I love my garden, especially the section of it that produces edibles. But, as much as I love to get down into the soil (and that includes weeding) and as much success I’ve had with certain things — Ichiban eggplants, cherry tomatoes and, of course, the ubiquitous zucchini — there are a few veggies that just do not cooperate. To wit: bell peppers. While I can get enough jalapeños and poblanos to fill gallon freezer bags, their sweeter cousins turn out bitter with thin skins. Perhaps it’s just a matter of the growing season in New England being too short. But if so, why sell the sets here at all? If nurseries intend for gardeners to keep them indoors for a month or two prior to planting, then they should sell them in March, right?
At any rate, I decided to take my failure as a challenge rather than as a defeat. I really wanted to grow some sweet bell peppers, so I did an experiment. I took the seeds from a particularly delicious grocery-bought pepper last May and planted them in a pot. During the summer the pot sat outside on the patio, but once fall came I took it inside and settled it in with other plants in the sunroom.
After a few months I separated the strongest seedlings and placed the three resulting pots in the southeast corner of the room in order to ensure that they would get maximum sunlight. I watered them and fed them. I did not sing to them. Perhaps that was my mistake. But don’t forget, they had flora friends to keep them company.
We are now nearing the end of February and a miracle has occurred: minuscule peppers are popping up on all three plants. You may need a magnifying glass to see them in the photo. But they’re there!
From last May! 2020!
Short growing season indeed. At this rate the peppers should be ready to eat by 2025.