For those who have already experienced the pleasure of tasting a freshly grown bell pepper, you’ll know that there’s truly nothing tastier.
They’re very much worth growing yourself, as they always have a far fresher and more flavorful taste than the ones purchased in the supermarket.
They’re also not incredibly hard to grow either once you’ve got the method down, and are a good option for novice gardeners.
Nonetheless, if this is your first time growing bell peppers in your own garden, you probably have a whole host of questions that you’d like answered.
One of the key ones is probably when can you pick them after they’ve grown? How are you supposed to tell whether or not a bell pepper is adequately ripe(see also: How To Tell If A Mango Is Ripe)? If you’ve found yourself pondering these questions, then don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Below, we’re going to be taking a closer look at bell peppers at each stage of the growth process, giving you some tips and tricks along the way. This handy guide will tell you everything that you need to know.
To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look.
How Can I Tell If My Bell Peppers Are Ready To Be Picked?
So, why not just jump straight in and answer the titular question? How can you tell if your bell peppers are ready to be picked? Well, first of all, there are a few things that you’re going to need to look out for.
The first thing you need to pay attention to in regards to your bell pepper’s ripeness is the color. Paying close attention to the exact color of the pepper can help you to determine whether it’s ready to be picked or not.
But what exactly is the color supposed to look like? Well, in simple terms, it’s supposed to look like the color of the pepper when it’s fully formed.
During the growing process, your peppers will go through various stages, and for the most part, they’ll be green.
After they’ve fully ripened, you will notice that they’ll transform in color, and this can happen in patches at first. If you’re growing yellow peppers, for example, you might notice yellow blotches here and there.
This means that it’s not yet fully ripe, and you need to wait for the whole color to cover your peppers.
Some of you might be wondering how you’re supposed to tell whether a green bell pepper is ready to be picked or not. After all, this pepper is green throughout the whole growth process, so how are you meant to determine whether or not it’s ripe?
Well, there are a few things to look out for. The first thing you need to examine is the color of the pepper. A ripe green pepper will be a slightly different shade of green than an underripe one.
You’ll notice that when your bell pepper ripens, it turns into a dark green rather than a pale one.
As well as this, all ripe peppers will have a certain sheen to them that underdeveloped peppers won’t. They’ll have a glossiness that indicates that they’re ripe for the picking.
In addition to transforming in terms of color, you will also need to pay attention to the size of your bell pepper. This is true for bell peppers of all different colors when you’re trying to determine ripeness.
So, you can pretty much guarantee that your bell peppers are ready to be picked if they reach 3 – 8 inches long. This is the typical size that bell peppers tend to grow into.
What If I Don’t Intend To Eat My Bell Peppers Right Away?
Some of you might be wondering what you should do if you don’t want to eat your bell peppers straight after picking them. Won’t this mean that they’ll go bad sooner?
Well, there is some merit to picking your bell peppers when they’re still at a stage where they’re somewhat underripe, if you want to preserve them for longer.
Thankfully, the fruit continues to ripen after it’s been picked, so as long as you store the peppers properly, they’ll be good to eat.
We’d recommend that after you pick your peppers, that you place them in an airtight container and safely store them in your refrigerator.
You’ll notice that your bell peppers will begin to transform in terms of color, and will reach a stage of full maturity within around 1 week’s time.
In addition to this, there are a few other reasons why you should consider picking your fruit when they’re slightly underripe. One of the key reasons is that it can actually cause more peppers to grow in place of those you’ve harvested.
As well as this, the peppers that are still attached to the plant will have a better chance of growing even larger in size, because the plant’s energy isn’t being distributed amongst several different peppers anymore.
These are all things to consider when it comes to picking your peppers.
What To Avoid When Picking Your Bell Peppers
Now that we’ve taken a closer look at when you can pick your bell peppers so that they’re super ripe, we can move on to discuss what you should avoid.
The first mistake that people make is thinking that green peppers are essentially an underdeveloped version of their colored varieties.
Some people may plant red bell peppers, for example, then pick a few when they’re still green and underdeveloped so that they have a few green peppers too.
We’d like to point out that green bell peppers are very much their own thing, and aren’t merely underdeveloped versions of red, orange, or yellow peppers.
If you were to pick a bell pepper when it was still underripe, you would find yourself disappointed, as they’d be incredibly hard, as well as lacking in flavor.
You need to wait for the pepper to ripen fully first, or they can taste incredibly bland.
To make sure your green pepper is fully developed, follow the advice above and make sure that they’re a dark green in terms of color, and have reached their full size.
In addition to this, you want to make sure that you don’t leave it too late to pick your bell peppers. It’s true that the longer they stay on the plant, the sweeter they are to taste, but you can take this too far.
If bell peppers are left on a plant for too long, this can cause them to develop a disease called BER. You can determine whether or not your peppers have this disease simply by examining them visually.
You will see lots of dark little spots covering your pepper, and if left for long enough, you’ll find them covering the whole surface.
If you’ve merely found a few black spots on your pepper indicative of BER, then we’d urge you not to throw your peppers away.
It’s not considered to be poisonous to humans, and you can simply chop away the affected areas and continue enjoying your peppers.
So, if you want to avoid an under ripe or overripe pepper, you need to pay close attention to the color and size of the fruit in question.
How Do I Pick My Bell Peppers?
Some of you reading this article may be wondering whether or not there is a special method for picking your bell peppers from the vine.
Well, the answer is yes, there is a method that you should always seek to follow when picking your bell peppers which we’re going to be discussing below.
If you want to make sure that you’re harvesting your peppers properly without causing any damage to the plant itself, then you need to begin by making sure that you have a very sharp pair of scissors to work with.
In reality, we’d suggest that you invest in a good pair of garden shears, especially if you’re serious about your vocation.
After you’ve acquired the tools for the job, you can then go ahead and begin cutting off your bell peppers. We’d recommend that you cut them off at the stem, around an inch above the pepper itself.
In terms of when you should pick your bell peppers, we’d recommend doing so during the brightest point of the day.
You don’t want to do it too early in the morning, when the peppers have been shaded all day. Harvesting your peppers in full sunlight will help to ensure that they’re as sweet as possible to taste.
How Long Does Each Type Of Bell Pepper Take To Ripen?
Some of you reading this article might be wondering if different types of bell peppers take different amounts of time to ripen.
The simple answer to this question is yes, the length of time it takes for your bell peppers to ripen will depend on the specific variety that you’ve bought and planted.
So, for example, if you’re growing green bell peppers, these will be the first to ripen, and will transform into a dark green color when they’re ready. This will happen in approximately 60 days.
If you’re trying to grow yellow or red bell peppers, these take slightly longer, and you can expect these to be fully ripe after a total of 90 days.
If it’s purple bell peppers that you’re attempting to grow, then these will typically be ready after about 80 days in total.
Tips For Growing Bell Peppers
Now that we’ve taken a look at everything there is to know about ripening bell peppers, we can move on to discuss some useful tips and tricks for growing these delicious fruits in the first place.
For some help and advice, keep reading below.
- Be Careful When Watering – The first tip that we’d like to give you is to make sure you’re watering them adequately. If your peppers do not receive enough moisture, they will have a bitter taste after they’re fully developed. This means that you should aim to water them twice a day if the climate where you are is particularly hot. In addition, make sure that you’re giving them deep water, almost 2 inches into the soil.
- Mulch – You also want to make sure that you’re mulching your peppers adequately, and making sure that they have enough surrounding them to absorb the rays emanating from the sun. Simply using some plastic will be good enough for the job.
- Stake – You’ll want to make sure that on occasion, you’re stalking your bell peppers. This isn’t always deemed necessary, but it does guarantee that you’re keeping pests away that could prove harmful to your peppers.
- Keep Pests Away – This brings us to our next point. You always need to make sure that there aren’t any pests nearby that could be damaging your precious peppers. There are a few types of pests which are attracted to bell peppers, and these typically come from the beetle family. Don’t worry however, because you can purchase pesticides to help keep these at bay. Just make sure to check on a regular basis.
- Take Care Of Where You’re Planting Them – Make sure that when you’re first deciding where you’ll be growing your bell peppers, that you pick an area that gets plenty of sun. Unless you’re in an extremely hot climate, you’ll want to pick the spot in the garden that gets the most heat and sunlight.
How To Store My Peppers
Finally, when it comes to storing your peppers, you’ll want to make sure that you’re always keeping them safely in the refrigerator.
Make sure that the seal isn’t completely airtight so that they have some room to breathe. By doing this, you can ensure that your peppers will last for approximately 1 to 2 weeks.
You can also freeze your bell peppers to consume at a later date, simply by placing them in an airtight container. These will then continue to last for approximately 10 months after freezing.
To sum up, you’ll know that your peppers are ready to be picked when they’ve reached around 3 – 8 inches long in terms of size. As well as this, your peppers will be fully covered in their final color stage, be that green, red, orange, purple, or yellow.
We would recommend picking them when they’re slightly underripe however, just to make sure that they’ll stay fresher for longer.
We hope that this guide has been helpful for all reading, and happy harvest!
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