The Q&A Archives: Harvesting Peppers

Question: I have garden salsa peppers. When do I harvest them? They are about 3 1/2" in length now. Also, a second pepper has started on one of my plants, but it is not growing since budding about a week ago. Is this because the other large pepper on the plant is using up the nutrients to grow? Should I harvest the big pepper in order to let the other peppers get going?

Answer: Most peppers taste best when allowed to fully mature before harvesting, however, early in the season it's best to harvest peppers before they ripen to encourage the plant to keep bearing. A mature fruit can signal a plant to stop production. Harvest now and you're sure to get lots of peppers all season. It's best to cut the peppers from the plant rather than pulling them so you don't damage the plant.

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