My experience is primarily with Japanese, which has many similarities but also some differences.
As Colin McLarty indicates, you need to learn how to look up characters by radical and stroke count. Explore different dictionaries! It looks like my daughter took back her Chinese dictionary so I can't compare, but the Japanese-to-English character dictionary I use most has each character listed with words where that character appears as the first character, as the second, etc.
Chinese is a bit harder than Japanese, because there are fewer indicators for word boundaries, but there are certain characters that have specific roles in a sentence and give you a clue; any words that you recognize that fit the context are also good indicators and give you a start in breaking up the sentence. Back in the early 1990's, I wrote some software to partition Chinese text into words. The starting point was statistical data on how frequently pairs of characters occur together. You can get a pretty good start by simply knowing common vocabulary -- this amounts to something very similar.
You're going to be doing a lot of lookup. If you're using a paper dictionary, I suggest doing some mods to help speed up lookup. I mark the edges of the dictionary pages with a marker so, without opening it, I can see where each radical's section is found. I fold some tape over the first page and fold over the corner and tape it, so the dictionary opens more readily to the start of each radical's section.
Since my memory isn't perfect (far from it!), I also highlight the characters and words I look up. Very often I'm looking up something I've looked up before; this both reminds me of my past lookup, and helps me find it more quickly.
Anything to help make the lookup process more efficient will help. Learn the radicals, and how to recognize them in characters (including in their different forms). Personally, I find this to be harder with the "simplified" characters, as it makes them look much less distinct, but the strategy will still be the same.
Google Translate appears to do a surprisingly good job with translating Chinese now. If you paste (or type, if you learn to enter Chinese) some text you're having trouble with into Google Translate, and use your mouse, it will highlight the different phrases and the Chinese text they came from (or vice versa), and also offer you alternate translations. You can use this to help break apart your sentence structure, and give you an indication in where to start your study and investigation.
(Of course, for learning, you don't want to rely on that, but use it as a launching pad to find what you need to study -- you want to know WHY that's the translation, and how you'd use it.)
Another point: each character tends to bring certain meanings to a word. If you become familiar enough with the characters, you can begin to leverage this to make educated guesses. This isn't very reliable from a translation standpoint, but it can help guide you in identifying words, or in quickly scanning text looking for something relevant, or something perhaps not too hard to dig into. Even though I don't know Chinese at all, and my Japanese vocabulary is limited, I find I can often scan Chinese text to find relevant pieces as a starting point.
In your bit of text, I picked out a few characters as guidepoints:
- 的 -- I happen to know this usually plays a grammatical role, like a
- 品 -- "stuff" or "things" or "goods" or "items" or "articles". The exact meaning would depend on what follows.
- 多 -- "many", or "much".
In addition, the first word is often a good starting point.
So based on that, I'd look up 品种, 辣椒, and either 有很 or 有很多
Of course, with zero Chinese vocabulary and only a very vague idea of the structure, it's slow going from there, and I've never put any effort into learning the language. But I hope my experiences encourage you that it's possible to approach the language with limited knowledge.