Harvesting Peppers – Picking Purple Peppers

Purple Jalapeno Pepper

Harvesting peppers has started with a bang this Summer 2020 season.  I’ve harvested a few in the past couple of weeks, but now the peppers have started growing in earnest.  And picking my purple peppers looks to be next on the agenda!

Purple Jalapeno Pepper

Jalapenos are among the easiest peppers to grow (at least for me).  Although I am growing two types of jalapenos this year (Purple Jalapeno and Tricked You), it’s the Purple Jalapeno chili pepper that is clearly leading the way.

It’s June 26th and I’ve picked about five jalapenos from the plant, and I think I have at least 10 more peppers waiting to be harvested.  The plant is only about 20 inches tall, and it just keeps flowering and setting fruit with abandon.  I am seriously glad that I only planted one of these, because it will provide a ton before the fall frosts show up.

I’m growing Purple Jalapeno in a 3-gallon fabric pot.  I’m trying to remember to give my peppers a light fertilizer feeding every other week (since they are in containers) but I probably missed a week or two.  In other words — no special treatment.

Purple Jalapeno is an open pollinated pepper variety.  I can save seeds from one of the peppers, and I’ll get more of the same next year.

Buena Mulata Peppers

Buena Mulata Peppers

Buena Mulata is a cayenne-type chile pepper that, if possible, is even more prolific than Purple Jalapeno!  The plant is only about 18 inches tall and I’ve picked about seven chili peppers so far.  I easily have 15 more waiting on the plant!

I’ll pick a few more soon (just to keep the peppers coming), but I want to leave some on the plant for a bit to ripen to red.  I decided to grow Buena Mulata for the chili peppers, but this variety can very easily double as an ornamental pepper plant.

Just like Purple Jalapeno, Buena Mulata is open-pollinated and is growing in a 3-gallon fabric pot.  For that matter, they are actually growing side-by-side.  😀

Picking Purple Peppers

I started picking purple peppers early this month (June).  To be honest, the peppers have not been very spicy yet.  Why not?

Part of the reason is that it hasn’t been that warm yet here in East Tennessee.  While we’ve had one or two days around 90 so far, most of the days have been in the mid 80s.  We had a cool April and May, so the peppers haven’t had the opportunity to “chile up” and get spicy.  But, as we get more into the hotter days of summer, the peppers will start turning their own heat up.

In addition, as they ripen to their final color (in both cases the color is red), the hotter they become.

I’ll be doing a harvest video soon, with not only these two chile pepper varieties but also some others.  I’ll post the link here as soon as I have it posted.

Meanwhile, feel free to wander around the site and enjoy the info (and the peppers).  See you soon!

 

Pepper Garden Walk-Through Video – June 2020

A pepper garden walk-though and tour is what I have for you today.  I thought you might like to see my container garden full of pepper plants — and some peppers as well!  Growing peppers is a whole lot of fun, and I enjoy growing all kinds of different peppers.  You’ll even see some peppers that I grew from seeds which I harvested from a grocery store pepper!

Growing Peppers in Containers

I grow all my peppers in containers.  For one, the soil here in my Tennessee zone 7A yard is hard clay and rocky — I literally have to dig holes for plants with a pick axe!  While I have planted a few things in the ground, they have mostly been perennials.

My yard is also sun-challenged (i.e. I don’t have any spots with all-day sun).  The trees that I loved when we moved in end up shading my yard way too much.  (I’ll do a video and post about growing peppers and other veggies when you don’t have at least 6 hours a day of sun, and will link it here when it’s up.)

Anyway, containers allow me to move the plants around if I need to.  Some of the peppers seem to do OK with the semi-shade, while others most definitely need as much sun as I can give them.  Growing peppers in containers gives me the most options.

Plus, as the sun angle changes during the year, I can move the container peppers as needed in order to follow the sun.

Enough about growing peppers in containers — on to the pepper garden tour and walk-through!

Pepper Garden Tour and Walk Through

I shot this video on June 14, 2020.  I am going to try and do a garden tour every couple of weeks throughout the pepper-growing season, so you can see what the garden looks like, and the kind of harvests I get.

Peppers you will see in this pepper garden tour are:

  • NuMex Suave Orange
  • Buena Mulata
  • Tricked You Jalapeno
  • Grocery Store Peppers
  • Bolivian Rainbow
  • Sweet Banana
  • Purple Jalapeno
  • Super Heavyweight Hybrid
  • Cascabela

Wait until you see Buena Mulata — it astounds me how many peppers I have on that plant, so early in the season!

So, here we go with the pepper garden tour — I hope you enjoy it!

 

Planting Grocery Store Bell Pepper Seeds

Planting grocery store bell peppers – can you do it?  Sometimes you taste a bell pepper from the grocery store and it tastes so delicious, so why not save seeds?  You can, with some caveats to consider — let’s talk about it.

Saving Seeds from Grocery Store Peppers

Saving Grocery Store Bell Pepper Seeds

The very first thing to know if that you have to save the seeds from a ripe pepper — yellow, orange, red, etc.  Green peppers are actually immature fruits, so don’t bother trying them (unless you are up for a challenge, LOL).

The next thing is to know that there is a very good chance that the pepper you bought is a hybrid.  Hybrid peppers usually don’t breed true (unless the parents are very similar), so you may end up surprised with the fruits that grow.  (Please don’t confuse the term “hybrid” with “GMO”; they are not the same thing.)

Finally, you may have a low germination rate, due to various circumstances, so plant more seeds than you think you will need.  If they all sprout, great!  It’s easier to get rid of the weaker plants, than it is to wait and wait and your seed doesn’t sprout.

Planting Grocery Store Bell Pepper Seeds

Now comes the fun part; saving those seeds and planting them!  Here are the steps:

  • Cut open your pepper and remove the seeds with your fingers.  It’s easiest to do this over a paper plate or paper towl.
  • Once the seeds are all out, let them dry out some on the paper plate or on a paper towel.  If you’re in a dry climate, 1 day may be fine.  In a more humid environment, plan on several days.
  • Once the seeds are dry, take a look at them carefully.  Discard any seeds which are dark, or which seem misshapen.
  • Using your favorite seed starting medium, plant your pepper seeds.
  • Water in the seeds well, but don’t leave them in a puddle of water.
  • Remember to cover your container with a plastic dome, plastic wrap, sandwich bag or the like.  Don’t make it airtight; you just want the container to keep some of the moisture in.
  • If you have a seed germination mat, please use it; peppers really like to have bottom heat for germinating!
  • Check your container every few days; if it seems dry, mist the seed starting medium with some warm water.

Peppers usually take between 5 days to 2 weeks to sprout, depending on the environment and the pepper itself.  Don’t give up until it’s been 3+ weeks and no sign of germination.  By planting extra seeds, you raise the chances of getting at least one to sprout!

(Note: If you are trying to germinate a habanero or other really hot pepper, they may take 4 weeks to germinate — don’t give up on them until 5+ weeks.)

You don’t need to put your seeds under a light for them to germinate, but once they do, move the seeds to a sunny windowsill or under a plant grow light.  And once your weather gets warm enough (70+ degrees days, no lower than 55 degree nights) you can plant them outside.  Here are some more tips on growing bell peppers.

Peppers grow well in containers (which is how I grow mine these days).  I usually will plant 1 pepper in a 3-gallon container, or two plants in a 5-gallon container.   You can obviously also plant them in the ground.

Set the peppers in an area where they get at least 6 hours of direct sun a day.

Now because you have no idea as to what pepper variety your seeds came from, it’s hard to know how long it will take your seedling to go from planting out until you have some “green ripe” peppers, much less fully ripe (red, orange, yellow, etc.).  And again, likely the pepper you saved seeds from was a hybrid, so you won’t know exactly what your pepper will end up like until it produces the fruit.

Have fun growing your grocery store pepper plants!