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Fall is the Best Time for Growing Peppers in Texas

Red Jumble

The distressing heat of summer has passed us by here in Central Texas. This morning it was 48° F in the yard, with a heavy dew. Boy, was that refreshing on my bare toes! Even had the cat walking on stilts.

Gardens hereabouts suffer in the dead of summer, but they refresh nicely in September and October. Pepper plants don’t fare too badly, as long as you take care with watering and such. My pepper patch has gone crazy since the heat broke! Serranos, cayennes, habaneros and more, all large and luscious. Flavorful and hot, too. Plenty of blooms still visible, as if the plants expect to get another 45 days of growing and ripening. Of course, any chiles that aren’t ripe when the first freeze comes can be picked and used green. That’s one great feature of chiles, they’re all edible green.


In the meantime, green’s not the predominant color of the fruit. Deep, vibrant red is everywhere. My jumbo cayenne plants have all built main stalks that are about three feet tall, and each of these stalks is a tangled mass of chiles. So heavy that I’m having to tie up some of the stalks with twine, even with the plants inside small tomato cages. Habaneros so orange you think they’re small neon glow lamps. Yellow banana peppers that redefine yellow. Purple-red cherry bombs that look like they’re so full of color they’ll explode when you pick them.

The smaller fruit from the dead of summer have been replaced with monsters that look more like early chiles from spring. Big, shiny, thick-walled. And more than I’ve ever seen before.

I guess the topsoil and compost I added this year paid off…

Enjoy the (Plentiful Peppers) Heat!


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