a pound from November until June. UGH!!!!
Back a few years ago, I crossed my Jimmy Nardellos and Lipstick which I grew out each alone in the garden a few summers. This year, I have my very own red pepper designed for my climate and taste buds. The most essential trait this year was an early red color.
I also made sure they tasted right and were a pretty red pepper. I have to admit some were a bit small but not too many were long and skinny as our first Nardello peppers were back in 2012.
I had piles of these lovely red peppers from just a dozen plants. I also used my new green fertilizer comfrey which I grow now to help with the caretaking of our edible food. Yep, I make comfrey tea to feed these peppers, and they loved it this year. I mixed in some compost, comfrey tea, rock dust earlier in the year and will layer the beds with leaf litter this fall. It seems to be helping for this is an abundant crop which I usually don’t see for we started with a city lot that had a lot of obstacles. Build the soil, and your food will grow!
I was eating these peppers fresh from the garden each day. I felt spoiled!I don’t mind green peppers, but there is nothing like a freshly picked red pepper from the garden.
This pile was my late August harvest. I saved seed from the earlier red peppers and will grow them out again next year. I did have some “off” peppers that were not as pretty or a bit small which were not traits I was looking for in my peppers. The most important characteristic was flavor, but most of them meant that criteria. I can’t wait to see how many I get next year. I do believe when you save seed from your own plants which will be acclimated to your growing area, you will get excellent tasting nutrient dense food.
I recommend saving seed for once you find the perfect vegetable pass it on to others. If you want to keep seed make sure you only grow one type at a time. I live in an urban area, and it is a bit of luck since you never know what someone is growing down the street. I am going to see if I get some beautiful red peppers next year, too. Most of my neighbors don’t grow food, so I have been getting the same red peppers each year. Love them Peppers!!!!