Peppers are one of the simplest crops to grow in a home garden. Most of the time, you just sow the seeds, water them regularly, and they’ll grow into happy little plants.
Peppers will also thrive well in containers. I have grown them in raised beds, containers, in ground garden beds and they do well in all. Growing peppers in containers is a great option if you don’t have a lot of land to make use of.
But if you want to produce more peppers for your kitchen, you need to show your pepper plants a little more love. Here are some useful tips for growing peppers in your own garden.
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Timing is Key When Planting Peppers
Peppers are warm-season crops so they should be started 8 to 10 weeks before your last spring frost date. As soon as the warm weather settles, transplant the peppers. Their fruits will set at around 65°F/18°C – 85°F/29.4°C.
Get the Temperature Right When Sowing
Plant pepper seeds ¼ inch deep into a fine-textured seed starter or vermiculite that offers good drainage. You can use a seed flat on a heat mat to minimize to maximize the number of seeds you can plant.
The bottom heat should be 80–90°F/27–32°C to promote seed germination. In 7 to 8 days, the seeds will start to germinate.
Transplant Pepper Seedlings Properly
Harden off plants about 10 days before transplanting outdoors. Don’t skip this step, you’ll regret it as I did! Check out what happened to my plants one year:
Space them out about 18 to 24 inches apart and no deeper than they already were to prevent rotting.
Add in compost and/or organic matter when you’re transplanting your peppers to give them a good start.
Be sure to choose a sunny spot as they need 6-8 hours of full sun a day also choose a spot with good drainage.
The soil temperature should be about 65°F so that the peppers will survive. You can warm up the soil by covering it with plastic.
Water in Moderation
Peppers love water. They need a moderate supply of water once they sprout until the end of the growing season. However, it’s important to use soil that drains well because they don’t tolerate saturated soil.
Work some organic matter into the soil to ensure moisture retention and use a mulch to prevent excessive evaporation in the summer months.
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Peppers are light feeders so go gentle on fertilizers. If you over fertilize, your pepper plants will end up developing lush foliage instead of producing fruits.
So if you want to know how to make peppers grow faster you’ll want to make sure you don’t kill them with kindness… or over fertilize.
You can use a 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil prior to transplanting.
When peppers bear fruits, they can get easily damaged because of the weight of the fruit. Support them by tying the plants to stakes to prevent them from breaking.
Avoid using wire twist-ties or twine since they can gradually choke off the stem of the plant as it grows.
This tool for tying up plants is inexpensive and works great.
Are Peppers Annuals Or Perennials?
Peppers are actually perennials and are usually grown as annuals. They are tropical so they can’t survive a cold winter outdoors. You can bring them indoors or keep them in a heated greenhouse over the winter and get a head start on your pepper growing for the next season.
I live in Texas in zone 8 and I put mine in the greenhouse to overwinter and they do just fine. If you live in an area that has colder winters, you probably want to take them indoors to overwinter them.
Peppers are easy to grow and maintain. If you keep them happy, one plant will produce more peppers than one family can eat.
What is your favorite pepper to grow? Share them with me in the comments – I’d also love to see pics of your garden or harvest!
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