PEPPERS

While peppers can be eaten green, they're best left on the plant to turn to their mature color for better taste and nutrition.

Peppers like it warm but can wilt easily in very hot summers like we have here in central Virginia. Try planting them in a spot where they're shaded in the afternoon.

When transplanting peppers, pinch off all but the top leaves. Dig a hole deep enough that only the top leaves are left above the ground. Add water and a teaspoon of cinnamon to the hole then lower the plant and pack the dirt in tightly.

Old timers swear by matches to grow great peppers. Some use just 1 or 2, some say to use a couple of match books into the hole fanned out because the plants will love the sulfur. Sulfur is also a great Fungicide and kills harmful bacteria.

If you're lucky enough to have rabbit manure, add some to the planting hole as well.

Peppers do not like too much nitrogen so go easy on manure fertilizers.

If you're lucky enough to get the plants to thrive then they'll need support so the stems don't break under the weight of heavy fruits. Growing them together helps them support and shade each other.

Pepper plants benefit from mulch to keep the soil moist.

COMPANION PLANTS
Beans, tomatoes, okra, geraniums, petunias, sunflowers, onions, basil.

PRESERVING
I chop bell peppers when harvests are at their peak and pack them into small bags. This can give me fresh peppers to use all winter long.

We also dry a variety of sweet and hot peppers in the deydrator then chop them in the blender to make our own spicy pepper topping.
 

Photo courtesy of vegetablegardener.com