If you find yourself constantly craving hot peppers, you’ve probably thought about growing your own. Luckily, they’re pretty easy to grow and pretty easy to harvest. If you follow a few easy tips on how and when to pick the best peppers you’re sure to come out with great results.
The time to harvest often varies by the type of pepper you are growing. For instance, jalapenos are harvested when they’re a dark green while some other peppers are harvested when they are full size and beginning to change color. Of course you’ll want to keep an eye on the weather if you’re growing outside. Sometimes the first frost will hit before the plants are finished producing fruit. If you know a frost is in the forecast, go ahead and harvest all the peppers you have. You’ll need to grab a pair of gloves to protect your skin. Keep in mind, too, that pepper plants are delicate and you’ll likely just break the branches off if you tug the peppers off by hand. Instead, take a sharp knife or pruning shears and actually cut the peppers from the plants. You’ll want to leave just a short stub attached.
After this, take your peppers, wash them under water and pat them dry. Large, ripe peppers are ready to eat immediately, otherwise they may continue to ripen over the next few days in your house and increase in flavor. After that, you can store them in the refrigerator for around a week. If you have a large yield, you can try freezing or drying the extra peppers for later. Of course if you don’t want to wait to grow and harvest your own peppers, you can always grab a pepper extract or hot sauce now to satisfy your taste buds, without putting in the extra time.