Bell peppers are tender perennial fruits that thrive in hot temperatures and well-draining soil. Plant them in a sunny spot that receives six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily.
Before planting, mix a healthy amount of compost or well-aged manure into the bed. This organic matter feeds beneficial soil organisms and provides valuable nutrients for your bell peppers.
When planting bell peppers, it’s important to get the soil right. These heat-loving vegetables grow best in well drained, sandy to loamy soil enriched with organic matter. A layer of mulch is helpful for retaining moisture and keeping the soil cool.
Alternatively, you can plant your pepper plants in containers or raised beds. These are easier to manage than traditional garden beds and offer a more versatile growing environment.
Soil testing is an essential first step to ensure your plants receive all the nutrients they need to thrive. The most common nutrients peppers need include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and calcium.
Adding lime and gypsum can increase soil pH to help peppers grow better. Eggshells crushed and added to the soil also boost the soil’s calcium levels. This prevents blossom end rot, which is caused by a calcium deficiency.
Bell peppers love light, so don’t hesitate to plant them where they’ll get plenty of it. This includes full sun, ideally six hours or more of direct sunlight every day, but they can also thrive in partial shade.
Aside from sunlight, peppers also need a good amount of water and nutrients to grow. You can fertilize with a liquid feed of compost or comfrey leaves, which are a great source of nitrogen and other essential nutrients for plants.
Growing sweet peppers is a rewarding, high-yielding activity that you’ll enjoy for many years to come. They’re a versatile, delicious addition to many meals and they’re easy to grow in containers if you don’t have room for a garden.
When planting bell peppers, it’s important to know the right watering schedule. Ideally, you should give your plant an inch of water every week, preferably in the morning or evening.
In hotter climates, you may need to water more often than that. It’s also best to wait until the soil is dry before you water again.
To check whether the soil is dry, put your finger down into the potting soil about 2 inches deep. If it feels dry to the top inch, it’s time for another watering.
You can also use a watering can or a hose to keep your pepper plants well watered. Just be sure to water in the early morning or late evening, when the sun is low and the soil is warmest. This is because the water evaporates too quickly during the day and can splash on your leaves and other parts of the plant. This can cause bacteria and fungi to grow.
When you’re planting bell peppers, you’ll need to know the ideal temperature for growing them. They prefer temperatures of 70degF to 85degF during the day and 60degF to 70degF at night.
In addition, they love full sun, though if you live in an area with intense heat and sunlight, shade them during the hot afternoons. Ideally, mulch around your pepper plants to help keep the soil warm and to retain moisture.
A light mulch can also reflect some of the sunlight away from your plants, which helps them stay cool during the day.
Once the danger of frost has passed and the nighttime temperatures are consistently above 55degF, you can move your bell peppers outside permanently. This is called hardening off.
This is a simple process that involves gradually exposing your peppers to the outdoor elements. It can take a couple of weeks to get your peppers acclimated, but it greatly increases their chances of survival once you transplant them.