Miniature bell peppers are very cute, and they make an attractive display on the hors d'oeuvres tray, or in a basket at a farmer's market for sale. They come in several different colours, and the grower may choose to grow a mix of seeds from one packet, or select and develop a distinct mix from the many different varieties of mini peppers.
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A Colorful Mix
For the beginning mini bell pepper grower, it's probably most convenient to buy one package of seeds with a mix of colours. The blend that Ferry-Morse sells is the most complete, with all three colours of mini bells represented: yellow, red, and chocolate. The unripe peppers will be green, and can be served with the other three colours. Renee's Garden also sells a mix of miniature red and yellow peppers. Gourmet Seeds sells a mix that they call the "Mini Belle Mix." Each colour is a separate variety, so these mixtures are a mixture of bell pepper types.
Tiny Red Peppers
More serious growers may wish to develop their own blend of tiny colourful peppers. A good place to start with mini red peppers would be Johnny's Selected Seeds' variety, "Mini Apple." The fruits are 2-1/2-by-2-1/2 inches at maturity and have the characteristic lobes of a bell pepper. Totally Tomatoes also sells a red mini bell that it calls "Baby Belle Red Pepper." It is similar to "Mini Apple," but it has resistance to tobacco mosaic virus. For the grower interested in saving seeds from year to year, an open-pollinated variety from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange would fit the bill: this company sells a tiny red pepper called "Red Cherry Pepper." It's great for pickling, canning, and stuffing, and it's about 1 inch in size.
Yellow Miniature Peppers
Burpee sells a yellow mini bell that it calls "Sweet Golden Baby Belle." This pepper is quite prolific, and the fruits are very sweet. For seed savers, the place to go for open-pollinated mini bells is the Seed Savers Exchange: they have a yellow mini bell that is open-pollinated and has fruits about 2 inches long.
Chocolate Mini Bells
Chocolate miniature peppers are the hardest to find, but again, the Seed Savers Exchange comes to the rescue. The same seed saver who provided the above-mentioned yellow mini bell also provides "Mini Chocolate Bell." These grow on sturdy, small bushes that grow well in containers. Totally Tomatoes also sells a high-yielding, small brown pepper called "Chocolate Mini Bell."
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