7 Steps On How To Grow The Best Banana Peppers
Also known as “banana chili,” banana peppers are an interesting type of chili pepper that is known for its waxy, yellow surface, as well as its shape which resembles that of a banana. However, they start to turn color over time, changing into colors such as red, orange, even green. Once they are completely matured, they develop a sweet flavor that goes very food items such as pizzas and sandwiches, along with being made into a relish for them.
When it comes to growing banana peppers, perhaps you might find the process a bit daunting, especially if you are just starting out as a novice gardener. Perhaps you might be so intimidated that you are discouraged from even starting in the first place. However, we are here to make it easy for you!
In this article, we will give you the low-down on pepper-growing, or the steps for growing banana peppers. This list will offer plenty of detailed advice that will be sure to produce some of the biggest, brightest, and plumpest peppers out there, so be prepared!
With that said, let us get started!
A. Step-By-Step Plan For Growing The Best Banana Peppers
For banana peppers, you might be surprised to discover that, really, there really is not much to preparing them to grow: all you need are the basic essentials—water, soil, sunlight—and you are well on your way to producing some good-as-earth banana peppers to bring to you dinner table at the end of it all.
That said, here are the steps for making the magic happen in your garden:
1. Find Good Transplants
Although banana peppers can, indeed, be grown from seeds, perhaps you might also be interested in growing them via transplants. If so, then you will need to consider your options carefully while looking for them at either your local supermarket or your nearest home and garden store.
As a rule of thumb, good transplants come with dark green leaves and strong stems, since those which already have blossomed or have already produced fruit will not be as easy to cultivate, should you decide to purchase and plant them at home.
2. Plant In Well-Drained Soil
When it comes to different types of soils, banana peppers grow the best in well-drained soil, or rather soil that is well-aerated and can let in water easily without getting inundated in the process. Having this balance between receiving oxygen in the air, as well as getting enough water to soak up the nutrients, will make growing banana peppers an easier feat to accomplish in the long run.
3. Spread Mulch
The purpose of mulch is to enrich and otherwise fortify your banana peppers in order to grow big and efficiently. Mulch can come in all sorts of different types, but a few good ones to use include grass clippings, even straw, to make it healthier as it is developing. Soon enough, they will grow into large, well-nourished peppers that will be delicious for eating!
4. Water Well
Unlike some plants or crops that only need a light sprinkling of water in order to develop well, banana peppers require a lot as means of growing. There is no minimum amount involved here, but rather a good, hefty amount, especially during dry seasons.
The consequence to watering little for banana peppers is that you might end up with bitter-tasting peppers, which is certainly not desirable at all. Even more so, they might turn out smaller and weaker-looking than other ones, so it is better to be safe than sorry when you water your banana peppers the next time around.
5. Weed When It Is Necessary
As it goes for any weeds, those surrounding banana peppers are necessary to pull out, especially since they can actually suck water and nutrients away from the peppers, thereby causing them to grow not as adequately as they should be. That said, it is recommended that you check for weeds every so often (a few times per week) in order to make sure that your banana peppers are weed-free.
At the same time, though, if it is necessary to pull out the weeds, do so gently, since many of them are closely tied with the roots of the banana peppers and so pulling them too hard can accidentally cause you to pull the roots of the banana peppers themselves, which then ruins the crop itself.
6. Offer Enough Sunlight
Banana peppers thrive the best in high heat, at least around 60°F (15.6°C). However, temperatures of 90°F (32.2°C) or higher can actually cause an adverse effect, leading to wilting and otherwise blossoms dropping off, thereby spoiling your harvest.
That being said, moderation is key to keeping temperatures just right for growing your banana peppers: not too cold, but also not too hot!
After about 75 days, the banana peppers are ready for harvest. Aside from checking for its size and color, you will also have to check for its ripeness: you can tell by gently pressing on the surface of the pepper and feeling that it is firm, but with a slight give which indicates that it is ready to be picked.
Once you get a feel for whether your banana peppers are ready or not for harvesting, you can then set about picking them. Push aside the leaves to get to the source and, using some shears, cut the pepper’s stem about an inch away from the source. It is strongly advised not to pluck them by hand, for it can damage the source and cause the banana pepper itself to last less time than it could have been.
B. Use Them In Your Meals
Once you have harvested your banana peppers, the possibilities of what you can do with them are endless. From pickling to roasting to canning, there are a variety of choices you can take part in, as means of storing and otherwise consuming those bright, sweet peppers.
That said, we have decided to share with you a few delicious banana pepper recipes to get you started:
Sweet Pickled Banana Peppers (taken from Food.com)
- 1⁄2 lb banana pepper, seeded and sliced crossways into rings
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2⁄3 cup white sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1⁄2 teaspoon celery seed
- Sterilize 2- 1/2 pint jars.
- Bring the vinegar, sugar, mustard seed and celery seed to a rolling boil.
- Place peppers in the 1/2 pint jars.Pour on the hot pickling juice and bring liquid to within 1/2" of the top.
- Be sure the edge of the jar has no juice on it.Place lids and screw on bands finger-tip tight.
- Seal jar and leave for 2 weeks.
Hot Pepper Mustard (taken from AllRecipes.com)
- 40 banana peppers (5 inches long), stems removed
- 4 cups prepared yellow mustard
- 5 cups white sugar
- 1 cup honey
- 4 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- Remove the seeds from the banana peppers and place the peppers into a blender or food processor.
- Process until smooth.
- Pour into a large pot and stir in the mustard, sugar, honey, apple cider vinegar and salt.
- Bring to a boil, so that it is boiling so hard it cannot be stirred down.
- Stir together the flour and water until smooth.
- Pour into the boiling mixture.
- Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.
- Pour into sterile pint jars and seal with new lids and rings.
- Process in a boiling water bath for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your altitude.
Overall, growing and harvesting banana peppers is a good investment for your garden, especially since it yields plenty of ripe, delicious produce to serve at home. We encourage you to start cultivating today- enjoy your gardening!