Whether you like them hot or sweet, there’s a perfect pepper for you. And it takes little effort to produce basket loads of these colorful summer jewels. They come in nearly every shade of the rainbow, including red, orange, yellow, green, and purple. The waxy-looking, showy fruit dangles from shrub-like plants in the heat of the summer and into the fall. They can brighten a flower border and look attractive in containers with herbs or low-growing annuals.
Pepper plants need at least six hours of sun and good soil. When first set out, transplants require thorough watering, but once established they are exceptional drought tolerant. Visit your local garden center or nursery for information on growing these delightful plants.
One of the most significant difficulties in growing peppers is trying to decide which ones to grow. Sweet peppers are delicious and can brighten up any summer dish. If you like the hot ones, be careful where you plant them. Small children find brightly colored fruit irresistible, and these peppers can burn their tender skin.
If you prefer to buy rather then grow, peppers peak in warm mouths, showing up in abundance in our local farmer’s markets, and grocery stores. Be sure to look for peppers that are firm, shiny, and smooth.
Here are a few tips for working with hot peppers:
- Wear disposable gloves, if possible, never touch your face or eyes while working with hot peppers: and always wash your hands intermediately after handling them.
- Store raw peppers in the freezer for up to six months by covering them in wax paper, and then wrapping in plastic wraps.
So go out and grow or buy yourself a peck of peppers.