Growing Superstar Peppers

I’m always jealous when I go to the supermarket and see those big, blocky, sweet peppers. Over the years, I’ve tried over forty different varieties at Crows Woods, and while I always get peppers, I’ve never really been satisfied with the size and quantity. This year I decided to do something different.

PeppersWhile driving to the Woodstown flea market the last few years, I noticed a farmer’s field in Glassboro with plants that were loaded with large peppers. I’m sure some of this is due to chemical fertilizers and pesticides, but it prompted me to go to the Rutgers website and find out what varieties the commercial growers use. I found that King Arthur, Camelot, and Lafayette are some of the varieties commercially grown in New Jersey. Obtaining the seed in small quantities was a challenge, but I managed to purchase several packets from Tomato Growers Supply and started them in March as I always do.

And the Winner Is…

I planted all my pepper plants in May, and one variety in particular, Lafayette, has been a real winner. Each plant has produced consistently large peppers, and the foliage is impressive also. I have Carmen peppers next to the Lafayette, and the plants are only half as big with a much lower yield. Many sweet peppers drop their blossoms and small fruit when temperatures exceed 90 degrees, but Lafayette has held up well under this summer’s heat. I highly recommend Lafayette if you are looking for a great sweet pepper.

By Jim Duncan. Plot #22