Growing peppers is no harder than most other plants and vegetables. If you’re interested in cultivating them, keep the following in mind.
Where to Plant Peppers
The site needs to have full sunlight and well drained soil. The pH level should be 6.7 to 7.0. For best results, grow the peppers in raised beds. You should start growing them when the winter has passed. If not, you should plant the peppers indoors 10 weeks before the final frost. Warm air and soil is highly recommended.
Planting the Seeds
Put some compost in the soil. Top it off with some Epsom salts. This is important for growing peppers because it has magnesium. Harden the seedlings and transplant them a couple of weeks after the final frost.
Check the soil and make sure the temperature has reached 60 F. Plant each pepper 16 inches apart. For smaller sizes, you can pack them an inch closer. You’ll want to get supports ready. Put them on when the plant reaches a foot high.
Proper Care and Maintenance
It’s important that the soil is moist throughout. This is particularly crucial during the development stage. In terms of water needs, an inch a week will be enough. Allow the ground to warm up before adding some mulch.
The mulch should be mixed with organic matter. This will keep the moisture in the soil. It also keeps weeds away, which is very important when growing peppers.
Space each one by 18 to 24 inches. For each row it should be 24 to 36 inches. When the flowers appear, put some organic fertilizer around it. Repeat this process three weeks later. Do not plant them in wet soil; it just needs to be moist.
Peppers can be harvested when they’re big enough to eat. Don’t be shy about picking them off. The more you harvest, the more they’ll produce. However their vitamins (A and C) don’t fully develop until they attain two thirds of their color. This is only true for the non green types.
The green peppers have nothing to with black peppers. The garden varieties and the one used for spices are not grown the same way. If you live in the USDA zone 4, think about growing peppers indoors. You might also want to use cold frames or jars.
The varieties have different maturity dates. The Ace variety takes a couple of months, while the Yankee Bell around 85 days. If you’re going to plant sweet peppers with hot peppers, they need to be separated by 900 feet.
If you don’t the sweet peppers will develop an unusual taste. Cross pollination happens often, but it won’t cause any problems with the fruit.
For extra support you can arrange the peppers so they’re in pairs and only 8 inches apart. The result is that the two will lock up. This will keep them both upright during strong winds.
Growing peppers isn’t as time consuming as some may suppose. Once you get started, caring for it will be second nature to you.