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Name: Don Shirer
Westbrook, CT (Zone 6a)
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DonShirer
Dec 13, 2015 10:38 AM CST
Considering the ubiquity of bell peppers in recipes and grocery stores, shouldn't we have a forum devoted to them? (A search revealed several pepper threads, but most of those posts seem to be about hot peppers.)

Some have commented that bell peppers are hard to grow. I haven't found them difficult in Zone 6, either in the ground or in 3 gallon (or larger) pots, but they often do appreciate some support.

Of the varieties I have tried, Big Bertha has produced the largest fruit, but they are slow to turn red. Cal Wonder, Jupiter and Merlin are productive but were not as large. For different colors, Purple Beauty has performed better than Golden Cal Wonder and Kaleidoscope. Colossal (not!) and Big Red have been disappointing for me.

I am thinking of trying Quadrati d'Asti next. Anyone have any other suggestions?



Name: Kayleigh
(Zone 5a)
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HoosierHarvester
Dec 13, 2015 11:43 AM CST
I'm sorry, I don't have any other suggestions since I normally grow California Wonder since it is fairly tried and true for me. However, I do find production and size (both of plants and produce) can be much affected by weather. During a hot drought, my bell pepper plants did great with some added water. During a cool summer, plants sat still and produced little.

But I did want to say thank you for posting this thread, because I saw Big Bertha listed in a catalog and had pondered growing it. So I think I will give it a try.

Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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farmerdill
Dec 13, 2015 12:30 PM CST
concur: Weather and soil conditions as well as diseases do affect bells more that other types of peppers. That said Socrates has been my overall best performer. Big Bertha is big, but not as big as Super Heaviweight. Both are more adversely affected by conditions tha more standard bells. California Wonders have performed satisfactory but are relatively small as has Gater Bell. Collassal has performed well for green bells but are extremely slow to turn red. Aladin performed well.
Thumb of 2015-12-13/farmerdill/60a5dd Big Bertha California Wonder
Thumb of 2015-12-13/farmerdill/fd74fc Super Heaviweight Mavras
Satsuma Crispi
Thumb of 2015-12-13/farmerdill/91523d Canary Colossal
Socrates Aladin

Name: Don Shirer
Westbrook, CT (Zone 6a)
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DonShirer
Dec 14, 2015 5:26 PM CST
Thanks for the pictures and info FD!
When I run out of Big Bertha seeds, I'll have to try Super Heavyweight or Socrates.
Canary has a color I haven't seen before.
Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
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Anderwood
Dec 14, 2015 6:58 PM CST
Intruder has done well have me.
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
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farmerdill
Dec 15, 2015 7:31 AM CST
I have not grown Intruder or any of the Syngenta peppers for the Eastern US. It does have an good disease package including resistance to Phytophthera. It is a medium size bell. Should be a good choice. http://www.syngenta-us.com/seeds/vegetables/pepper_east/pepp... I also have not grown Revolution or King Arthur (Fat n Sassy) but they are quite popular with market gardeners.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Dec 17, 2015 7:16 PM CST
For some reason, peppers both hot and sweet, grow really easily and well for me. For bell peppers I particularly like King Arthur (f/k/a Fat 'n Sassy), Flavorburst, and Flamingo. For a sweet non-bell, I really like Golden Treasure; it was very productive for me and is open pollinated, plus being a beautiful golden color when it ripens.
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Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
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Anderwood
Dec 19, 2015 10:40 AM CST
Peppers seem to grow best for me in big pots. This summer I will try some on my south facing deck that bakes all day. They should get a good start. I have used Tomatoes Alive! fertilizer which I think helps.
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
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DogsNDaylilies
Dec 25, 2015 8:52 AM CST
Weedwhacker said:For some reason, peppers both hot and sweet, grow really easily and well for me. For bell peppers I particularly like King Arthur (f/k/a Fat 'n Sassy), Flavorburst, and Flamingo. For a sweet non-bell, I really like Golden Treasure; it was very productive for me and is open pollinated, plus being a beautiful golden color when it ripens.


If you can grow them easily that far north of me, I must be doing something wrong (or you are a garden genius...or both). I struggled with peppers this year. Maybe I planted the seeds too late, but my pepperoncini took awhile to get going and only produced 2-3 fruit, if that. I planted my bell peppers (California Wonder) from seed in clay pots and they never got taller than 3 inches (no fruit).
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Dec 25, 2015 10:03 AM CST
DnD, I'm pretty sure we can rule out the "garden genius" thing... Hilarious!

I start my seeds around April 1st, in 6-packs (8 packs to a flat), indoors, under lights. Around May 1st they get moved out to the greenhouse, and soon after that I move them up to 2-1/2 to 3-inch pots. Usually plant them outside around June 7th, and I cover them with "floating row cover" (like Reemay, Agribond, etc), which pretty much eliminates the need to harden them off because they're protected from the wind and have some shelter from the sun, as well. They get compost and a little triple-10 fertilizer, and once they start setting fruit I usually give them some Miracle-Gro.

My peppers mainly get planted directly in the ground, but I've also had good luck with them in containers -- I give each plant a pretty good-sized plastic pot (maybe 8" to 10"?), and just use Miracle-Gro potting soil (which I know a lot of people don't like but I've been using it since long before I ever heard there was better stuff out there, and since it's readily available here and I've been happy with my results, I've just continued to use it). Maybe your plant dried out too much in the clay pot?

I tend to "think" of peppers as being a hot-climate lover, but apparently that isn't true because even when we have unusually cool summers (like last year) they do well. One of my favorite things to grow because they seem so trouble free; the only problem I've really had is that the plants get so tall and have so many peppers on them that they need some support or they fall over! Smiling
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Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
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DogsNDaylilies
Dec 25, 2015 8:13 PM CST
I think you're right about the clay pots. I purchased them because it seems like they are 'the' thing to use when container gardening, even though they do dry out so easily. I don't get why they are so popular. Shrug!

I do organic gardening, so I can't mimic your method for success, but I can try putting them out earlier. I just got a grow light system today for Christmas Hurray! , not to mention that if this crazy warm weather keeps up, I can start my seeds in April, like you, instead of May.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Dec 25, 2015 9:31 PM CST
It's all trial and error, in the end... and a lot of times, what works one year doesn't work so well the next Shrug!
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Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
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Anderwood
Dec 26, 2015 8:35 PM CST
Along with your grow light definitely invest in a heat mat.

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Dec 26, 2015 9:16 PM CST
Anderwood said:Along with your grow light definitely invest in a heat mat.



Although I know many people swear by using heat mats... I've never found them to be necessary Shrug!

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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Dec 27, 2015 5:35 AM CST
With the really cool spring we had last summer, my peppers started out looking terrible, but they came around later when the weather warmed up, and produced a really nice crop.
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Name: Linda
SE Houston, Tx. (Hobby) (Zone 9a)
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Gymgirl
Dec 30, 2015 8:26 AM CST
Do sweet bell peppers really enjoy as much heat as Texas can throw at them? I'm beginning to wonder about this "peppers love the heat" thing. Confused

I observed this past season that the sweet bell pepper plants seemed more content to grow and produce in the late spring/early- to mid-summer heat. Once our full blown Hell fires turned on, they stalled out, and stopped producing. Grumbling

I'm learning that "heat" is very relative to where you live. My 100° heat will definitely burn up YOUR 100° heat!!! Whistling

Hugs!
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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farmerdill
Dec 30, 2015 11:05 AM CST
You are quite right about the heat especially for bells but also affects my frying peppers. I start them early and get a decent crop in June- early July. Keep them alive with lots of water through July- August the reap a major harvest from late September to frost, which usually for me is around Thanksgiving. Once temps reached continuos triple digits, they shut down and sulk. Hot peppers are more tolerant of heat, but even the Jalapenos and mushrooms produce much more in the fall
Name: Linda
SE Houston, Tx. (Hobby) (Zone 9a)
"Godspeed, & Good Harvest!"
Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Master Level Canning and food preservation Gardens in Buckets
Tip Photographer Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ferns
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Gymgirl
Dec 30, 2015 11:08 AM CST
Farmerdill,
Thanks so much for confirming what I've been observing!!! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

I'll rework this season's planting schedule for my sweet bells.

I grew a bumper crop of Chocolate Habaneros and Tabaso peppers, well into the heat. But, the bells were NOT having it, LOL!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Dec 30, 2015 12:07 PM CST
I think you're right too, Linda -- mine have done really well in a couple of recent cool (even for here, LOL) summers (probably comparable to your spring and fall temps).
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Name: Jim Goodman
Northeast Louisiana
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Jim41
Dec 30, 2015 2:42 PM CST
I guess I've lost my rabbit foot. I use to stick a pepper plant in the ground and it would go crazy making. Now I can't get bell peppers to grow and make for anything. People all around me make them by the truck load.

I do raise Jalapeno (with out the fire) to give to my heart doctor. They made like everything early, then completely quit throughout the dry summer even though watered. The plants got bigger all the summer and when the temps cooled they produced tons up to frost. My egg plants did the same thing.

Jim41

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