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Growing Peppers

The following words on growing peppers are offered with my tongue in my cheek, which is a good place for it after being splashed with the juice of a Jalapeno!

Growing peppers adds life and a touch of Latin spice to gardening whether your favorite spot is in-house, greenhouse, patio pot, or garden plot! From the mild green bell pepper to the fiery hot habanera, peppers come in a vast array of colors, shapes, sizes and tastes that add colorful zest to your garden and flavorful zest to your palate!

People have been growing peppers for centuries. Long before the Spanish conquistadors discovered the tomato and while most folks believed the world was flat, Columbus brought back the first peppers to Spain. Through distribution by migrating birds that indiscriminately dropped pepper seeds, peppers were soon growing in ever corner of the Earth and continued to grow even after the corners were rounded. However, even before that, South American tribes were growing peppers. In fact, some relics indicate that peppers have been grown and eaten for over 2000 years. Since that time, peppers have become a staple in many recipes.

Growing peppers is an easy part of gardening. Young seedlings quickly become compact, shrub-like bushes. Petite blossoms are soon replaced by tiny green fruits that at maturity are transformed into a rainbow of colors from Kelly green to gold to vibrant red to orange to purple. Of course, you won?t typically find a rainbow of colors on a single plant, although there are some hybrids that do display several variations in color.

The variety you get from growing peppers certainly doesn?t stop with their many colored coats. Peppers come in a kaleidoscope of sizes, from cherry and chili to banana and bell and their names are just as colorful and varied as the peppers themselves: Habanera, Sweet Red, Green Bell, Banana, Cayenne, Chili, Jalapeno, and Hungarian are just a sample.

Hot peppers will tease your taste buds and sometimes take the joke too far, but they will not make you sneeze! Growing hot peppers is entirely different from growing the black or white pepper spice that is commonly used in cooking. Black and white pepper both come from a type of berry that grows in India and Asia. The only similarity between them and hot peppers is that both are dried before they are ground.

Although it is unknown if he was growing peppers, the folk hero, Peter Piper immortalized the pepper when he picked a peck of pickled peppers. However, it remains a mystery to this day what happened to the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.


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