Tips & Tricks To Make Your Peppers Flourish
If you're a fan of all things spicy and you haven't tried growing your own peppers ...this is your sign to give it a go! It might sound intimidating, but trust us you don't really need a magical green thumb to grow your own fresh, beautiful and HOT peppers!
To grow your own peppers all you need is a small planter or designated garden bed, some soil, water and of course the chilis of your choice! While the amount of water and sun your plant needs, depends on the type we have a few general tips and tricks you can follow to get the best peppers ever!
Choosing the Right Pepper
Choose varieties with shorter growing seasons. Some hot peppers don't start setting flowers and fruits until days begin to shorten, in the fall. Peppers with shorter growing seasons will have time to fully mature and develop their heat.
Increase the Heat
Hot air and soil temperatures seem to increase the heat level in peppers. While you can't control the weather, you can cover the soil with a black plastic bag, to help trap and increase the soil temperature.
Keep Things Dry(ish)
Grow your plants on the dry side. Don't withhold water totally, but you can be a little stingy with it. Water immediately after planting, then regularly throughout the season. Aim for a total of 1-2 inches per week (they may need a little more when it’s hotter). If you're worried about under watering, you can always spread mulch (such as chopped leaves or straw) around the plants to help keep the soil moist.
Less is More
Go easy on the fertilizer. Along with minimal water, your pepper plants don't need much to flourish!
Perfect Planting Time
Set pepper plant seedlings out after the last spring frost. They grow well in raised beds, containers, and in-ground gardens.
Keep 'em Sunny and Separated
Plant them 18 to 24 inches apart in a sunny, well-drained spot. Pepper plants need at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day.
Support each pepper plant with a stake or small tomato cage, to help bear the weight of the fruit once it begins to produce. If your plants don't have enough support they can easily bend, snap and become damaged!
Notes on Color
Many new gardeners begin to wonder at some point if their peppers will ever turn the color shown on the plant tag. If the mature color of the pepper variety you planted is red, orange, yellow, or purple, be patient. Peppers often take a while to change from green to their final color, it might take a little longer than expected but the flavor will be worth the wait!
How To Harvest
When harvesting hot peppers, use gloves to protect hands from capsaicin oil and a possible resulting burn. Harvest peppers with shears or a knife, then store in the fridge. Be sure to pick all peppers before the first fall frost comes.