Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
All I could imagine were the stuffed, soggy green “sweet” peppers that made an occasional appearance on our dinner table. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized there are many other peppers to grow and eat – fortunately, very few of them taste anything like the ubiquitous green peppers for which I never did develop an appetite.
Growing peppers in the garden requires one very specific thing: heat. Whether you choose to grow hybrid jalapenos that produce well in containers like the Fiskars® Terra Box railing Planter shown above, field rows of sweet-spicy Poblano peppers to fill with meat and spices, or miniscule chili peppers to dry for pots of chili to serve during the Super Bowl, your crop will need lots of sun and plenty of warm days. Some pepper growing enthusiasts will go so far as to suggest that the hotter and drier the summer, the hotter the pepper. But, in reality on excessively hot days, even the hardiest pepper plant may fail to fruit and flower until the heat wave begins to wane. Treating your plants to consistent sunlight, watering and nutrients is the best way to maximize your crop.
Peppers are usually defined by their heat level, which categorizes them as either “sweet” or “hot”. And, there are some significant ranges in that large “hot” category, so watch out!
Sweet peppers generally have little or no heat to them at all. The red, orange and yellow bell peppers offered nearly year-round at the grocery store typify the sweet group. Too, green bell peppers, which are really unripe peppers, also fall into the sweet grouping. With little heat to burn your tongue, these are ideal for a crudités platter.
Mildly spiced “hot” peppers include jalapenos, some pepperoncini, and tomatillos. This group can add a bit of spice to a dish, but they usually won’t leave you fanning your tongue.
Jalapenos are perfect chopped into a fresh summer salsa. Pepperoncinis are wonderful for pickling. And tomatillos are tangy and ideal roasted on the grill and frozen for use in winter soups and stews; they also make a delicious green salsa that is more sweet than hot.
Medium-heat peppers are just the thing for adding quite a bit of heat to a dish without leaving your senses seared. Consider forest-green Poblanos to stuff and bake with lamb, herbs, pine nuts and raisins. (Hint: the sweet raisin is a fantastic foil to the mild, spicy heat.) Like a wax pepper? Try growing Hungarian Wax peppers to stuff with a cheesy blend, or try cutting them into a spicy pickling mix.
So you want to try some blazing hot options? Thai bird chili peppers are tiny, but they pack a lot of heat. They are also multi-colored and beautiful in the garden. And, the well-known tangerine-orange habanero is terrific beauty, but respect its heat or you might get burned!
Whether you choose one of these options or any of the many others available, your plants will begin to flower as days lengthen and warm. From the flowers, peppers will begin to form. They may be harvested green, but flavor, color and storability will improve once they fully ripen.
Once harvested, peppers can be used fresh or stored in any number of ways. Most peppers dehydrate well. Roasting over an open flame will impart new flavors – whether used immediately or preserved for winter by freezing. Dried peppers are also fantastic used in any number of canning recipes; just be sure to follow canning safety precautions. Or, string them up to dry as a kitchen decoration or hostess gift during the holiday season.
If you like the heat, but maybe want just a bit less of it in your dish, remove and discard the seeds and interior white pith, which are the hottest part of any pepper plant. If you wear contact lenses, consider taking them out before you coat your fingertips with pepper oil while you chop. Even after a thorough washing, I’ve seared my eyeballs with the residual oils, which left me blinking through tears of pain.