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Every year is different, we already knew that. But, it seems that each growing season has been more wildly different than they used to be. The oddity that is this year has resulted in smaller than usual plants that want to overachieve with fruit production. The trick is getting them to be big enough plants to handle it.
The good thing about Purple Beauty is that these tend to have smaller plants to begin with. We have noticed with Purple Beauty and Garden Sunshine that they are working extra hard to give us excellent fruit this year. Other peppers are doing fine - especially the bell peppers. Keep them picked and you'll be getting more rewards!
These are very attractive fruits with a mild bell pepper flavor. For the most part, a person grows these for the color as their taste isn't much different than most green bells. An heirloom variety, fruit are purple on the outside, green inside. Sometimes we allow a pepper to ripen to a red with purple overtones. Smaller plants are very bushy, hiding the fruit deep inside the plant protecting them from sunscald. Picking these is not always easy as they tend to hide well in the middle of the plants. And, since they are in the middle, they seem to get wedged between branch forks and defy efforts at picking the fruit without breaking off a significant portion of the plant. They take less space than most plants and have a low profile for windy areas, but we still recommend that you grow them to add color to your pepper offerings, but not as a main crop.
As of August 23, we picked 89 peppers that weighed out at 31.2 lbs. In other words, it takes a little under three peppers for a pound. That means they are pretty blocky with good size. This is very consistent with our 2012 numbers for size. And, in 2012 we had an average of 5-6 marketable peppers per plant. This could be exceeded this year. But, we just have to wait and see (of course).