Growing peppers

by Pippa Greenwood

Peppers taste fantastic, they're good for you, easy to grow and look attractive, especially when laden with fruit...

Freshly harvested peppersThe first really hard frost hit this morning. The garden was so white it almost looked as if it was covered with snow. It was gorgeous to look at but pretty miserable for some of the less hardy plants. But when I went into the greenhouse to grab some lunch (one of the benefits of working from home!) it was great to see the peppers still going strong.

Peppers taste fantastic, they're good for you, easy to grow and they look attractive, especially when laden with fruit. I've grown a selection this year, including a few stunning chillies and some of those lovely elongated, sweet peppers called 'Tasty Grill' (or 'Tasty Girl', as I've seen some specimens labelled). I've grown some of those thicker fleshed, sweet peppers, too. Fantastic with slices of home-grown garlic, 'Red Baron' onion and a dash of pesto, all grilled on a piece of ciabatta.

So here we are in early December, munching on one of the more exotic vegetable crops. I'm really pleased the peppers are still there, particularly as the greenhouse is unheated right now. I'll be there again shortly with a few drapes of fleece just in case more, harder frosts are on the way...

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Gardeners' World Web User 03/12/2009 at 12:38

I have a friend who's a vegetarian and in September she came over for a meal and I made her a ratatouille lasagne with some of the veggies I grow including sweet peppers. However in November the peppers started to rot on the plant in the greenhouse, I was waiting for them to turn red which is the only way we like them. We don't have heating in the greenhouse, but it is bubble wrapped. I usually open the door/vents for a little while each day, but November was so wet, I presume damp was the problem?

Gardeners' World Web User 03/12/2009 at 19:33

For most of the UK, peppers will not grow any more unless you have a heated greenhouse. It is too cold, too damp and not enough light. I cut the last of my peppers in November and put them an a sunny windowsill where they ripen in a few weeks.

Gardeners' World Web User 07/12/2009 at 15:46

I have grown some hot and spicy chilly peppers and they look very healthy with a shiny red skin but they dont taste at all hot or spicy any suggestions as to what I have wrong regards Mick

Gardeners' World Web User 08/12/2009 at 15:30

I have been producing many organic foods for years now and am trying to help inspire others to do the same, I grow a huge amount of fruit, vegetables and herbs Iand produce my own meats. If you would like to know more about producing your own organic food then visit my website

Gardeners' World Web User 10/12/2009 at 10:07

Dahlia Lover, I'm sure it is not only damp, but poor air circulation...because as soon as the weather turns icy, what do we do but wrap up with bubble polythene and shut down vents and windows. Poor air circulation in damp conditions encourages Botrytis and also other rots and moulds. Try to open vents and windows etc at every opportunity! Micky The heat of hot peppers varies enormously, take a look in the seed catalogues and you'll see that many now offer a sort-of heat rating, this might help you to select one that'll suit your taste buds!

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