Your own sweet peppers

Here's how to choose the best varieties for color, shape, and flavor

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What they need

Temperature: Peppers need a long, mild growing season to thrive.

In hot climates, plants won't set fruit when daytime temperatures stay above 100°, and bell types may be stunted.

In cool climates, peppers may not ripen fully.

Water: Keep the soil consistently moist. Fluctuations can cause blossom-end rot ― dark, leathery spots on the end of the fruit (sunscald looks similar, but spots are tan and papery).

Fertilizer: Apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer at planting time and again when fruit begins to set. Harvest Gather fruits when they change to their mature color.

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