Are you interested in growing peppers in your garden? Both sweet and hot peppers grow similarly, needing nearly identical care. Peppers are easy to grow, but there are a few considerations to take in order to ensure a successful harvest.
If you have been thinking about growing peppers, then this is the post you need! We are sharing all our tips and tricks for growing peppers for a great harvest. Whether you are growing bell peppers, jalapenos, or Carolina Reapers, this guide to growing peppers will help you have an amazing experience with your pepper plants!
Successfully Growing Peppers
When it comes to growing peppers, let's talk about the exciting varieties you can choose from. We've got both hot and sweet peppers, and boy, do they bring some amazing benefits to the table! Personally, I can't get enough of jalapenos. They're like the culinary MVPs, adding a delightful kick to a wide range of dishes in the kitchen.
Now, if you're into some serious heat and love spicing things up, hot cayenne peppers are your ticket to flavor town. These babies are perfect for dehydrating and adding that extra punch to your favorite foods.
On the other hand, if you're looking for something milder and snackable, sweet bell peppers are where it's at. They're not only wonderful for snacking, but they also make a fantastic choice for kids who may not be fans of too much heat.
No matter what you chose, these expert tips will help you yield your best pepper harvest yet!
1. Start Your Peppers Indoors
Pepper seeds are the perfect prospect for starting indoors. Because peppers like the heat, growing outside during the spring can leave them to struggle with germination. Starting your plants indoors gives them the best start to a successful and thriving season.
Start your seeds 8-10 weeks before the last frost is over. Germination can take anywhere from 7-10 days with soil heat at 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Plant Peppers in Full Sun Location
Pepper plants need 8-10 hours of direct sunlight a day. Plant your seedlings in the sun to ensure that your plants thrive. Peppers do not mature unless given direct sunlight.
Even though pepper plants love the heat, once temperatures rise into the 90's, it can be hard for pepper plants to bare fruit. If you live in an area with extreme heat, afternoon shade may be helpful for your peppers.
3. Plant Peppers in Rich Soil
Peppers love rich, loamy, well-drained soil. These plants prefer a pH of 6.0-6.5. Be sure nitrogen levels are not too high though as that will prevent the peppers from producing fruit.
Plant them 18-24 inches apart in order to allow enough room for growth and air for circulation.
We love the Back to Eden gardening method for our homestead as it creates a wondefully rich and nutrient packed soil for our plants to thrive!
4. Water Pepper Plants Daily
Even though peppers love the heat, these plants need water. Peppers need about 2 inches of water a day in order to thrive. If the weather is extremely hot, they may need up to a gallon of water. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely, water frequently and at the base of the plant to prevent sunburn.
5. Mulch Your Plants
Mulch is instrumental in growing healthy pepper plants. Adding about an inch of mulch to your pepper plants helps retain moisture in the soil. Because pepper plants need to be watered frequently, the mulch protects the soil and retains the water, even in direct sunlight.
6. Support Your Peppers
Pepper plants can get large and fall over quickly, especially with the weight of any peppers. Providing a stake or cage for the plant keeps your peppers standing upright, allowing the plant to thrive and the peppers to mature. To get the most out of your plants, be sure to add support.
7. Plant Near Companions
Companion planting with peppers is a great way to ensure a healthy and thriving garden. Believe it or not, peppers do well planted near most vegetables, herbs, and flowers.
Peppers benefit most from tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and most herbs. Corn can also do well with peppers, and beans and peas keep nitrogen levels low so peppers can produce lots of fruit.
Do not plant near brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, etc.), near apricot trees, or next to fennel.
8. Prune Your Pepper Plants
Be sure to keep the lower branches of the pepper plant trimmed. This allows the plant to focus its resources on the production of peppers.
When your pepper plant is just beginning to bloom, remove blooms to allow full growth and maturity of the plant. This will encourage a more mature plant and a larger production of peppers a little later in the season.
9. Harvest Peppers Properly
Your growing pepper plants can be delicate and break easily. When harvesting, be sure to use scissors or shears to remove the peppers gently from the plant. Pulling off the peppers can lead to breaking your plants.
Also, if you are harvesting hot peppers, be sure to use gloves as the oils from the plant can transfer to your skin. Believe me, there is nothing worse than accidentally rubbing your eye after getting hot pepper oil on your hands!
Peppers are great for beginner gardeners because they grow quickly and easily. With the proper care, these plants will produce tons of peppers. Using these easy growing tips for peppers will help guide you through the growing process, making peppers the perfect addition to your garden.
Pepper seeds typically take about 7-10 days to germinate, provided they are kept in an environment with a soil temperature of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Yes, peppers can be successfully grown in containers or pots. Choose a container with good drainage and a size appropriate for the pepper variety you are growing. Make sure to provide adequate sunlight, regular watering, and nutrient-rich potting soil.
Pepper plants benefit from regular fertilization. Begin by incorporating compost or well-rotted manure into the soil before planting. During the growing season, apply a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks or use a slow-release fertilizer according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Several factors can contribute to poor fruit production in pepper plants. Insufficient sunlight, extreme temperatures, inadequate pollination, nutrient deficiencies, or overfertilization can all affect fruit set. Assess these conditions and make any necessary adjustments to encourage fruiting.
Even More Gardening Fun
Ready to fill your garden with easy-to-grow vegetables that will feed your family? We've got you covered! Here are a few of our favorite things to grow in our homestead garden.
- Growing Zucchini
- Growing Spinach in Any Climate
- Growing Tomatoes from Seed to Harvest
- Growing Green Beans: Bush Beans and Pole Beans.