From mid-July peppers turn red and ready for harvesting. Then many questions arise before the amateur gardener: How to cut them properly? How to store them? What is the best way to ripen them in August and September? We answer the most important questions about harvesting and explain how to harvest and store peppers.
Table of contents
- Harvest time: How can I tell if peppers are ripe?
- Harvesting peppers: Where to cut? Brief instructions
Harvest time: how can I tell if peppers are ripe?
For peppers, each variety has a specific color. When the fruits reach this, then they can be cut off. The exact time depends on several factors: Weather, location, outdoor or potted in the conservatory can directly affect harvest time. The number of pods can also affect the ripening time.
Usually, red or yellow peppers are ready for harvest, while green peppers are not yet ripe. Nevertheless, there is nothing to stop you from cutting them off and letting them ripen. Green peppers can be eaten immediately after harvest, but they have a neutral taste and no aroma. You also cannot grow young plants from the seeds of unripe fruits. Propagation is possible only if you cut off already ripe fruits.
When do peppers turn red and yellow? How long does the ripening process take?
Usually it takes around 20 days for green peppers to turn red or yellow on the plant. Sometimes peppers harvested green can still ripen a bit. However, it is necessary that the fruits already ripen a little on the plant before they are picked. Otherwise they taste bitter.
The harvest period extends in good weather until the end of September. In the open field and in the winter garden or greenhouse, this can even last into October.
Allow cut peppers to ripen further
When it gets too cold outside for the bell pepper plant, it’s time to harvest all the green peppers. The larger the fruits have grown, the higher the chance they will turn red over time. Line a sunny windowsill with paper towels and place the green peppers on it. In a few days, they will turn red.
Harvesting peppers: Where to cut? Brief instructions
If you want to harvest peppers, then you should very carefully cut the stems of the pods with sharp secateurs. Cuts heal quickly and the plant is not damaged. Some of the stem should remain on the pod.
Harvesting peppers in a pot
The best time to harvest peppers in pots is in the morning. Cut the pods with pruning shears or, for smaller varieties, a sharp kitchen knife.
Tip: If the plant has borne too many fruits, you can cut off the largest ones. This will allow the rest to get as much nutrients as possible and be ready for harvest more quickly.
Care in late summer and fall is crucial for yields
Plants should be fertilized and watered regularly during harvest time. Organic tomato fertilizer works well; you can also work horse manure, compost or stinging nettle liquid manure into the soil. Provide the vegetables with smaller but regular fertilizer applications during the ripening period.
In hot weather, water the peppers copiously every three days. It is best to water the vegetables early in the morning. Potted plants should be watered directly from the bottom, and preferably very carefully and slowly. This will prevent nutrients from being washed away.
Harvesting and storing peppers: What is the shelf life of the pods?
When the peppers are completely ripe, then it is time to store them in a cool, dry and dark place. The room temperature should not exceed 12 degrees Celsius and humidity should vary between 40% and 50%. Shelf life can vary greatly from variety to variety, but usually it is around two weeks. You can line wooden boxes with newspaper and store the vegetables this way. A dry storage room in the cellar proves to be optimal.
Washed and cut peppers are put in a cold place and used in the next 2-3 days.
If you have a rich harvest, you can also pickle peppers or cut them into pieces, put them into freezer bags and freeze them. In this case, be sure to thoroughly wash and clean the vegetables.
When to sprout peppers to increase yields?
Pruning involves cutting back ailing side shoots that grow too close to the ground. These shoots usually do not bear fruit. If they are removed completely, then the plant will form flowers again and bear fruit. In this way, yields can be increased. The bell pepper is pruned out by the end of July at the latest , before the first fruits appear.
Sweet bell pepper is a typical summer vegetable. Its harvest period extends into the fall, weather permitting. There are a few things you should keep in mind.