PEPPERS

How To Grow Peppers

Plant Type: Annual
Name: Capsicum annuum
Light: Full sun
Soil Type: Well drained, high organic matter
Soil Temperature: 60°+
ph Range: 6.0-6.8
Watering: Evenly moist, not soggy
Plant (Payson): May 15 – June 10
Planting Method: Seed or transplant
Germination: 5-10 days
Transplant: Preferred method
Maturity: Varies
Common Pests: Aphids, flea beetles, cutworms, thrips, whitefly
Common Diseases: Anthracnose, bacterial spot, verticillium wilt, tobacco mosaic virus, phytophthora wilt, curly top virus

OVERVIEW

Peppers are in the Solanaceae, or Nightshade family. Tomato, potatoes and egg plant are closely related and should not be planted in the same spots each year.

SOIL PREPARATION

Include compost or rotted manure and work well into planting bed.


PLANTING

Transplanting

Peppers grow fairly slowly, so it is recommended to either start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost date, or buy seedlings from a garden center. After the average last frost and when soil temp is about 60° F, transplant seedlings 12-18 inches apart. Peppers can cross pollinate. Unless you like all your peppers to be hot, keep hot and sweet varieties as far apart as possible. Do not plant where tomatoes, eggplant, or other peppers were recently grown.

Seed

As above, start seeds 6-8 weeks before the last frost.

CARE & GROWING

MULCHING

Mulch is useful for controlling weeds and to prevent soil borne diseases from splashing on plants.

WATERING

Keep evenly moist. If necessary to hand water, do not spray on top of plants. Water the soil, not the plant.

FERTILIZING

Peppers are light feeders. If the soil was prepared well, i.e., with high organic matter, fertilizer isn’t really needed. A side dressing of alfalfa tea can be of benefit when flowering begins.

WEEDING

Control weeds to reduce competition with the pepper plants. A deep mulch should deter most weeds.

DISEASE

Anthracnose, Tobacco mosaic virus, phytophthora wilt, verticillium wilt, curly top virus, bacterial spot,

BUGS

Aphids, flea beetles, cutworms, thrips, whitefly

HARVESTING

Peppers should be harvested small to encourage increased production. Be careful to cut off the fruit rather than ripping it off the stem to avoid damaging the plant.

PRESERVING/STORING

Store your peppers in the refrigerator up to a week. Peppers can be canned, dried, frozen or used in some relishes.

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