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If you love to have a little extra kick in your homemade foods then you have GOT to learn how to grow peppers! They are delicious, prolific, and easy for gardeners at any level of experience and skill.
How easy is it to grow peppers?
Peppers are probably the easiest plants we have ever grown. Growing peppers does not require anywhere near the attention it takes when growing green beans. And they are even easier than growing zucchini or growing yellow squash. This is what makes them an easy and productive crop for novice gardeners. They are a ton of fun, fast growing, and some types even qualify for our unusual vegetables category.
They don’t need a trellis. They love sunlight. They can handle a lot of heat. They don’t even require a ton of water. If there was ever a “set it and forget it” type of crop, in our opinions, it would absolutely be peppers.
How to grow peppers
So, how do you grow peppers at home? First you will need to figure out what types of peppers you want to grow. The techniques used in planting peppers are mostly universal with only a few variations. That means you can use this guide whether you want to learn how to grow bell peppers, how to grow green peppers, or how to grow hot peppers.
We were able to find all of our seeds online. We like to only grow organic and non-GMO plants so we find it easier to shop online for our seeds. You may also be able to find organic and conventional seeds at your local farmer’s market, farm store, and sometimes even the grocery store.
When to plant peppers and how to plant peppers
You can almost always find planting and care instructions on the back of your seed packet. If you don’t have them, you can always bookmark this handy guide.
First thing to do is figure out your gardening zone so you can make a full gardening plan. This will help you determine when to plant your peppers. The reason you will want to know your gardening zone is so that you can start your peppers 8 weeks BEFORE the last frost of the season.
It is best to start plants inside and transplant started plants later. Starting inside is pretty simple. All you really need is a light source like a window or hanging lamp, organic potting soil and starting trays. It is not recommended to direct sow peppers.
How far apart to plant peppers
When you bring your plants outside, you will want to stake them. This will keep your peppers off of the ground and help the plant grow tall, healthy, and help in disease control. Bell pepper spacing and jalapeno pepper spacing are both about 1 foot apart. Anaheim peppers are about 1 to 2 feet apart.
Square foot gardening for peppers
We use square foot gardening for peppers to make the spacing really easy. Each box in our grid is 1 square foot. That means when we are planting, we just put 1 plant in the center of each box for bell peppers or jalapenos. For Anaheims, you can do the same or simply skip a box if you go with 24 inch spacing.
You will want to make sure that you have deeply watered soil but you do not want to over water your peppers. Peppers typically come from arid climates and don’t need much overhead watering.
How long does it take to grow bell peppers?
The germination time for bell peppers and jalapeno peppers is about 6 to 15 days or 1 to 2 weeks. Anaheims are a little slower growing and they range from 2 to 3 weeks.
When to harvest peppers
The best part of having peppers is when you can finally harvest them. Each plant will have a slightly different maturity time frame.
Bell peppers will reach maturity between 58 and 86 days. Jalapeno peppers will reach maturity around 72 days. And Anaheim peppers will reach maturity as long as 80 days.
You will notice they are ready by their size and color. Bell peppers will typically grow to be about the size of a tennis or baseball. Jalapeno and Anaheim peppers can both be harvested and eaten in their green stages but will become hotter as they mature into a bright shade of red. This is especially true for jalapeno peppers.
Once you bring them inside, you can use them to make all sorts of recipes. You can even try out freezing peppers and preserve them for later.
Do peppers regrow after picking?
The varieties of peppers in this guide are great because they will regrow after they have been picked. The secret to this happening though is in the way in which they are harvested. It really is easy to do, so don’t worry.
When you notice your peppers are ready to pick, simply grab the pepper and snap them off of the stem. But make sure the stem stays attached to the plant. This will encourage your plants to regenerate another pepper in its place.