Peppers…They’re Perennials!

This time I’ll be highlighting a lot of the pepper varieties that we have this year. Sweet or hot, all peppers are perennials. So either grow them in pots or dig ’em up from the garden but either way bring ’em indoors before it gets below 50 at night.

What’s the point you ask?

Well if you’re anything like me, the long wait for peppers until what, July, even AUGUST…is excruciating. Who in the world wants to wait that long for peppers? When you take advantage of peppers being perennials you don’t have to wait that long. Not only did my indoor peppers produce, in a south facing window on a radiator, until DECEMBER…but they started flowering in March. Got fruit by April.

Perennial peppers means no more waiting all summer for the plants to mature.

Perennial peppers means peppers anytime you want them, from April through December.

And considering the cost of organic peppers in the store??  That’s a blessing!

I just treated mine like houseplants. They got a little ugly. See, they were used to a certain amount of sun, and warm, humid air. Sunshine and cool breezes. Once in my house they got cats sleeping in the pots, me forgetting to water them, kids pulling off the fruits too soon, dry air, minimal sunshine. By the end of winter they certainly looked sad.

But the point here is that they survived. 8 pepper plants survived the winter in my house and now all they want to do is put out fruit…in May. Awwww yeah.

So here are the varieties we’ve grown for you this year, and please remember, Peppers are Perennials.

Dare I say we’d be happy to adopt any unwanted peppers at the end of summer…?

Sweets!

Chocolate? That's the only reason I bought this pepper. That and the red coming off in this photo is supreme. I haven't tasted these yet, But I would bet they'll be one of my favorites this year.

Chocolate Beauty Pepper:  Chocolate?
That’s the only reason I bought this pepper. That and the red coming off in this photo is supreme. I haven’t tasted these yet, But I would bet they’ll be one of my favorites this year.

 

Red frying pepper. You know that whole, wait until August thing I talked about in my post earlier...this is the pepper that made me wait that long. They were delicious once they came in...but the wait...will not be happening again this year, that's for sure!

Marconi Red:  Frying pepper. You know that whole, wait until August thing I talked about in my post earlier…this is the pepper that made me wait that long. They were delicious once they came in…but the wait…will not be happening again this year, that’s for sure!

Prolific, sweet...these are the ones my kids want to eat raw with hummus.

Horizon Bell:  Prolific, sweet…these are the ones my kids want to eat raw with hummus.

Green to Red these are edible the whole way through. An awesome multi-purpose pepper. We use these for stuffed peppers.

Ozark Bell:  Green to Red these are edible the whole way through. An awesome multi-purpose pepper. We use these for stuffed peppers.

A small pepper, for those of you who want something sweet but maybe find yourself wasting a lot of peppers. These are also good grown in pots as the plants stay a pretty manageable size.

Belgian:  A small pepper, for those of you who want something sweet but maybe find yourself wasting a lot of peppers. These are also good grown in pots as the plants stay a pretty manageable size.

These are the other peppers my kids always want to eat. These ones almost never make it into the house. Also edible in the green stage.

Canary Bell:  These are the other peppers my kids always want to eat. These ones almost never make it into the house. Also edible in the green stage.

 

Hots!

A classic. Which, I'm glad it's a classic and everyone likes them because I grew two plants and had enough jalapenos to bring 50 stuffed to a party, and supply me and two other households with an unending supply of them, and I still had some going bad on the counter.  Also these are those "producing til December" kinds of peppers.

Early Jalapeno:  A classic. Which, I’m glad it’s a classic and everyone likes them because I grew two plants and had enough jalapenos to bring 50 stuffed to a party, and supply me and two other households with an unending supply of them, and I still had some going bad on the counter.
Also these are those “producing til December” kinds of peppers.

Haven't grown these yet, but I'm tired of buying chili powder. This will be the year I stop buying chili powder.

Ancho Poblano:  Haven’t grown these yet, but I’m tired of buying chili powder. This will be the year I stop buying chili powder.

Also a prolific little pepper. You wouldn't think a pepper that hot would be so prolific, because for me...what's the point of all that hot?? BUT-- if hot's your thing, for like, every meal ever...this is your pepper plant.

Magnum Habanero:  Also a prolific little pepper. You wouldn’t think a pepper that hot would be so prolific, because for me…what’s the point of all that hot?? BUT– if hot’s your thing, for like, every meal ever, this is your pepper plant.

A look at this years tomatoes…

This year I wasn’t as experimentative with the tomato selection, which is not to say what I’ve picked to share with you is boring….but maybe not as “selective.”  Last year I got a lot of weird looks for what I thought were the greatest tomatoes ever.

This year I got more of what people typically look for…big red slicing tomatoes, those little orange pops of sunshine, and regular red cherry…of course I still got the stripey ones and the intensely flavorful ones…afterall, what’s the point of heirloom tomatoes if you don’t try them all??

The first favorite type I bought is called Thessaloniki, it’s a big red slicing tomato, similar to beefsteak tomatoes – they’re big, red and juicy.

Thessaloniki: A big, red, juicy gal, and early, which means you’ll get to enjoy her before any other tomatoes come in.

 

Our next slicing tomato combines a bit of our standard favorites with just a hint of funky fun. Robinson’s German BiColor Tomato is one of those fruits that is just downright beautiful. I haven’t ever eaten one, but I couldn’t resist this picture from Baker Creek. I’ve reserved 4 of these babies for myself and my family…but mostly for myself. I’ve been looking forward to these since starting them in January. They’re a late type, but I started them early, giving us plenty of time to enjoy them through the season.

Mary Robinson's BiColor Tomato:  This large slicing tomato is more red than what's pictured, with striking yellow and pink tones throughout.

Mary Robinson’s BiColor: This large slicing tomato is more red than what’s pictured, with striking yellow and pink tones.

For middle-sized tomatoes we’ve got two kinds, Topaz and German Lunchbox.

The Topaz Tomato is yellow with golden and green flecks, sweet, low acidity and my kids eat them by the dozens right off the vines.

The German Lunchbox tomato is a little pink wonder. This tomato consistently produces right into November for me. They’re tasty when pink but you can leave them on the vine until they are a muted red…they are completely divine.

German-Lunchbox-Tomato-web

German Lunchbox: Early prolific tomato, perfectly sized for snacks and producing all the way to the first frost.

Topaz-or-Huan-U-Tomato-web

Topaz: Iridescent sheen, mild flavor and fun size makes this one popular with children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Black Cherry is a tomato-lovers tomato. How could I go one summer without sinking my teeth into this Queen of Tomatoes? This is another variety that produces right up until the first frost. Also, in my constant search for veggie varieties that don’t require a lot of water, this one fits the bill. Too much water and the skins split. This one likes a little neglect.

Black Cherry: All the flavor of a black tomato, in a two-bite package.

Black Cherry: All the flavor of a black tomato, in a two-bite package.

I also got a standard type Red Cherry Tomato called Riesentraube. Another German Variety (have you noticed a trend?) And like the other German varieties this tomato goes right up until frost. Clusters of red globes are what sets this tomato off from a standard red cherry, this plant is incredibly productive.

Reisentraube:  Abundant clusters of brilliant red cherry tomatoes

Reisentraube: Abundant clusters of brilliant red cherry tomatoes

 

This year we’re trying out an heirloom version of the celebrated Sungold tomato.  To the discerning tomato taster, our Sungold Select II is just a tad less sweet than the hybrid Sungolds you find in most markets but they still have that citrusy undertone.

Citrusy sweet Sungold Select tomatoes...the heirloom version of a national favorite.

Citrusy sweet Sungold Select tomatoes…the heirloom version of a national favorite.

 

We were also blessed to receive some tomato varieties like Yellow Peach, Myona Plum and Jersey Devil Plum. We’re not sure if they’ll be ready in time for a Mothers Day planting, but try us later in the year. We’ll update here if they become available, too.

Thanks for reading!