Summer planting at this time of the year includes the delicious and easy to grow big green sweet or Bell peppers, or red or yellow pepper, should you prefer.
Bell peppers are easy to grow annuals and can be so rewarding grown in pots, as well as in the border with flowers as companions. Every garden should have a sweet pepper row or two for luscious salads, as well as in stews, stir fries and grilled meals.
Truly a gourmet food, the green, red and yellow Bell peppers, indigenous to South and Central America, has been enjoyed for over 7 000 years. Thanks to Spanish and Portuguese explorers and their exciting trades, the Bell pepper is now available to everyone.
Bell Pepper Benefits
Rich in Vitamins A, C, E, B6 & K and lots of folic acid, as well as beta carotene, lycopene and amino acids, Bell peppers are a great health food. A gourmet food too, there are so many ways you can incorporate into your meals. Growing your own is an enjoyable experience you won’t forget too.
Grow your Own
Spaced 30 cm apart in deeply dug and richly composted soil, peppers grow best in an area exposed to full sunlight. With a good watering at the end of each day, twice weekly, you will have a luscious crop full of flavour and texture.You’ll soon be slicing up your Bell peppers for just about every meal. Peppers are fantastic in pastas, pizzas, fresha nd crunchy salads, or even added to salad dressings, oils and vinegars.
The secret is to pick the ripe peppers in the full maturity. Pick carefully with secateurs to leave space for the next one to ripen.
Top tip: Parsley or coriander planted next to Bell peppers make delicious companions, and Italian parsley looks very attractive, especially when planted in big pots. The more of the mature fruits you pick, the more that grow. Each plant can be productive right through the summer months.
Try cheese and mayonnaise sandwiches with slices of green or red pepper for a quick lunch, or stir fry mushrooms, spring onions and a sprinkling of chopped green, yellow and red peppers in a little olive oil and serve with lemon juice and Himalayan salt, as a salad for a quick veggie supper.
As you become aware of the deliciousness of Bell peppers, expand your interest into sweet paprika, which too is part of the Capsicum annuum family.
Did you know? Summer is the time to grow and to experiment with these fabulous tastes of the ancient Aztecs and Mayans. Thanks to Christopher Columbus peppers and the chillies spread from Europe into Africa and Asia where they are cherished to this day.
Now try these delicious recipes with peppers
- Roasted Pepper Terrine
- Aubergine, Chickpea and Roasted Red Pepper Salad
- Terrine with Brinjal & Red Peppers
- Roti with Red Pepper Pesto
- Sausage and Pepper Paella
- Roasted Sweet Pepper Tart
For more info
Note: Margaret Roberts has a fine selection of plants and seeds available from her nursery. Her shop stocks a wide variety of their health products that can be posted to you. Should you at any stage be stuck for fresh botanicals or natural cosmetic bases such as aqueous cream, these can be couriered or posted to you.
Words: Margaret Roberts
Styling: Sandy Roberts