2013 Bell Pepper Variety Trial Results

Every year the Extension Office does a variety trial of a common vegetable crop. The purpose of the variety trials is to determine which cultivars are best adapted to growing in our climate and will yield the best. The information may aid in variety selection for gardeners, CSA’s, and market farms. It may also help them plan for expected yields when having to produce a certain quantity of a vegetable for a given market. Each garden or farm may have different growing conditions and soil fertility that will cause a variation in variety performance and yield. The trial results are meant to be a guide and not a guaranteed of performance. This year we evaluated 16 sweet bell pepper varieties. The peppers were planted May 31st. Row covers were used for the first 6 weeks and for a couple of weeks in the fall. A drip irrigation system was used. The peppers were harvested when they began to mature and turn color (red, orange or yellow depending on the variety). At the end of the season all the peppers were picked except those that were less than 2” in diameter and immature. The first harvest date was July 31st. The last harvest date was September 25th. The first early producer that had the highest yield was Flavorburst that yielded 1 pepper per plant that had an average weight of 3.2 ounces. Flavorburst is a yellow skinned pepper with good flavor. Beaver Dam was the next highest early yielding variety with 1 pepper per plant that had an average weight of 2.6 ounces. Beaver Dam has a chili pepper shape that turns from a light green color to a dark red when mature. When eaten as an immature pepper it has a slight amount of heat, but once it matures it has little heat flavor. The variety that had the highest yield for the season was Yankee Bell with 2 pounds of peppers per plant; the average weight of the peppers was 3.7 ounces. Yankee Bell is a medium sized pepper, oval shaped with good flavor. The pepper that yielded the most fruit was Beaver Dam with 15 peppers per plant and an average weight of 1.8 ounces. The variety with the largest fruit was Snapper, 5 ounces. The average plant yield for all the varieties was 1.4 pounds; the average fruit weight was 3.5 ounces, and the average number of fruit per plant was 6.7. Below are a list of the varieties, their seed source and a graph of the results. pepper graph Pictures of some of the peppers in the 2013 variety trial

Variety Name

Seed Source

Olympus, hybrid

Johnny's Seeds

Yankee Bell

Johnny's Seeds

X3R Red Knight, hybrid

Johnny's Seeds

Snapper, hybrid

Johnny's Seeds

Ace, hybrid

Johnny's Seeds

Flavorburst, hybrid

Johnny's Seeds

Gourmet, hybrid

Johnny's Seeds

King Arthur, hybrid

Johnny's Seeds

Sweet Sunrise, hybrid

Johnny's Seeds

Beaver Dam

Seed Savers Exchange

Bull Nose

Seed Savers Exchange

Buran

Seed Savers Exchange

Ruby King

Seed Savers Exchange

Napoleon Sweet

Seed Savers Exchange

Wisconsin Lakes

Seed Savers Exchange

King of the North

Seed Savers Exchange

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