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Get answers to your gardening questions at the Gardeners' Community which includes a Vegetables forum, Herbs forum and Growing Vegetables & Herbs blog.  Search, ask or answer. Use the Gardening Events calendar, view/post photos and blog too.

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Growing Vegetable Gardens - Store
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W. Atlee Burpee Company
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Cook's Garden
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Gardener's Supply Company
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Peppers

Did you know that peppers are part of " The Dirty Dozen: Top 12 Foods to Eat Organic"? This lists foods most likely to be contaminated with higher levels of pesticide residues. No worries — grow your own! You can have fresh-picked peppers July through October and enjoy peppers you've canned or frozen the rest of the year.

Also, peppers at the store are some of the pricier items, so you'll save money. Plus, you won't be restricted to their very limited offering. You can have sweet and hot hungarian peppers, small and large bell peppers, Italian-style peppers, and mild to super-hot peppers.

Peppers are actually a perennial which return every year in their native climates of Central and South America. Some zone 5 - 6 gardeners overwinter their pepper plants inside and plant them back into the garden when the soil temperature is at least 60 ° F. This reportedly, gives you a big headstart on producing the first peppers. Our attempts to overwinter peppers in a greenhouse haven't been successful. The biggest problem has been terrible infestations of white flies. We tried organic controls such as introducing beneficial insects to no avail. The insect damage distorted and stunted the growth making the plant so unappealing we tossed them in the trash. Frankly, it was all more trouble than it was worth. Instead, we start our pepper seeds much earlier than our tomatoes (which will get too "leggy" if started more than 6-8 weeks before the last average spring frost date). The seeds are planted at least a month ahead of the tomatoes and as early as January. This has produced large, sturdy plants without whitefly problems.

Peppers are part of the nightshade family along with eggplant, potatoes and tomatoes.

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More Information

Visit the Vegtables Forum at GreatLakesGardeners.com to get answers to your growing vegetables questions. To ask a new question, Register if you haven't already done so(it's free and helps protect the forum from spam), click on Start New Topic, enter your question and click on Post New Topic.

Come join us at our Vegetables forum, Herbs forum and Growing Vegetables & Herbs blog.

You may also appreciate these books on growing vegetable gardens.