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Green peppers

    • Soil should be well drained, but be sure to maintain adequate moisture either with mulch or plastic covering. Soil temperature should be at least 65°F, as peppers will not survive transplanting at temps any colder. Northern gardeners can warm up the soil by covering it with black plastic.
    • Begin to harden off plants about 10 days before transplanting outdoors.
    • Once nighttime temperatures reach at least 60°F (16°C), transplant seedlings outdoors, spacing them 18 to 24 inches apart.
    • Plant the transplants no deeper than they were already; otherwise, the stems may become susceptible to rot.
    • Water one to two inches per week, but remember that peppers are extremely heat sensitive. If you live in a warm or desert climate, watering everyday may be necessary.
    • Fertilize after the first fruit set.
    • Weed carefully around plants to avoid disturbing roots.
    • If necessary, support plants with cages or stakes to prevent bending. Try commercially available cone-shaped wire tomato cages. They may not be ideal for tomatoes, but they are just the thing for peppers. Or, build your own garden supports.


    • Harvest as soon as peppers reach desired size or color.
    • The longer bell peppers stay on the plant, the more sweet they become and the greater their vitamin C content.
    • Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut peppers clean off the plant for the least damage.

    • Peppers can be refrigerated in plastic bags for up to 10 days after harvesting.
    • Bell peppers can be dried, and we would recommend a conventional oven for the task. Wash, core, and seed the peppers. Cut into one-half-inch strips. Steam for about ten minutes, then spread on a baking sheet. Dry in the oven at 140°F (or the lowest possible temperature) until brittle, stirring occasionally and switching tray positions. When the peppers are cool, put them in bags or storage containers.
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