Should I harvest sweet peppers now?
To my SW Washington neighbors ... when should I harvest sweet red peppers that haven't fully ripened? Do I pick now and hope they ripen indoors, or leave them on the plants (under the garden fabric) for a while longer?
This is my first year growing peppers. Now that it's Oct 16 with night-time temps dangerously close to freezing, I'm at a loss on what to do with them. I've got two sweet red pepper varieties (Red Mercury and Marconi Rosso) planted in earth boxes - 6 plants of each. Plants are quite tall and robust, loaded with peppers that have just started showing the faintest hint of red. I've covered them with a light-weight garden fabric as a frost precaution, but I'm at a loss on harvesting at this point.
I read through some other postings, but don't have a barn or garage for pulling and suspending the plants. My options are leaving them on the plant, or picking and piling in a large colander or bowl for ripening.
NOTE: If it matters, my intent for the peppers is to roast on a charcoal grill, peel/seed them, then freeze individually for adding to sauces throughout the winter. I may also try BBB's sweet pepper spread.