There are many delicious dishes that include sweet bell peppers as a key ingredient. Some examples are omelets, salads, paellas, quesadillas, and harissa sauce.
Bell pepper plants will do well if they are in a sunny spot that is sheltered and in a spot where vegetables are grown. They can also grow in a greenhouse. They can even grow well in big containers.
Bell pepper gardening tips
There are many benefits to growing bell peppers in your garden. The most obvious benefit is that you will have a supply of fresh peppers to pick during the summer. This can be very rewarding, as you will be able to enjoy your peppers at your leisure. Another benefit is that you will be able to control the quality of your peppers. You will be able to choose the peppers that are the right size and shape for you, and you will be able to pick them at the peak of ripeness. Finally, growing your own peppers can be a great way to save money. Peppers can be expensive to buy, so growing your own can save you a lot of money in the long run.
The following tips will help you to achieve your goals if you’re thinking of growing bell peppers at home. They are useful and simple gardening tips.
Types of peppers
Peppers, which are also known as capsicums, are flowering plants that are part of the nightshade family Solanaceae. This family also includes tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants.
Deadly nightshade is a member of the nightshade family, which is a large family of plants that includes many edible plants.
Peppers come from the Americas and do best in a warm climate. They need stable, warm temperatures and regular watering to produce fruit.
Peppers are actually berries!
Even though we often call peppers vegetables, they are actually fruits. This is because they have seeds.
A berry with no pit is classified as a botanical fruit that comes from a single flower with one ovary. Culinary classification of berries refers to any small, fleshy fruit.
Although this fact may not be useful for gardening, it is interesting nonetheless!
Sweet or spicy?
The flavor of a pepper plant’s fruit can range from sweet to spicy, depending on the variety. Both hot peppers and sweet peppers are the same species – Capsicum annuum – but hot peppers contain the chemical capsaicin, which gives them their spicy heat.
Bell peppers lack capsaicin, the compound that gives hot peppers their signature heat. This is why bell peppers are referred to as “sweet peppers” while their spicy cousins are not.
Bell pepper varieties
The bell peppers that are typically sold as “traffic light” colored peppers are all of the same kind, but they are harvested at different degrees of ripeness.
As the pepper ripens, the vitamin c content increases. Red bell peppers are packed full of vitamin c once they are fully rip. Bell peppers contain more vitamin c than oranges.
Ripe peppers and flavor changes
The flavor of bell peppers changes as they ripen. Green peppers have a slightly bitter, grassy, herby flavor that not everyone will appreciate. Green bell peppers are unripe fruits and therefore they haven’t yet started to become sweet.
As the peppers ripen, they become sweeter because the sugar content rises as the starch inside them breaks down during the ripening process.
So many choices!
One of the joys of growing bell peppers is the chance to try many different types. There are many different colors, sizes, and flavors available, so you can find the perfect pepper for your garden.
Best bell pepper varieties to grow at home:
- California Wonder – a popular large bell pepper plant that produces 4-inch fruits that can be harvested as green peppers or left to ripen to sweet red peppers.
- Marconi – long, slender sweet red pepper that is great for stuffing and roasting.
- Canary Bell – beautiful sweet yellow peppers that take a bit longer to mature (about 100 days to maturity from seed to harvest).
- Big Red – thick-skinned, fleshy pepper that ripens from green to blood red.
- Coral Bell – bright orange sweet bell peppers that have 4 lobes.
- Purple Beauty – strikingly beautiful deep purple-colored sweet peppers that ripen to red.
Best bell pepper varieties for growing in containers:
- Snackbite mixed – compact bell pepper plant that produces small, pretty peppers that contain very few seeds hence their popularity for snacking!
- Redskin – a mini bell pepper plant with full-sized fruit, perfect for growing in a pot.
- Gourmet – bright orange, blocky fruit with a crunchy texture.
Are bell peppers easy to grow?
Bell pepper plants require more care in colder climates. They can be difficult to grow in these conditions.
Bell peppers take a long time to grow, so you need to take good care of them if you want them to produce fruit.
Rewards that equal the effort
Your diligence will be worth it when you can finally taste the sweet bell peppers you’ve grown yourself!
You can grow bell peppers at home without a garden or a greenhouse by growing them in containers.
What month do you plant bell peppers?
You should plant your seeds six to eight weeks before the last possible frost in spring.
You can plant bell peppers indoors in the Northern hemisphere as early as the first week of March if you have a heated propagator or a heated mat that you can set your seedling trays on.
Peppers are delicate plants that are very susceptible to cold, and so they need consistent warmth and shelter during germination.
How long do bell peppers take to grow?
The ideal time from seed to harvest is 20-26 weeks, but this can vary depending on the level of care and the environment.
If you don’t want to start at the beginning of the season or you didn’t have enough time and missed the ideal time to plant, you can buy young pepper plants from a nursery or local grower.
How to Grow Peppers from Seed
Growing peppers from seed requires some patience, but overall, it is fairly simple. Here are some things to keep in mind:
1. KNOW YOUR ZONE
The text is saying that people who live in the deep south should plant their seeds directly in the ground, but for people in most other regions, it is best to sow the seeds indoors for 8-10 weeks before planting them in the garden or an outdoor container. Depending on where you live, you should plant the seeds in the ground 2-3 weeks after the last frost.
2. SOAK IN WATER OVERNIGHT
Soaking seeds in water overnight before planting them can help increase the chances of them sprouting. To do this, place the seeds in a container of water the night before you plan to plant them. In the morning, drain the water and plant the seeds in the soil of your choice. You can use pellets or try your own DIY method. Plant three seeds per pod to give you better chances of a sprout in a hole that is 1/4″ deep.
The time it takes for a sprout to germinate can vary depending on the type of plant, with hot peppers usually being more delicate. To increase the chances of a successful germination for hot peppers, it is advisable to keep the soil moist and place the seeds in a warm location such as on top of a heating mat or near the refrigerator. A greenhouse dome can also help by trapping moisture.
When you have a sprout, take the plants out of the dome and off the heating mat. Put them in a sunny spot in a south-facing window until you transplant them. Let your peppers sit outside for a couple days so they can get used to being outdoors.
How to Grow Peppers from Transplant
The best way to ensure that your peppers will be healthy and successful is to start them from transplants.
Tara said that she received well-established plants from Burpee. She said that because of the hot, sunny weather, all of her plants thrived and were laden with peppers. She said that she was able to enjoy multiple harvests.
Even though my transplants arrived in the same condition as Tara’s, my peppers were still green when hers were red and ready to pick because our summer was much cooler than Ontario.
You should plant your peppers no more than 2-3 weeks after your last frost for the best chance of having ripe peppers.
I recommend planting peppers in full sun in a sandy loam soil that contains lots of organic matter and drains well. I also added worm castings from my worm bin to the planting hole of each pepper. Depending on the size of the pepper and the spacing in your garden, they should be planted 12-18 inches apart, with row spacing of 3 inches. Your peppers will respond well to dense planting!
When planting, soak both the plants and the soil with a fertilizer drench. After about 30 days, fertilize them again with a light sprinkling. Be careful not to over-apply nitrogen when using your fertilizer, as this will just make them leafy.
Plus, they’ll spruce up your outdoor living space while deterring pests. Planting peppers in flowerbeds and along borders can act as ornamentals. They will also spruce up your outdoor living space while deterring pests.
Sweet peppers will take approximately 60-90 days to mature while hot peppers will take significantly longer to mature, around 150 days.
Growing Tips for Perfect Peppers
To help your peppers thrive in the garden, here are some tips:
When watering peppers, use a soaker on the roots and try to keep foliage dry. Peppers are thirsty little plants and the soil must have a high moisture level, but it can’t be water-logged. This will help to fight against wilting and flower drops, especially when it is hot out.
Tara said that because the summer was so hot and dry, she watered the plants deeply every morning.
USE MULCH TO RETAIN MOISTURE
Mulching can also help reduce moisture loss. By mulching around each of the peppers with compost, you can also help keep the weed population down and reduce the need to pull weeds from around the plant. Disturbing the roots of your pepper plant can negatively impact pepper production.
Peppers, like tomatoes, can get heavy and damaged when they have a lot of fruit. Peppers usually need to be staked. Tie the plant to stakes with fabric or old nylons, which have some give to allow room for growth. Twine or twist-ties will choke the stems.
KEEP PEPPERS WARM
If you live in a northern climate, you’ll want to take measures to ensure your soil is warm enough for peppers. One week before planting, cover the bed with cardboard to help trap heat and warm the soil beneath.
PROPER COMPANION PLANTING
According to companion planting, peppers grow best next to tomatoes, parsley, basil, and carrots. They should not be placed near fennel and kohlrabi.
Pepper Harvesting Tips
- Never let your peppers stop growing! If it stops growing, it will affect the production of flower buds. If flower buds drop off, you lose a potential pepper.
- Plan the timing of harvesting carefully. Peppers tend to be harvested before they are mature. However, their flavour doesn’t reach its full potential until maturity. If you pick peppers before they mature, your pepper will produce more peppers in order to try and seed.
- Plant at least two of the same pepper. Patiently waiting for peppers to fully ripen means you will get less peppers and have to wait until late in the season to have any. I suggest planting two of the same pepper variety. Use one to fully ripen and have the best flavour possible, and use the other to harvest throughout the season.
- Be careful with the heat! Finally, if you have a really hot pepper variety, use gloves when harvesting peppers. The capsaicin oil from the peppers can actually burn your skin.
How to Increase the Heat of Peppers
There are a few ways to make peppers hotter, but the main factor is the variety of pepper. Tara’s peppers were probably hotter this year because they were grown in a hotter climate.
If you want your peppers to be hotter, you need to expose the plant to more heat. The more sun the pepper gets, the hotter it will be. The same is true for the soil. Soil that is well-watered and nitrogen-rich will not be as hot. This is why you need to be careful not to soak your peppers (but keep them moist) and not to over-fertilize them.
It is easier to grow peppers in containers in colder climates. Grow peppers in a dark container to maximize heat of the soil. Growing hot peppers in the garden will significantly reduce intensity due to the cold nature of soil.
An umbrella greenhouse is a type of structure that can be used to create heat. It works by trapping warmth from the sun and then redirecting it back down to the plants below. This can be an effective way to keep your plants warm during cold weather. A cloche is a type of heat-generating structure that can be used to protect plants from the cold. It works by trapping heat from the sun and then redirecting it back down to the plants below. This can be an effective way to keep your plants warm during cold weather.
Harvest bell peppers that are not yet ripe for their grassy, herby flavor and extra crunch. Leave unripe peppers on the plant to ripen, and pick them whenever you want.
If the peppers on your plant are still growing and the season is coming to an end, harvest them all and ripen them indoors.
If you are lucky enough to have a lot of peppers – in other words, you have consistent, large harvests! – you can preserve them by pickling or canning them.
If you have successfully grown bell peppers, congratulations! This is the result of months of care and attention. Enjoy the peppers that you have grown!