sweet peppers

oldokieOctober 7, 2012

Just picked 2 gal of sweet peppers off of frost bit bushes can i store them untill they turn red or yellow depending on bush so they will ripen or do i need to dice and freeze now

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

oldokie,

It depends on how mature they were. Usually if the peppers are at or close to their mature size, they'll color up/sweeten up just fine indoors on a table or counter or something. If they are not very close to maturity, they won't always color up, but sometimes they do. I usually just try to use the smaller ones first while I let the larger ones sit on the counter and finish ripening. If I harvest more than we an eat in a reasonable time frame, which is common when we're stripping the last peppers off plants before a frost or freeze, I do go ahead and chope or slice the ones I think won't color up and freeze them for future use.

Hope this helps,

Dawn

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 5:53PM
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soonergrandmom

Since you picked them AFTER the frost, I would freeze them. Had you picked them before the frost, then many would probably ripen.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 6:04PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Oh, I was assuming the peppers themselves weren't frost bit because I assumed they were lower and were protected by upper foliage. If the frost bit the peppers too, I'd do what Carol said. Usually frost-damaged peppers will have soft spots and discoloration within a few hours of being damaged, if damage did occur.

Next time, if you are expecting frost or freezing conditions and you don't believe the plants will escape damage, if you pull up the plants by the roots and hang them someplace that doesn't freeze--like an in-ground tornado shelter or a well-insulated garage, the peppers still on the plants will continue to ripen for weeks afterwards. When we have a reasonable chance of frost or a freeze, I usually strip the peppers that are a usable size off the plant before the cold weather hits, leave the rest of the tiny baby peppers and flowers on the plant and cover up the plant with a blanket or Agribon floating row cover. Then, if the plant survives, the little baby peppers often have several more weeks to mature and grow after that first cold spell has passed. Some years, I have had peppers still maturing on hanging, dehydrated plants as late as Christmas.

This week, I removed all peppers that were roughly half their mature size or larger, left the little peppers and covered up the plants well. If they escape damage tonight, I'll be a happy camper, and if they don't.....that's life in Oklahoma.

Dawn

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 6:18PM
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