Urban Garden Peppers

Pepper are beautiful, a rainbow of yellows, reds, greens and purples can brighten any garden.

urban garden peppers

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Nutrition

The available nutrients in peppers changes with the color.

Green peppers are rich in folate and vitamin K.

Red peppers are a vitamin C powerhouses, with one cup giving you over 100 percent of your daily need, an added boost comes from lycopene, beta –carotene and para-coumaric acid (those are good things)!

Eating

For maximum flavor eat right away, slices of raw sweet pepper with dip is delicious. Sweet pepper brightens a salad, central American dishes often feature peppers, as do Indian curries, pepper are a key ingredient in chilies.

Storage

DO NOT store in the refrigerator, peppers are a warm weather fruits and will start breaking down quickly in cold conditions.

Green peppers will continue to ripen for several days after harvest.

Green peppers will last longest.

Getting started

Pepper do best when started indoors, and are helped by a good growing head start of 6 to 9 weeks before the last frost.

Sow ¼” in potting mix.

Peppers like heat, and often will not sprout unless temperatures are 75- 90f to create these conditions, use a heating mat.

Planting

Planting

Plant peppers 12” to 14” apart, in sandy loam soil that drains well and has lots of organic matter.

Soil that has been amended with compost is best.

Providing full sun is a must.

Mulch around peppers to keep weeds down.

Planting tip

Matches. When planting put a few matches under the plant, matches contain sulfur which lowers PH. Peppers, like slightly acidic soil. Cover the matches with 2” of soil. Before planting the pepper plant on top of them.

Companion planting

Peppers will thrive when planted near tomatoes, parsley, basil and carrots.  Peppers will wither if they are  planted near fennel or kohlrabi.

Growing

Growing

Peppers need plenty of water, and really good drainage, they will shrivel if they stay damp. Make sure the soil you plant them in can drain!

Avoid over feeding!

Peppers often get over fertilized by well meaning gardeners. They should hardly ever be augmented with fertilizers, a small amount (no more than a teaspoon) when they are blossoming will help sped up the growing process.

Keep in mind

Cold weather is hard on peppers, a cold week during flowering will cause the flowers to fall off.

Harvesting

Leave a pepper on the plant and it will turn red (yellow, orange purple)!

Often people pick peppers before they have enough time to change color.

Harvesting early will increase the productivity of your plants, it also will let you sample a different flavor profile.

Tradition

Peppers originated in central America starting in 7500 BC they were domesticated over 6000 years ago and are thought to be one of the first cultivated plants in the Americas.

Christopher Columbus gave the pepper its common name after associating it with the spice.

Columbus brought peppers back east where they spread through the developed world like a viral video.

The pepper didn’t arrive in North America until early European colonists brought them back across the Atlantic.

Family

Peppers or Capsicum cultivars are a member of the night shade family, related to eggplant, and tomato.