Growing sweet peppers or green peppers are a backyard garden tradition. My grandparents always grew them. My father always grew them and we grow them every year. Who doesn't love green peppers? My favorite way to eat them is raw. My parents loved to fry them with onions and Italian sausage. My grandmother loved to bake stuffed peppers with hamburger and rice. My husband loves to grow green, yellow, orange, and red peppers and use them in sweet and sour pork. He makes a wonderful sweet and sour pork.
Sweet peppers are easy to grow. In the photo above, you can see one of our green pepper plants growing against our house. My husband has a tomato cage there so the plant will have support.
Above, you can see our pepper plants in a raised bed along the side of our house. From the photo below, you can see we got a great harvest.
This page provides written and visual information for Growing Sweet Peppers (Capsicum annuum). We will be using the Antohi Romanian, as its model.
The Antohi Romanian, pictured above this section, is a tasty, East European frying pepper. It has smooth, 4 inch long by 2 inch wide, tapered, pointed fruits which are pale yellow and ripen red.
The upright plants have good branch strength and yield early and heavily. Jan Antohi was a touring acrobat when he defected to the United States.
In late 1991, he visited his family in Romania for the first time in more than 8 years, and came back with seeds of this delicious heirloom.
NOTE: Romanians fry these in a hot skillet to experience the sweet, full flavor.
Days to Maturity: 53 pale yellow, 78 red ripe
This pepper likes a well-drained, fertile soil with abundant phosphorus and calcium is best.
When starting transplants, sow 4 seeds an inch, at a depth of 1/4 inch, about 8 weeks prior to transplanting outdoors.
Pepper seeds germinate very slowly in cool soil. When the first true leaves show, transplant in 3 or 4 inch cow or dot posts using a phosphorus solution.
The use of 3 inch or larger pots will produce larger plants with better-developed root systems.
Transplant out after danger frost has passed when the soil is warm and weather is settled. Ideal transplant seedlings have buds, but no open flowers.
Set plants 12 inches apart in rows 24 inches apart. Water-in transplants using a high phosphorus solution.
Cold weather is buffered and earliness increased by using IRT plastic mulch, especially in combination with a slitted row cover or lightweight fabric row cover supported by wire hoops.
Remove row covers when in sunny weather above 85°F to prevent heat damage.
Control climbing cutworms on growing sweet peppers with Dipel, or with paper cylinder collars. Control tarnished plant bugs, aphids and flea beetles with rotenone or pyrethrin.
To prevent bacterial spot and phytopthora used drip irrigation only. If not water early in the morning so plant leaves have time to dry before evening cools.
Plant only in well-drained soils, minimize soil compaction and follow a 4-year crop rotation.
Sunscald is shown in the photo on the peppers above this paragraph. This photo is from my backyard. I have tried to provide some shade to prevent this but have not had much success on some of my peppers.
Sunscald is caused by inadequate foliage. Prevent blossom end rot with adequate soil calcium and regular moisture. Big bushy plants with few peppers can be caused by an excess of nitrogen, hot or cold temp. extremes during the flowering period, tarnished plant bug injury, or choice of late, poorly-adapted varieties.
Pick the first Growing Sweet Peppers promptly when they reach full size and color to encourage further fruit set. Wash and hold at 45°F and 95% humidity.
Growing Peppers can be picked early when they are yellow or allowed to ripen to red. The closer they are to being red, the sweeter they will taste.
I have yet to start my peppers, but I plan on direct planting them this week. It has been raining and raining here, so it has delayed my plans somewhat.
Since the Antohi is an original, it can be used for seed propagation.
I did a direct sowing of the Antohi peppers. They have not come out as well as I had hoped.
I started some Antohi peppers inside in DOT Pots about six days ago. I see some green just starting to germinate. I am using growing lights and heating pads this time. So far, my results have been much better than in the past.
In the picture below, I started growing peppers of the Antohi variety in the house.
Below are some peppers we harvested in late fall. The plants would have continued to put out more but I had to pull them up to make room for some fall crops.
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