June 23, 2016
Our plant this week comes from San Antonio viewer Richard Alcorta Jr. Richard reports that these ‘Pinot Noir’ peppers taste a bit sweeter than regular bell peppers, and have grown very well in his garden.
The striking deep purple, almost black fruit is stunning in the garden, and this plant can look right at home tucked into small pockets among perennials and other landscape plants.
Plant in full sun and water regularly (a few times a week, depending on your soil type) throughout the growing season. Rarely are pests enough of an issue to worry about on peppers, so once planted, they require very little maintenance other than to harvest the beautiful, delicious fruit.
Although peppers thrive in hot climates, many of them perform and produce better in areas where the nights are significantly cooler than the days, which is why we often get a bumper crop in fall.
While bell peppers aren’t as sensitive to this issue, they can be damaged in extremely hot summers if they aren’t receiving adequate irrigation to assist with cooling. If you have your peppers and other vegetables planted in their own area of the landscape and summer temperatures are exceedingly hot and dry for long periods of time, you could alleviate the buildup of heat in their leaves by providing just a bit of protection from the harsh rays of the sun. A small shade structure covered with a very light shade cloth would do the trick.
Our viewer picture this week comes from Louise Suhey. The paper skin on these Leek blooms in her garden formed a perfect dunce cap! Louise says that she doesn’t eat the leeks, she just grows them for the beautiful flowers. They’ve multiplied greatly over the years she has at least 40 spread out all over her garden.