(Casicum annuum, C. baccatum, C. frutescens) Native to the Americas, peppers come in thousands of varieties, many unusual flavors, and all shapes and sizes. Heirloom peppers are often more flavorful than the modern-types, and most give huge yields. They are one of the easiest crops to grow, and are not much bothered by pests. All types of peppers are frost-tender, and are usually started indoors several weeks before the last frost date, although they may be direct-seeded in gardens in long-season climates. Set transplants out after warm weather has really settled. Peppers prefer rich and moist soil and full sun, although they will tolerate some shade, and some, especially C. frutescens, actually prefer a break from hot summer sun. Most types can be used green or ripe, and hot types tend to become more pungent when fully ripened in hotter conditions.
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