How to Grow Bell Peppers

Peppers come in a plethora of varieties and are cultivated all over the world. One of the most popular and versatile is the big, sweet bell pepper.

How To Plant Bell Peppers

Start: Start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before last frost. Plant ¼” deep in seed starting soil. Keep seeds moist and warm until they emerge in 10-21 days. Place in a warm sunny window or under grow lights. Place outside in a sheltered area for one week before planting to harden off. Plant 18” apart after all danger of frost in rows 2-3’ apart.

Water: Water regularly. Peppers need 1-2” per week but be careful as peppers are very susceptible to overwatering. If your peppers have yellow wilting leaves you may want to let them dry out for a day or two.

Soil: Peppers have shallow root systems, so a loose soil will help their roots spread. pH 5.8-6.5

Light: Full sun.

Fertilize: Use a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer to maintain soil nutrients. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Harvest: Peppers can be harvested at any time, but will be most flavorful and nutritious when allowed to reach full maturity. Use a sharp knife or shears to cut the pepper from the plant with a small amount of the stem left. Bell peppers not being used immediately can be cut up and frozen.

Notes: Mulch pepper plants with black mulch or black plastic ground cover. This will help retain moisture and help to keep the soil warm which will promote rapid growth.

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Gene Barnes

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