With so many pepper varieties out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. Do you want something with a cool, refreshing crunch, or are you more in the mood for something bright and sweet? Perhaps you're looking to spice up your garden a little, but then which peppers aren't going to be too hot to handle? Worry not; while you may need to take your tastebuds on a few test rides, we're confident you'll find the pepper that's right for your unique gastronomic and gardening needs. With this quick guide, you'll be picking the perfect peppers to pickle in no time!
What Are The Best Peppers I Can Grow in My Keswick Garden?
If you're growing your own food this year, peppers are a super sweet (or spicy) choice for a backyard veggie patch. Most pepper varieties are quite easy to grow with the right conditions, making them ideal for first-time growers and seasoned gardening veterans alike. While you can't go wrong with the tried and tested favourites, we've also thrown in some others you've maybe never thought of. Who knows, they might just become your family's new favourite!
This sweet, super nutritious pepper is a familiar classic that is easy to grow at home. Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, bell peppers can be used in a myriad of ways to create dazzling dishes all year long. Bell peppers taste amazing, both cooked and raw, and come in shades of yellow, orange, and red. Green bell peppers are not ripe but can still be eaten.
Another pepper that packs a punch of vitamin C, the jalapeno is one of North America's favourites. While it's not the spiciest pepper in the world, jalapenos add a delightful bit of heat to dishes and drinks, and are definitely not for anyone scared of a little spice.
The banana pepper has both a sweet and spicy variety, so make sure you know which seeds are which before planting! This pepper is super easy to grow, great for pickling, and tastes amazing on pizzas, burgers, hot dogs, salads, and more.
This low-maintenance, high-yield pepper is another easy-to-grow veggie for your Keswick garden. One healthy shishito pepper plant can yield between 25-50 peppers! Considered a mildly spicy pepper, this one is definitely not as hot as a jalapeno, but a few peppers out of the bunch can occasionally be a bit punchier than others. The shishito pepper is popular in Asian cooking and is often pan-fried while still green.
The smaller the pepper, the hotter the taste, and that's certainly the case with the serrano! This little guy packs in almost twice the spice of a jalapeno, so if you've got a need for heat, this is the pepper for you this summer! Serrano's make great additions to Mexican dishes like salsas, chilis and enchiladas.
If you can handle the heat, the habanero pepper might be for you. Once crowned the world's hottest pepper, the habanero definitely doesn't skimp on the spiciness—but it's super easy to grow in your garden! With a citrus taste and a hint of smoke in the background, this pepper is a popular choice in many sauces and other kitchen concoctions. Habaneros are another pepper variety that grows well in containers, meaning it's easy to grow your own private stash out on your patio.
How To Grow Peppers in Keswick
Peppers are incredibly easy to grow in pots, boxes, and your Keswick garden, meaning you can enjoy a sweet and spicy harvest every year. They also make great companion plants for your tomatoes, basil, and other fave veggies!
If you're starting your pepper seeds indoors, keep them in a warm location–like on top of your fridge–while they germinate, about 8-12 weeks before the final frost. If you're bringing home transplants from the greenhouse, choose healthy young plants with bright green, perky leaves. Harden off transplants once the weather reaches about 16ºC daily, and pinch off any flowers that you see for the first couple of weeks to divert the plant's energy back into its roots and leaves.
All pepper plants require good soil, drainage, and light. You'll want to mulch your new plants once they have been planted in the garden to retain moisture and keep in warmth, and add staking for any pepper varieties that are prone to taller growth. Pepper plants also grow well in containers, so if you're short on space or only have a patio, these make excellent plants to grow over the spring and summer in Ontario. They may not grow large, but they will mature faster in pots. Make sure your peppers get plenty of water while producing fruit, about one good through watering a week. Peppers growing in containers will likely need more than that, especially during hot and dry weather.
We want to see you growing peppers in Keswick this year, so come visit us at Georgina Garden Centre for more pepper tips and to shop these and other great varieties for a private pepper party of your own! (Try saying that ten times fast!)