How to Grow Peppers the Easy Way
Growing peppers can be a very exciting and fulfilling process, you may remember that growing peppers used to mean growing green peppers and not much else, but now there are so many types and colours of pepper available on the market, it makes it almost impossible to choose.
Bell peppers are a very popular choice to grow in your garden and are relatively easy to grow in a less than ideal climate. If it’s hot peppers you’re after then the best varieties are usually from Mexico, China or Thailand, weather it be habanero’s, jalapenos, cayenne, or Serrano’s be sure to check the packet to see if they suit your region and area.
Peppers take roughly 70 – 90 days to mature (see packet) and during this time they like to be kept as warm as possible. 80 degrees F is an ideal warmth for your pepper plant but they can cope with lower temperatures, so keeping your pepper plant in full sun is a good idea if possible.
Starting your peppers off indoors makes for much easier growing, follow our advice on the Growing Peppers from Seed page for more information and advice. Once you’re up and running make sure your peppers have sufficient water, pepper plants are a lot thirstier in early growth. A well drained soil helps to avoid root rot and will keep your plant healthy during early times in your pepper plants life.
Get your compost and fertilised ground ready for planting early, an already well nourished planting area in your garden will help aid your pepper plant in the replanting and transferring stage. Ph levels in the soil should be ideally around 6.5 to begin then increasing or decreasing afterwards to determine the chosen flavour(more acidic for a sharper hotter taste). A good fertilizer is 15-15-15 as stated on the container and this will need to be done 2 – 3 times a year.
When your pepper plant is outdoors there is a much bigger risk of damage from pests or frost, pepper plants really don’t like the cold, if you think it might be a cold or frosty night use a plastic bucket or plastic bag to securely cover the plant to help keep it protected.
The most common pests when growing your pepper plants are spider mites and aphids but borers are not uncommon. To get rid of these borers, aphids, and spider mites try using an organic insecticide or dust.
Peppers are ready to be picked as soon as they are big enough or you can leave them to change colour and flavour gradually. Be sure to cut your peppers cleanly off and not pull them off, pepper plants are very fragile and pulling may damage the stems. If a broken stem does occur, remove it cleanly with a knife or cutter. Pepper plants do not need any other pruning other than this, so enjoy your peppers and sit back and wait for the next batch to grow!