Pepper Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow, Cook, and Eat Garden Fresh Peppers

Your garden and kitchen guide to peppers

Introductory Facts and Trivia

There are many different forms of pepper. One of the best peppers to plant is Capsicum, which comes from the Solanaceae plant family. This pepper originates in the Americas, and are now cultivated all over the world. As you know, they are used in a variety of dishes and cuisines in many cultures, and are a staple of a great kitchen. The bell pepper has a slightly different taste based on where it was grown, and the pepper’s properties might be subtly different even in the nutritional standpoint. Nevertheless, it is one of the most popular edible vegetables in the world.

Grow Your Own

The UCANR page gives a wide variety of peppers coming from many different countries in the world. The incredible thing is that they able to grow in your garden.

It is best to begin planting your pepper seeds in mid to late April or June. When the temperature is consistently warm during the night, it will give you the best results for your crops. Make sure you know exactly which peppers you are planting, as some are better picked at different colors. Sometimes, it is better to pick certain peppers when it is green. However, other peppers will taste better when they become red, yellow, or orange.

Remember to water the seeds frequently, and every other day if they’re in the sun. Check the seedlings for snails or aphids, and hand-pick the snails. The aphids can be washed off with a hard spray of water. Use insecticidal soap if this does not work. Use nitrogen for leaf growth and sun protection of the pods. Fertilize the plants about once a month.

For an in-depth step-by-step process on growing your peppers, UCANR has great tips for you to use that will have you using the best peppers for your culinary life.

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Cooking Tips

Peppers can be used to add more flavor and a tangy taste to your meals. However, there are also some meals that use bell peppers as a major ingredient. For example, in this Stuffed Peppers recipe provided by the Kitchn, you can cut open a bell pepper and use it to stuff meat, cream, and a variety of other things for an unorthodox but delicious appetizer. Seasoning the inside of the pepper with salt and black pepper will add even more of a mouth-watering taste.

Nutrition and Health Benefits

Peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin A and C, and they also include potassium, folic acid and fiber. The red peppers generally have a higher concentration of Vitamin C than the green peppers. It can also help slightly with weight loss. Peppers contain capsaicin, which can boost one’s metabolism. This leads to more weight loss, though the effects are not extremely drastic.

Learn more about plants and what to grow in your area with the Giving Garden app. Giving Garden helps you grow, share and eat food locally. Available on iOS, Android and the web.  Find your local farmers market, grow your own food and share food to strengthen your local food system. If you have extra produce, we encourage you to post it on our mobile apps and let your friends and neighbors know. Let’s combat food waste together! Have suggestions on features or need assistance, email support@givinggarden.io 

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This blog post was written by Sanjay Reddy, a Biological Science and Professional Writing intern at Giving Garden. Sanjay is very passionate about plant and environmental science and is experienced in scientific research and writing for various fields. Connect with him on LinkedIn to see his current projects.

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