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Kern County Produce

Cold weather slows bell pepper growth

Bell peppers in Kern County had not bloomed yet as of the third week in April, but growers said they were pleased with the seedlings’ progress.

Anthony Bianchi, sales manager for Kern Ridge Growers LLC, Arvin, Calif., said cool spring temperatures had slowed the plants’ growth a bit. However, the peppers in Kern County were not hit by freezes that struck other nearby growing regions.

“We’re probably looking at a June 1 start,” Bianchi said in late April.

Pete Belluomini, vice president of farming for Lehr Bros. Inc., Edison, Calif., said the company’s bells are developing nicely, despite a spring that has been cooler than normal.

He uses bell peppers as a rotation crop to supplement Lehr Bros. plantings of carrots and potatoes.

In Kern County, bells are traditionally planted in late February with promotable volumes available from late May to November, according to the University of California-Davis Vegetable Research and Information Center.

The Kern County pepper crop is the third of four bell crops planted in California. Growers can typically harvest from the same plants multiple times, usually 10-15 days apart, according to the university information.


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