Bell pepper plant care: how do i grow peppers at home

Like most gardeners, when you’re planning your vegetable garden,
you’ll probably want to include bell peppers. Peppers are excellent in all
sorts of dishes, raw and cooked. They can be frozen at season’s end and enjoyed
in dishes throughout the winter.

Brush up on some bell pepper info to learn all about growing
these delicious and nutritious vegetables. A little knowledge about pepper
plant care will go a long way.

What Growing Peppers Need to Get Started

Growing bell peppers isn’t difficult, but temperature is an
important factor. While they’re fairly easy to grow, pepper plant care in these
early stages is critical.

Always start pepper plant seedlings indoors. The seeds need
the warmth of your house to germinate. Fill a seed tray with seed
starting soil or well-draining potting soil, placing one to three seeds in
each container. Place the tray in a warm location or use a warming mat to keep
them between 70 to 90 degrees F. (21-32 C.) – the warmer the better.

If you find it helpful, you can cover the tray with plastic
wrap. Water droplets will form on the underside of the plastic to let you know
the baby seeds have enough water. If the drops stop forming, it’s time to give
them a drink. You should begin to see signs of plants popping up within a
couple weeks.

When your little plants get to be a few inches tall, gently
pot them separately in small pots. As the weather begins to warm, you can get
the small plants used to the outdoors by hardening
the seedlings off – putting them out during the day for a bit. This, along
with a little fertilizer now and then, will strengthen them in preparation for
the garden.

When the weather has warmed up and your young plants have
grown to about 8 inches tall (20 cm.), they can be transferred to the garden.
They’ll thrive in soil with a pH of 6.5 or 7. 

How Do I Grow Peppers in the Garden?

Since bell peppers thrive in the warm seasons, wait for the
nighttime temperatures in your region rise to 50 degrees F. (10 C.) or higher
before transplanting
them to the garden. Before you plant peppers outdoors, it’s important to be
absolutely certain that the chance of frost is long gone. A frost will either
kill the plants altogether or inhibit pepper growth, leaving you with bare
plants.

Pepper plants should be placed in the soil 18 to 24 inches
(46-60 cm.) apart. They’ll enjoy being planted near your tomato
plants. The soil should be well drained and amended before you put them
into the ground. Healthy pepper plants should produce peppers throughout late
summer.

Harvesting Peppers

It’s easy to determine when your peppers
are ready to harvest. Begin to pick the peppers once they are 3 to 4 inches
(7.6 to 10 cm.) long and the fruit is firm and green. If they feel somewhat
thin, the peppers aren’t ripe. If they feel soggy, it means they’ve been left
on the plant too long. After you harvest the first crop of peppers, feel free
to fertilize
the plants to give them the energy they need to form another crop.

Some gardeners prefer red,
yellow or orange bell peppers. These varieties just need to stay on the
vine longer to mature. They’ll start out green, but you’ll notice they have a
thinner feel. Once they begin to take on color, the peppers will thicken and
become ripe enough to harvest. Enjoy!

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