I apologize for this delayed reply to your gardening question. The spring rush has brought a deluge of questions and we are working hard to catch up!
You can pick the banana peppers at any time. If you wait until they just start to get a red blush on them they will be sweeter and higher in nutrient content. The best way to pick them is by cutting them off near where they attach to the plant. The best solution for the foliage eating insects depends on which insect is doing the damage. If you can catch a bug eating the foliage and then get it identified we can suggest a control product that will work against it. I suggest you take a sample of the pests to your County Extension Office and see if they can identify the problem and if necessary prescribe an appropriate remedy.
Thanks for the question. Best wishes for a wonderful gardening season. Please stop in again soon!
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