Planting hot peppers in May

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's time to plant hot peppers. Local gardeners are planting delicious hot peppers. According to the Vegetable Planting Calendar, you will want to plant your pepper plants anytime between May 1 - 25. It will take from 70 to 80 days to harvest this veggie.

Do you know peppers are very nutritious? They're excellent sources of many essential nutrients, especially vitamin C. The nutrient value varies from one value to another. Red chile peppers usually contain more vitamin A and C than green chile peppers. They are also very low in calories. Two hot peppers have 40 calories.

Hot peppers were originally grown in South and Central America and the hot pepper is a member of the nightshade family which also includes eggplant, potato, and tomato. There are about ten different species of hot peppers.

How do you select fresh hot peppers? It is normal for whole dry chile peppers to have wrinkled skin. Choose fresh or dried peppers that are brightly colored, glossy, and free of spots and soft patches. They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.

Store fresh hot peppers in the refrigerator without washing them. Wrap in a paper bag and place in the vegetable compartment and they will keep about one week. Hot peppers freeze well and they can be marinated or dried. They dry very easily and will keep for six to eight months in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

So consider adding this perky, spicy vegetable to your garden this month. For more information on food preparation or preservation of this veggie contact your local University of Missouri Extension Center. The Butler County office is located at 222 North Broadway in Poplar Bluff (686-8064).

MU is an equal opportunity/ADA institution.

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