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Sweet Peppers

Peppers ought to be experienced right off the vine after harvest. Best raised as transplants sown indoors 6 to 8 weeks prior to setting out in full sun after the last spring frost date, they like rich soil and need regular additional fertilizing. They need at least 10 weeks of hot weather to produce well and should be enjoyed soon after harvest. To protect Peppers from sunburn, pinch plants to encourage leaf growth. Keep Peppers picked to sustain production levels. At the height of harvest, hold a roast. Place picked Peppers on a hot grill, turning them until all sides are charred and blistered black. Put them in a paper bag on a tray and close the bag tight so the steam detaches the skins. Once cool, remove the skins, stems, membrane and seeds, and freeze in airtight plastic bags for use through the winter. (See Hot Chile Peppers for Cajun Bell Peppers, which earned a spot in the Hot Chile Peppers with a 100 to 1,000 Scoville heat rating.) Deer resistant.

Average seed life: 2 years.

Diamond Bell Pepper (white)

Diamond Bell Pepper Diamond Bell Pepper Diamond Bell Pepper
75 days. Be the first on your block to grow this tawny-alabaster, American-bred beauty. Rarely seen in even the finest of produce markets, its medium-thick fleshed, blocky fruits have a mouth-watering, rich flavor and a sweet, juicy crunch. Borne on sturdy, prolific, 2' high plants, Diamond remains translucent ivory for quite a while before gradually maturing to pale yellow and, finally, scarlet-red. Harvest while lustrous alabaster, and julienne it in combination with green, red, orange and yellow Peppers with thinly sliced Red Onions for a sweet rainbow salad dressed with a citrus vinaigrette. Or, saute the colorful combination of julienned Peppers in a little olive oil until crisp-tender; then, add a bit of your favorite vinegar, lemon zest and a touch of herbs as a tasty and colorful layer over open-faced, grilled Eggplant and goat cheese stacked baguettes. (OP.)

One packet of about 20 seeds
Catalog #3515
  • Buy 10 for $3.45 each and save 11%
  • Buy 50 for $2.90 each and save 25%

Availability: In stock


Gardening Tips

Pepper Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
Row Spacing:18”-24”
Plant Spacing:18”
Days to Germination: 8-18 days
Germination Temperature:70°-85°F

Start Peppers 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date in your area. Sow 3 to 5 seeds per individual pot of starter mix or singly in peat pots. Provide light, even moisture and ventilation. Bottom warmth hastens germination. Seedlings prefer 70° to 85°F during the day with slightly cooler temperatures at night. Individually transplant the strongest seedlings to 4" pots and fertilize weekly. Do not allow seedlings to become root-bound. Amend a well-draining, sunny site with organic fertilizer, compost and/or well-rotted manure. When night temperatures are reliably above 55°F, expose the Pepper plants to sun gradually over 1 week, then transplant. Water well and fertilize as needed with manure tea, kelp or fish emulsion. Mulch soil around Peppers if soil dries out too quickly. Harvest carefully, using a sharp blade, leaving 1⁄2" of stem, when Peppers reach desired size and color.

Turn Up the Heat
From start to finish, Peppers are a crop that like it hot. Unless your climate is truly steamy, you must start them ahead in a warm spot, on a heat mat if possible, or on top of the refrigerator or kitchen cabinet. Only after warm weather has settled in should you set them out--in the sunniest part of the garden.

Delayed Gratification
For a greater overall Pepper yield, remove any blossoms that appear on your young transplants up until the time you set them in the ground. You'll miss out on the earliest fruits, but by letting the plant put its energy into its growth rather than early fruits, you'll get more productive plants later on.

The Look for Late Summer
Most of us grow Peppers because they taste so great, but I find them equally useful as an ornamental. If I want to add some edibles to a dooryard plot, I might not pick a sprawling cuke or Tomato vine, but I’d pick a few Pepper plants, with their healthy green foliage, tidy upright habit and colorful fruits. There they are, quietly green but growing steadily, until all of a sudden the plants are as showy as rosebushes. Though red ones are always my favorites, the yellow ones are gorgeous too. And they appear at a time in the season when many flowering plants have passed their prime--especially herbs whose flowering time is usually spring and early summer. Try some in pots on the terrace, too.

Deer Resistant Seed Varieties