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Sweetest yellow peppers: here are our picks.

We grew and taste-tested 10 varieties

THOSE LUMINESCENT sweet yellow peppers you see in the store for as much as $4.50 a pound always looks enticing, but instead of having the sweet, peppery flavor you expect, they're often watery and bland. Industrious gardeners don't have to put up with poor flavor or inflated prices. There are plenty of delicious yellow pepper varieties you can grow from seed, and now's the time to order. NOT ALL PEPPERS ARE CREATED EQUAL

To help you make a selection, we grew and evaluated 10 varieties. (Peppers had to turn bright yellow--not orange or red--at maturity to qualify for the test.) We planted seedlings in spring, then harvested when peppers turned from green to yellow.

For sweetness, juiciness, and pepper flavor, our taste panel judged 'Carsissimo di Cuneo', yellow 'Corno di Toro', and 'Golden Cal Wonder' best. 'Ori' (not shown) and 'Orobelle' were close behind. Both produce well in cool climates. 'Gold Crest' and 'Golden Bell' (also good in cool climates) were crunchy and juicy but not quite as sweet. 'Yellow Cheese' and 'Yellow Cheese Pimento' lacked sweetness in our taste test, and 'Quadrato d'Oro' wasn't particularly sweet or juicy.

Climate and nutrients can alter flavors, so your results may differ from ours. In most cases, peppers need warm temperatures, a relatively long growing season, a consistent supply of nitrogen over the season, and a good supply of potassium at fruiting time.

SEEDS NEED WARMTH TO GERMINATE

Sow seeds in flats or containers; if possible, keep soil temperature above 80 |degrees~ (use a heating cable or set flats on a water heater). Once seeds germinate, move seedlings into bright light for about eight weeks. Don't rush transplanting; wait until soil has warmed. In cool climates, plant through black plastic and cover with row covers. Keep soil evenly moist through the growing season.

WHERE TO GET SEEDS

These catalogs are free unless noted.

Johnny's Selected Seeds, 310 Foss Hill Rd., Albion, Maine 04910; (207) 437-4301. 'Gold Crest', 'Orobelle'.

Ornamental Edibles, 3622 Weedin Court, San Jose, Calif. 95132. Catalog $2. 'Carsissimo di Cuneo', yellow 'Corno di Toro', 'Golden Cal Wonder', 'Ori', 'Orobelle', 'Yellow Cheese Pimento'.

Seeds Blum, Idaho City Stage, Boise, Idaho 83706. Catalog $3. 'Yellow Cheese'.

Shepherd's Garden Seeds, 6116 Highway 9, Felton, Calif. 95018; (408) 335-6910. Catalog $1. Yellow 'Corno di Toro', 'Quadrato d'Oro'.

Territorial Seed Company, Box 157, Cottage Grove, Ore. 97424; (503) 942-9547. 'Golden Bell'.
COPYRIGHT 1994 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Swezey, Lauren Bonar
Publication:Sunset
Date:Mar 1, 1994
Words:403
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