Gardening in Northern Climates: Yolo & Big Red Bell Pepper Varieties for Better Yields

Gardening in Northern Climates: Yolo & Big Red Bell Pepper Varieties for Better Yields
Red Bell Pepper – Bonnie Plants

When it comes to bell peppers, there are many varieties available for growing. Yolo, Keystone Giant and Big Red are all popular choices among gardeners in Wisconsin. But how do they perform in a northern climate? Will they reach maturity? Are they suitable for grow bags or containers? What kind of yield can be expected? Read on to learn more about these three pepper varieties and the best choice for your needs.

The North Star Bell Pepper is a reliable option for Wisconsin gardeners, but if you’re looking to add a second variety to your garden, consider Antebellum or Galileo instead. These two varieties have good yields and are suitable for both ground-based and container gardening.

Yellow Monster, Macoupin Monster, Chinese Giant, Douce D' Espange, Big Bertha and Giant Marconi are other bell pepper varieties that perform well in central Illinois. While some of these may thrive in containers, most will produce better when grown in the ground.

Keystone Giant is not recommended for container gardening as it's a vigorous plant that grows up to 30 inches tall. It also requires a large container - at least 16 inches in diameter - with drainage holes covered by weed cloth or newspaper. Peppers love warm weather but need access to shade in hot temperatures. Keep them well-watered and stake them to keep fruit off the ground; mulch for disease and weed control.

For those looking for smaller fruits, Carmen, Cute Stuff Red, Orange Blaze (which has an excellent flavor), Patio Snackers Patio Tasty Blush, Green, Orange and Red, and Pompeii are all good options. However, none of these produce very large fruits so expect fewer yields from containers than from the ground.

In conclusion, Yolo and Big Red are both viable options for northern climates. They can be grown either in the ground or in containers but larger fruits tend to fare better when planted directly into soil rather than pots. When choosing a bell pepper variety, consider your climate conditions and the size of fruit you want before making your decision.

Will the North Star Bell Pepper do well in a northern climate and reach maturity?

Yes, the North Star Bell Pepper is suitable for growing in a northern climate and will reach maturity.

Will Yolo, Keystone Giant or Big Red do well in a 5 gal. size grow bag or containers?

The Keystone Giant may not be suitable for container growing due to its vigorous growth habit. The Yolo and Big Red varieties are more compact plants and should do well in grow bags or containers.

Which of the 3 varieties will give offer the largest yield?

It is difficult to determine which variety will give the largest yield as this can depend on many factors such as soil quality, climate, and care given to the plants.

Do I need to know anything special about special needs for growing Yolo, Keystone Giant or Big Red?

All bell peppers require full sun, warm temperatures, and regular watering. Staking and mulching can also help with disease and weed control. The Keystone Giant may require more space and staking due to its vigorous growth habit.

How often should I water the plants?

Water bell peppers regularly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. Water deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather and soil conditions.

What type of fertilizer should I use for Yolo, Keystone Giant or Big Red?

A balanced fertilizer with an equal ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is recommended for bell peppers. Apply fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.

How long does it take for Yolo, Keystone Giant or Big Red to reach maturity?

Bell peppers typically take between 60-90 days to reach maturity. The exact time will depend on the variety and environmental conditions.

Are there any pests or diseases that I should be aware of when growing Yolo, Keystone Giant or Big Red?

Common pests that affect bell peppers include aphids, flea beetles, and spider mites. Diseases such as bacterial spot and mosaic virus can also affect bell peppers. Regular monitoring and preventive measures such as crop rotation and proper sanitation can help reduce the risk of pest and disease problems.