It sounds like what I would have done. Pulling the fertilizer strip this late in the season would probably be more problem than it is worth.
The peppers may just ripen at this point due to the lack of water..how much longer will your season last??
..here in Maryland the peppers ripen slowly and are done by now or early October. I would think it would be the same in Ohio.
I also have a few boxes of tomatoes and peppers I am coaxing along but if they end anytime I figure I am on "borrowed time" and anything I harvest is extra. That being said, I still do not want to give up any vegetables that could be harvested.
Those critters are a real pain !!!! I planted a box of broccoli last week and those darn, cute bunnies ate 1/2 of it
--Replanting this weekend and will cover it with netting...I have already donated more than my share to the wildlife and weather. I usually plan on a certain % of loss...
I will keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best for you !!