Bell peppers are a low-calorie vegetable that comes in a few different colors. Red, yellow, orange, and green bell peppers lack capsaicin, the ingredient that gives hot peppers their heat. Learning how to grow bell peppers is very simple and a great addition to your garden.
We provide you with several tips for developing and correctly maintaining bell pepper plants. Additionally, we draw attention to common garden pests that attempt to suck the nutrients out of and destroy your bell pepper.
Sweet bell peppers are an excellent addition to any garden. These nightshade vegetables are packed with vitamins and nutrients. Bell pepper varieties are rich in iron, folate, fiber, potassium, calcium, and vitamins A and C.
If you are growing bell pepper from seed, you must know the necessary steps for planting to have ample fruit production.
We show you what is best for healthy plants and what to avoid to prevent garden pests and disease. These DIY methods are easy to follow, no matter how experienced you are in gardening.
- Everything to Know about Planting Bell Peppers
- Growing Bell Pepper from Seed
- Growing Bell Peppers Outdoors
- How to Grow Bell Peppers and Transplant
- The Benefits of Spreading Mulch
- Watering Your Bell Pepper Plant
- Plant Bell Peppers in the Right Soil
- Make Sure Your Bell Peppers Receive Enough Sun
- Stake Your Bell Pepper Plants
- How to Harvest Your Bell Peppers
- Knowing the Common Pests for Bell Peppers
- How to Get Rid of Pests
- Companion Planting for a Bigger Yield
Everything to Know about Planting Bell Peppers
Although growing bell peppers is relatively easy compared to other vegetables, special care during the early planting stages is essential. Without proper attention in the initial stages of growth, your bell pepper seeds do not reach their full potential.
It is better to start the seeds of bell pepper varieties indoors so the temperature is warm enough for the seedlings to sprout. Afterward, transplanting the bell peppers outdoors allows you to harvest a significant yield.
The same rules usually apply with growing cayenne peppers, habaneros, and most other pepper varieties, too. Growing different pepper types allows you to have just the right pepper for your favorite recipes.
Growing Bell Pepper from Seed
Green peppers like California Wonder peppers produce better in the long run if the seeds start growing indoors. Growing bell pepper from seed indoors ensures the soil temperature is warm enough for them to sprout.
Plant your bell pepper seeds two months before the last frost in spring. Germinate your seeds in a planting tray filled with soil. Bury the seeds in the center of the tray and about ¼ inch in the potting mix.
Do not pack the soil is too tight to allow better drainage for your bell peppers. Learning how to grow bell peppers from seeds starts with planting the seedlings indoors in the proper soil.
Growing Bell Peppers Outdoors
After one to three weeks of germination indoors, your bell peppers’ true leaves start to sprout, proving they are ready to be planted outdoors. Although your bell peppers may be prepared to grow outside, the plant is especially vulnerable to transplant shock.
Ten days before transplanting your bell peppers outdoors, introduce the plant to outdoor weather for little amounts of time throughout the day.
Every day, slowly increase the amount of time the bell peppers spend outside. This transition period is vital because, without it, your bell pepper plants may wither and die.
How to Grow Bell Peppers and Transplant
Before transplanting your bell pepper seeds, ensure the temperatures are warm enough for the plant to survive. The soil temperature in your garden should be at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and nighttime temperatures at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bury the plant so the root ball is completely covered. However, make sure not to bury the leaves below the soil level.
When growing bell peppers, be sure to space your seeds correctly. Plant bell peppers about 18 inches apart to ensure the roots have plenty of space to grow.
This applies to both growing peppers in pots and throughout the garden.
The Benefits of Spreading Mulch
Understanding how to grow bell peppers requires knowing how to keep your plants hydrated and warm. Spreading black plastic mulch helps absorb the full sun, which keeps the soil warm throughout the growing season.
Black plastic mulch is available at your local garden center. Spreading excess grass clippings over the top of the soil is also extremely beneficial for your bell peppers.
Grass clippings help prevent weeds that attempt to grow and overtake the nutrients provided by the earth. Growing bell peppers is significantly easier when there are fewer weeds.
Watering Your Bell Pepper Plant
Bell peppers require a lot of water each week, and it is vital to keep tabs on how much water the plants receive. Overwatering leads to rotted roots, anthracnose, and blossom end rot because the roots are suffocated and lack calcium.
Conditions that are too dry lead to bitter-tasting fruit production. Water the bell peppers about two inches of water per week. In an area with intense heat, water your bell peppers twice a day to ensure they get enough nutrients.
One important aspect of a bell pepper’s health is that the plant receives enough water to grow properly.
Plant Bell Peppers in the Right Soil
When growing bell pepper from seed, planting the seeds in the right kind of soil fertilizes and nourishes the plant. Bell peppers prefer a rich soil that is sandy or loamy.
Sandy and loamy soil is well-draining and makes it more difficult for the roots to suffocate from overwatering.
Fertilize the soil with organic matter that contains low levels of nitrogen to promote growth in the bell peppers without adversely affecting fruit production.
Make Sure Your Bell Peppers Receive Enough Sun
Bell peppers, or Capsicum annuum, as well as all types of peppers, require a lot of direct sunlight to survive because it provides your plant with energy.
The bell pepper plant converts sunlight into organic resources that it uses to grow. Plant your bell peppers in an area of the garden that receives plenty of sunlight.
If the temperatures are higher and the sun is more intense where you live, practice crop rotation and plant your bell peppers near other plants or use a shade cloth to partially cover and protect the peppers.
Stake Your Bell Pepper Plants
When growing bell pepper from seed, staking the plant helps grow while also keeping the plant off the ground. Holding the stem upright and protected reduces the likelihood the plant suffers from too much direct sunlight.
Tomato cages help support your bell peppers. Surround the bell pepper plant with a small tomato cage and use a thin piece of string to secure the main stem to the cage lightly. You may need to add more string pieces as the plant grows.
How to Harvest Your Bell Peppers
Green, red, yellow, and orange bell peppers all come from the same plant. The color difference is a result of a longer or shorter time on the vine. When the desired full color of a bell pepper comes in, it is ready for you to harvest.
Use a pair of gardening scissors or a sharp knife to cut the pepper off with minimal damage. The longer a bell pepper remains on the vine, the more vitamin C the pepper contains. Additionally, the pepper becomes sweeter when it stays on the plant.
Knowing the Common Pests for Bell Peppers
A downfall of growing bell peppers is that unwanted pests attempt to feed on your plant’s nutrients. Pests like aphids, flea beetles, and cutworms are the most popular insects that prefer bell peppers.
Aphids are tiny and are often nearly invisible to the naked eye. You know if aphids are invading your bell peppers because they leave behind a waxy white substance on your plant.
Flea beetles bite small holes in the affected plant’s leaves, and one sign of cutworms is a wilted or cut plant.
Recognizing a bell pepper gone bad on the plant is a sign you need to take action against pests or diseases that can reduce or even decimate your harvest.
How to Get Rid of Pests
Although pests like aphids and cutworms try to destroy your hard work in the garden, there are all-natural and straightforward methods to get rid of them. Protecting your bell pepper plants is crucial to ensure you can reap the harvest.
Pour the essential oils and water into a small spray bottle and spray the soil or apply directly to your bell pepper plant.
The mixture repels and kills current insects that are attempting to take over your bell pepper plants. To get rid of cutworms, sprinkle coffee grounds on top of the soil.
Companion Planting for a Bigger Yield
Growing certain foods next to your bell peppers helps maintain healthy soil while also encouraging a larger yield when it comes time to harvest. Growing carrots next to peppers, known as companion planting bell peppers, protects the plants from weeds while also maximizing the space in your garden.
Bell pepper plants that grow with corn are protected from excess sunlight and blocked from the wind.
Another vegetable that thrives when planted next to a bell pepper plant is cucumbers. Companion planting and learning what to plant with bell peppers is a fantastic way to grow more food and protect your garden from diseases.
After you harvest your peppers it’s important to store them the right way. Usually, you cannot eat them all at once. Bell pepper shelf life is not very long so take steps to freeze any extra.
Not only are bell peppers relatively simple to plant and maintain in your garden, but they are also a nutrient-packed food that offers multiple health benefits.
Bell peppers require a lot of attention in the early stages of growth. After transplanting a bell pepper outdoors, it becomes an easy plant to take care of.
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