How to Harvest and Store Peppers

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Whether you like them as sweet as candy or hot enough to send steam rolling from your ears, peppers rank among life's greatest pleasures. In addition to being delicious and filled with nutrients, they're drop-dead gorgeous, with smooth, shiny skins in brilliant tones of red, orange, yellow, purple, mahogany and every shade of green, from pale lime to deepest emerald.

Things You'll Need

  • Pickling Supplies
  • Baskets
  • Garden Knives
  • Garden Shears
  • Gardening Gloves
  • Hanging Strings
  • Pick peppers often throughout the growing season, either at their immature green stage, or when they've turned color. The more peppers you pick the more the plant will produce.

  • Cut the fruits from the plant using a knife or clippers to avoid damaging the fragile stems.

  • Store sweet peppers for up to two weeks in a spot that ranges from 50 to 55 degrees F.

  • Dry or pickle hot peppers.

  • Harvest peppers for drying when they start to turn red. Simply pull the plants from the ground and hang them upside down in a cool, dry place, or clip off the peppers and string them together to make colorful ristras.

Tips & Warnings

  • Peppers are good to eat throughout the growing season, but they reach their peak of nutrition and flavor - whether sweet or hot - at full maturity.
  • The juices in hot peppers can inflict painful burns. When you work with these fiery fruits, wear rubber gloves and keep your hands away from your eyes.
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