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The Ins and Outs of Peppers

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Peppers come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and flavors – from sweet bell to hot habaneros. Peppers like a well-drained soil that gets at least 8 hours of sunlight per day. They also need fertile soil, but be careful with the nitrogen because this can lead to too many leaves and not enough peppers. In the Bluegrass Region, peppers need hot weather to grow well, so planting them in early June will prevent the plants from delayed growing

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Plant pepper transplants about one foot apart in amended garden soil. Peppers do not like wet feet, so make sure not to overwater. Peppers are sometimes affected by early blight, a leaf-spot disease. This is identified by the dark ringed spots that form on the leaves. Cut off infected leaves and apply mulch to prevent spores from splashing up off the soil surface. DO NOT put infected leaves in your compost bin!

Harvest bell peppers when they are just starting to turn color and let them ripen indoors at room temperature, or they can be left on the plant until they reach full ripeness. Every gardener has their own way of harvesting. Pick hot peppers as you need them. Make sure to harvest all peppers before the first frost.

Here are some types of peppers:
• bell – green, yellow, red and purple
• banana
• pimento
• cherry
• cayenne – red or green chili
• Serrano
• habanero