Re: Pepper fruit size

On Thu, 17 Jul 2003 14:19:18 GMT, troikette

No no. They will NOT ripen off the plant like tomatoes. Anyway, tomatoes are much better left on the vines to ripen unless you are expecting a killing frost.

Peppers will eventually ripen on the plant, and turn color to red, or yellow, or orange - whatever. They are much sweeter and nicer then.
However, sometimes they will mold or incur insect damage before they ripen. And your season may not be long enough for them to ripen on the plant. (I don't know where you are, although I assume the UK from your address.)
They are often picked green and can be eaten green as well. I wait until green peppers are about the size of the ones in supermarkets before I pick them green. I leave some on the plants to ripen.
I'm hedging my bets this way: picking some green and leaving some to ripen.
Pat
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troikette wrote:

The indicator that I go by is to gently hold one of the peppers and lift it slightly, angling toward the curve of the stem. If it breaks easily, it is ready, if it doesn't, it's not. However, some peppers I leave longer [some jalapenos to let them turn red, bell peppers same thing].
Andrew
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Frogleg wrote:

I should have emphasized that the lifting is very gentle, not even enough to disturb anything but the stem of the pepper.
I rarely have ever cut peppers off [not in memory, anyway] and have been growing them for more than a dozen years. I'm surprised to hear that they are clipped off as part of the normal harvestig in gardens.
Learn something new everyday.
Andrew
Andrew
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On Thu, 17 Jul 2003 10:14:03 -0400, Pat Meadows

Maybe I'm wrong about this - but I've certainly never seen a pepper ripen off the vine. I've been growing them many years, and buying them many years too, and it's never, ever happened in my experience.
Pat
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Pat Meadows wrote: <snip>

Nope, you're not wrong. If picked green that's how they're gonna stay until the finally go soft and bad.
Like others here, I use 'em green but do leave some on hoping that they ripen before a disease or some animal get 'em. Haven't had a whole lot of luck with that though.
--
Steve


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On Thu, 17 Jul 2003 12:36:49 -0400, Steve Calvin

Thanks. I didn't think I was wrong, really....

I don't either, usually something gets them before they are ripe. We're building a hoophouse this summer - next summer, I'll be growing my tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants in the hoophouse and hopefully have better results with them all. It gets pretty cool here at night, even in summer - it's not uncommon for night temperatures to be in the 40s.
Pat
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Thanks everyone, much appreciated.
BTW the advice to take them off and let them ripen off the plant came from the BBC gardening website so shows what they know! -- troikette ------------------------------------------------------------------------ posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
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On Fri, 18 Jul 2003 10:19:25 GMT, troikette

I don't get the impression that peppers are nearly as much used in the UK as in the USA. This may be because they're such heat-lovers, or maybe because Mexican food isn't as popular in the UK. Don't know.
BTW (and somewhat off-topic) my husband's a Brit, he came to the USA six years ago. It's really hard for anyone British who has not lived here to understand how different our climate is, or how variable it is from day to day (sometimes from hour to hour!). We have a lot of extremes that the British Isles are spared.
I really envy the Brits their equable climate: I think gardeners there are very fortunate (on the whole) and probably don't even know it. Also your longer hours of sunshine in the summer, because you're so far north. This would help a great deal. (We live in Pennsylvania in the northeastern USA now - at about the same latitude as Madrid or Rome, although our climate is nothing whatsoever like theirs.)
I lived in Edmonton (Canada) for two years, about on the same latitude as northern England, and everything grew WONDERFULLY there with the long daylight in summer (except things which required a lot of heat). The flowers were brighter, more intense colors than they are further south - the difference was very noticeable. The vegetables got larger than they do in most of the USA too.
Pat
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wrote:

Now as a Brit, I don't hear *that* very often!!
The Gulf stream probably helps stabilise things a bit, though after a week or so of dry & sunny days above 30 degrees C, it's dropped down to around 18 degrees & rain this week.

There are interesting aspects to this: (1) If you go as far North as the top of Scotland, you don't actually get any "night time" for part of the summer (it never actually gets completely dark). Maybe Edmonton was a bit like this?
(2) I like growing some tropical stuff in my greenhouse and many of the peppers won't start to flower over summer. They wait until later on, when the day-length starts to shorten and they think they're back home again.
It can be frustrating to see the plants growing taller, but not getting round to fruiting for ages.

Well, I can't say the long summer daylight hours are completely responsible, but so far this year my allotment has been very productive. I've hardly lost any crops and most of what I've grown has done well.
In the meantime, my Okra are looking good (I've taken at least one meal's worth off them so far), my Aubergines are all in flower and my sweet peppers are around the size of tennis balls. And this is in the South of England!
Colin ----- (Please reply via the newsgroup)
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On Sat, 19 Jul 2003 10:02:31 +0100, Colin Malsingh

No, it's not THAT far north. IIRC, the sun set around 10:30 or 11 pm in summer and rose around 3:30 or 4 am.

We've had a disastrously wet spring (northern Pennsylvania - northeastern USA) and then - in general - a fairly cool summer. My plants seem to be a bit behind yours.
But where we live - the microclimate in our particular area does tend towards cool summers: we're in the Appalachian Mountains. It often gets down into the 40-50 F range at night in summer here. That's around 4-10 C.
We're building a hoophouse next month, and next year I'm growing my tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants in the hoophouse.
But what I meant about extremes: we can expect 100 F (38 C) each summer on a couple of days. We can expect temperatures in the range of 90-100 F many days in summer (that's 32-38 C).
Last winter, we had -26 F (-32 C) twice (only at night), and many many days below 0 F (-18 C) - that was the high for the day, around 0 F.
I don't think that there's anywhere in the UK that has to contend with these extremes. And there are other areas in the US more extreme than ours: lots of them.
Pat
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On Fri, 18 Jul 2003 10:19:25 GMT, troikette

Most peppers are "ripe", that is, culinarily useful to some extent, by the time they are distinguishable from, say, a big green bug. :-) I would say 'first stage' ripe was at the point they reached a size equal to what you normally see in a market. These, sweet or hot, are most often green. Sweet (bell) peppers of more exotic colors very quickly turn yellow, red, purple, etc. This would be 'second stage' ripe. Regular ol' green peppers will eventually turn yellowish-redish on the plant, and their flavor mellow and sweeten somewhat. 'Third stage'? There is a fine line between ripe-ripe and decay. Green peppers bought/harvested last week will start to show color changes *off* the plant, too. And a certain amount of shriveling as the moisture declines. As Pat says, unless there is frost threatening, there's not much reason to pick peppers prematurely and "ripen" indoors.
The thought that the BBC may be wrong horrifies me!
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What about if your plant is producing lots of flowers - potentially more fruit than it could normally support?
If you then picked some whilst they were still green, would you give the plant a better chance of - producing more fruit throughout the remaining season? - producing fewer, bigger fruits instead of several small fruit?

Not a good time to be raising this!
Colin ----- (Please reply via the newsgroup)
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