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.
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].
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
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
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.
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
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
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!
(Please reply via the newsgroup)
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
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
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.
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"
The thought that the BBC may be wrong horrifies me!
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!
(Please reply via the newsgroup)
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