While it will probably be at least 1 month (hopefully more!) before we get a killing freeze, we have a pretty good idea as to what has done well for most of the spring and summer vegetables in the garden. Over the next several weeks, I will be sharing what varieties I thought did particularly well, which varieties I would give another try, and which varieties I think are duds.
To start off, let’s take a look at the sweet pepper end of the Pepper Garden.
‘Goddess’ Sweet Banana Pepper.
This variety had early and heavy yields of good quality, sweet banana peppers. All three plants were healthy, prolific, and continue to yield well now. They have slowed down some, but they are still setting more fruit. A great choice for your garden!
‘Tangerine Dream’ snack pepper
This variety didn’t impress me early in the season, but it has come on strong late. It is a very compact plant and really is quite prolific. It would be a great choice for a container or small garden without much space. I find that it has a very slight bitter flavor to the skin, making it less tasty than the ‘Lunchbox Orange’ snack pepper. But, with compact plants and higher yields, it seems like a good alternate choice for a home gardener.
‘Escamillo’ yellow bullhorn pepper
This colored sweet pepper had a very good yield as well, and the flavor was good. The plants were healthy, although weighed down by the fruit and got a bit tipsy in the wind. We harvested a big bunch of ripe peppers a couple weeks ago, but there are more set for later.
‘Great Stuff’ bell pepper
This sweet pepper managed to avoid two of the biggest pitfalls that I see with bell peppers: fruit size and yield. The fruit size on this pepper was consistently larger to extra large. The yield has also been steady and ranged from acceptable to very good for a bell pepper. That means it wasn’t nearly as prolific as the banana peppers, but was definitely better than most bell peppers. It did have some trouble with falling over and getting sunscald, but we still got lots of good peppers.
Worth Another Try, Sometime:
‘Red Knight’ bell pepper
I don’t even have a good picture of this one. That would be one sign that it wasn’t particularly spectacular. The plants weren’t as vigorous as some of the others, nor was the fruit very prolific. The fruit has nice thick walls, which is nice. But when there isn’t much of it, it’s a problem. Still, I know that some of the Master Gardeners have had really good results with this one, hence not bumping it further down the list.
‘Purple Star’ bell pepper
This pepper has been a bit confounding. It has yielded relatively well, but the peppers take forever to reach full size, and a number of them stay fairly small. It’s such a neat color – purple first, then streaked with orange, before finally turning a dark orange-red color. Some of the peppers are nicely sized though. The plants again have been a bit leggy and floppy in the wind, but not more than any others. Again, lots of sunscald on this one, but it was probably more a factor of the plants falling over than lack of foliage cover.
Those are my thoughts on this year’s sweet pepper varieties. Have you grown any peppers this year that were really good?