~ REALLY EARLY SWEET PEPPER Seeds ~
To grow peppers in the UK, you need really early varieties. After searching for extra-early sweet peppers for many years, we are pleased to offer a range that are unusually early, productive, and tasty.
The very earliest ones tend to have slightly smaller fruit, while the others come a little later but crop more heavily.
How to choose? Well, you can't really go wrong. All are 'early' and good - the main differences are that some make a few peppers very early, while the others make lots but later.
We always grow a mix, so we get a few right at the start of the season and then the heavier bearing ones for our maincrop.
All our peppers do really well in an unheated polytunnel , even in Wales!
Please order your seeds in time. You really need to plant them by the middle of March
TIP: An electric propagator is ideal for starting pepper seed,but if you don't have one, you can still get excellent results by improvising with a warm airing cupboard, a radiator shelf or anywhere that is around 28-38C for at least a few hours in each day. Once germinated, the seedlings will grow on at lower temperatures. We find we can grow excellent plants when our propagator is full by starting seed on the counter
next to our Rayburn & then growing on in a sunny windowsill.
The incredible colour comes from a purple skin overlaying a sweet brick-red flesh. It looks amazing sliced in salads, but is also excellent cooked. We love it roasted, which really brings out the delicious sweet flavour.
Famous for its earliness and sweetness even in cool climates (I think the chocolate-coloured skin helps it absorb whatever sunlight there is available) this performs really well for us.
Beautiful and delicious. Seed produced for us by Anja Van Hees in Wales.
Order SPSC - 16 seed £2.75
Here is an great old favourite which we are pleased to offer again after a long absence from the catalogue. We last had seed of this in 2004, and it was immensely popular at the time.
Lipstick is an ultra-early sweet pepper bred specifically for northern market gardeners and it does very well in the UK.
The small plants quickly set lots of 4" pointy green fruit which ripen to a truly lipstick-red colour.
Pointy, good thick flesh, early
Order SPLi - 18 seed £2.35
This was our new release in 2009, and we think it is still the best-flavoured, meatiest pepper that we've got.
It is from the Antonov family farm in central Bulgaria where it has been grown for generations. The original seed was given to us by Mitko Antonov - from his seed we selected several lines, and from those we have bred this new variety.
It's great - the plants are very quickly covered in medium-sized juicy red bells, with very thick crisp flesh, and a particularly satisfying flavour. They are also excellent used green earlier in the season.
Order SPKR - 16 seed £2.95
Another great pepper. As you can see, we've been working hard on our pepper trials recently.
We've been looking for a good orange pepper for several years. Most orange peppers are either too late for the UK, or not tasty enough. But at last, success!
This rare variety does really well in this country. It's a truly vigorous orange pepper , really early & so good for cooler areas. It was bred by Alex Heklar in 1989, and we think it is the best orange bell pepper for the UK climate.
Apart from earliness and heavy setting, the best thing about this is the particularly sweet flesh. The plants grow very quickly, and make lots of large orange peppers which are nice and sweet both cooked and raw. They fry up nicely to a rich sweet sauce for pasta.
The peppers really are huge and the plants make several in each clump.
Order SPOB - 18 seed £2.18
'King of the North' sweet green bell
Our best cold-summer-adapted, big green bell pepper. This thick-fleshed pepper was bred specifically for home gardeners in short-summer areas. The plants grow very fast and soon set a good crop of large green bells.
If you leave them, they will of course turn red later, but they are excellent eaten green.
Order SPKN - 18 seed £1.99
'Amy' Sweet Hungarian Wax Pepper (Pale Yellow)
This is a sweet type of what is known as a Hungarian Wax pepper. It is an early variety, making lots of pale yellow sweet peppers. This type of pepper is traditionally grown in central Europe.
You do find seeds for this type of pepper offered sometimes in the UK, but only of a hot version, called Hot Hungarian Wax. This sweet version is great but very hard to find, and we are really happy to be able to offer it for the first time this year.
We first grew it in Cambridge 20 years ago when we got our first allotments (his and hers allotments next to each other!), but it has taken us until now to find a source of the seed again so we can offer it in the catalogue.
The beautiful fruit have a wide, pointed cone shape and are extremely tasty. Very productive and good fresh in salads or used in cooked dishes.
Sweet and productive, pick when pale yellowy-white
Order SPAy - at least 20 seed £1.84
Purple peppers are great, but we had to search high and low to find one that was early enough to grow in the UK.
This variety is great - very early , it makes sweet blocky bells that really are such a deep purple they appear almost black.
When you slice them open there's an amazing contrast with the bright flesh inside. Delicious both raw and cooked, ideal for pepper sticks served with dips.
Great both cooked or raw , truly purple, and early.
Order SPPB - 20 seed £1.68
A traditional sweet pepper from Eastern Europe. The peppers are fat, pale green, pointy fruit that ripen to a really dark red.
Pick and use it early green, or wait and pick when red - either way it has a good strong sweet-peppery flavour.
A generous packet at an affordable price!
Order SPSL at least 30 seed £1.89
This is an almost lime-green coloured early sweet pepper from Eastern Europe.
The fruit are a slightly-pointed bell shape, with good crisp flesh. They will ripen to red if you leave them - but in fact it has been bred for picking early with a very good flavour when green, which of course will help if the so-called 'summer' of 2012 is repeated . . .
Great cooked or raw.
Again, a generous packet of a decent pepper at an affordable price!
Order SPNV at least 30 seed £1.89
This was a chance discovery in our pepper trials. The story behind this fine pepper is that in Czecheslovakia there was once a breeding program aiming to improve on the traditional chilli 'Palivec', and it actually generated a pair of new pepper varieties - one hot, the other sweet.
This one, Semaroh, is the sweet one - early and productive, with lots of long sweet peppers with a goats-horn shape.
Order SPSe- 20 seed £1.84NOTE: We also have its evil twin, a very similar but outrageously hot pepper called Ohnivec, over on the chillies page.
~ A MORE UNUSUAL SWEET PEPPER ~
'Dedo de Mocha' Sweet Ají
Incredibly productive, & a favourite every year, we like it grilled and served with olive oil. Without the heat, subtle undertones of Ají flavour come out, with distinct smokey tastes being the most obvious.
One of the easier of our unusual / rare peppers to grow, though you do need a polytunnel or greenhouse. If you want a challenge - it can be overwintered if you keep it frost-free - we did have one plant that made it to 3 years old and in its last year it made over 270 peppers!
We have had a couple of reports last year of stressed plants making some heat near the seeds. But in normal conditions this should be classed as a sweet pepper.
Very rare, pretty easy to grow. Gently smokey Aji. Not hot - mostly: the occasional pepper is warm, especially towards the end of the season, or with plants in their second or third year.
Seed produced for us by our grower Anne Bartlett.
Order SPDM - 18 seed £2.10
PS: The name of this traditional variety translates roughly as 'Amputated Fingers' ,
which is fair enough given the shape and colour, but seems to be in dubious taste!
Luckily the peppers themselves taste good though.
Saving Sweet Pepper Seed:
Peppers (both hot and sweet) do cross very easily,
so if you want to save seed you need to either grow only one variety,
You really do need to do this!
However, if the plants were isolated, the seed-saving
bit is really pretty easy.
Leave them to air dry, and then dry them properly so they don't die in storage. That's it!
Basic seed-saving instructions are included with your seeds, so you can do this yourself.
There are more detailed home-seed saving guides (printable) over to the left of this page,
in the box titled 'SeedSaving', with sheets on drying and storing your seed too.
And of course, seed-saving is only possible because these are all real, non-hybrid varieties.