Stuffed, grilled, sautéed, I will take peppers any way they come. Especially if they come straight out of the garden. The good news is that peppers are easy to grow, but growing amazing, huge, voluptuous peppers takes a few secret tricks of the trade. Good news – we’ve got the secret to growing peppers… all of them!
Start Out Right
Peppers can be difficult to start as seed. They must be started 8-10 weeks before transplanting, and sometimes getting the seeds to germinate correctly can be tricky. Start off by purchasing plants that are ready to be transplanted. This will give you the best start.
It’s no surprise, peppers like it hot! Wait to plant peppers until the soil is warm. It’s really never too late to plant peppers, they can start producing in as little as 30 days with the right environment. Keep the area nice and warm, peppers need as much bright and hot sun as they can get.
Peppers are thirsty, but they don’t like to get their feet wet. This means they need a steady supply of water, and good drainage so you don’t over-saturate the soil and waterlog the roots. Add organic matter to the soil to increase moisture retention and use mulch to prevent too much evaporation, especially in particularly hot climates.
To fertilize or not to fertilize can be a heated debate among green thumbs. Too much fertilizer can make pepper plants create beautiful foliage and lots of leaves, but not very much actual fruit. So keep feeding light, by adding just a little bit before transplanting and than a little more when the plant begins to produce. That’s really all you need to enjoy beautiful peppers.
Once you have a few plants that are producing fruit, clip off some of the flower buds. This will encourage the plant to use its energy and resources to product fruit rather than leaves. Also prune down suckers, which can deplete fruit quantity and quality.
That’s really all there is to it. Hot pepper varieties can take longer to grow than bell peppers, but you can enjoy homegrown peppers in less than 100 days if you give them a little TLC. You’ll be ready for fajitas, salsa, and salad in no time.