Our greenhouse, the Veggie House is open for the season soon! Why not plan to visit our Farmers Market and pop into the Greenhouse while you're here* to see all of our veggie starters and herbs.
Let's take a look at Bell Peppers, and growing and harvesting these veggies that are a tasty source of Vitamin C.
Pepper plants love the sun, so pick a site with full sun (a minimum of 6-8 hours a day) to make sure your plants produce the largest and healthiest fruit. The soil should be well draining and rich in organic matter - our Garden Mix turned into the soil before planting can help with that! - and a consistency between sandy and loamy is perfect.
Container gardening can also work well for peppers; just make sure that the containers are large enough to accommodate the peppers' many roots! Pots that are at least 12 inches wide and 18 inches deep are a good place to start.
If planting in a previously-used raised bed or site, be mindful of disease that can spread between veggie plants. Avoid growing your peppers anywhere you've recently planted tomatoes, potatoes or eggplants.
Keep your plants evenly moist and water 1-2 inches a week, avoiding overhead watering to prevent the spread of disease. After the first fruits come in, fertilize your plants and continue to keep the beds weeded (taking care not to disturb the roots). If the plants are bending with the weight of the fruit, you may need to stake or cage them to help provide extra support.
Once the peppers have reached a desired color and size, they are ready to harvest. When they are fully ripe and in full color is when they are sweetest and most full of Vitamin C! Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut them cleanly off the plant.
Refrigerate in plastic bags and they will keep for up to 10 days after being picked. You can also pickle or freeze them to enjoy them for longer.
Check out these bell pepper recipes and share your own with us on our Facebook page!
*While stocks last. Our Veggie Starters sell fast, and so we cannot guarantee availability of any one item.
*When visiting Rulfs, including our greenhouses, please follow social distancing guidelines of leaving 6 feet between you and others, and wear a mask to reduce the risk to yours and other households. Thank you in advance!