When to Pick a Peck of Peppers?

This year is my first attempt in gardening, and also my attempt to get to know the soil in our yard. The P.O. (Previous Owner) fenced in an area (at least 20′ x 20′) behind the garage and filled it with thousands of river rock, several inches in diameter. Thank you, P.O.

The Scottie Puppy doesn’t much care for the rocks, but loves traipsing around in there, so we have slowly been removing the rocks (Weird Craigslist people, neighbors, relocating them in the yard) and planting grass seed. I’d say we have 1/3 of the way to go. Which will have to wait until October if this 90-degree crap keeps up.

I experimented with planting some veggies and flowers along the East fenceline, thinking they’d get the most sun. Then I discovered there is a frickin’ Walnut tree growing in a neighboring yard. The pepper plants are doing fine, but I might fill the entire area with grass seed, and plant only flowers back there next year. And maybe strawberries, b/c my “test” strawberry plant is doing great.

 I bought one red bell pepper plant, which I am convinced is sterile. It keeps flowering but will NOT create a pepper for the life of it. My kind neighbor gave me two additional pepper plants – one mild/sweet, and one hot. I of course didn’t label them (he didn’t label them either), so I’m not quite sure which is which, and I’m a wuss for hot stuff, so I will make Andy test them.

My question is this: When do I know when it’s time to pick the non-bell peppers? I cut two long green peppers off yesterday, but I read that the longer they stay on the plant the more likely they are to change color.  I also read that you want to cut the peppers off at a key time period so the plant doesn’t stop producing other baby peppers. Sigh.

Can anyone help?

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2 responses to “When to Pick a Peck of Peppers?

  1. I should clarify what I mean by “peppers turn colors.” I read that if it’s a yellow, red, etc pepper – it has to stay on the plant longer to turn that shade. You can still PICK those when they are green, but the flavor won’t be what it is intended to be if it were left to turn that shade. I’m so confusing.

  2. I know that if you leave your peppers on the plant they will change colors and flavor develops a little more. These articles talk a little bit about it.

    http://westsidegardener.com/articles/2004/mailbag_peppers.html

    http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=peppers

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