Grow peppers at home from seed fast with our 7 steps. Be sure that you have the correct details to make the growing process easier.
Many people might not know it, but peppers are extremely healthy and good for you.
A pepper holds 4 times more vitamin C than an orange. Packed with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins helps to preserve your health, take care of your eyes, skin, and hair, and also helps men in prostate cancer prevention.
Did you know you can grow vegetables in metal containers? Use the information below to grow your peppers in a metal container or in your garden!
Details for Growing Peppers
|Planting Months||Planting seeds at the beginning of march indoors|
|Harvest Months||August to November|
|Temperature to Plant||65 F indoors (18.3 C), 65-80 F (18.3-26 C) outdoors|
|Planting Depth||4 inches|
|Spacing||1/4 inch seed – plant base in the ground|
|Direction||South – maximum sunlight|
|Drainage||Well-drained soil, but keeping it moist|
|pH Level||6 – 7 pH|
|Companion Plants||Basil, carrots, onions, lettuce, spinach, corn, tomatoes, geraniums, cucumbers|
|Health Benefits||Vitamin A + C, Vitamin B6, Folates, Antioxidants|
Seven Steps to Growing Peppers
If you decided to grow your peppers in pots, just keep them on your sunny terrace or balcony. But if you are transplanting them to the garden, you will have to prepare the soil first.
You have to prepare the soil for the peppers, beforehand. The soil needs to have good drainage and a preferable pH from 6-7. Peppers will grow better in sunny areas, but can also grow in areas with some shade.
Sulfur – Faster Growth
Don’t plant them in areas with full shade. To modify the pH of your soil you can use peat moss, garden sulfur or lime. Sulfur and peat moss are for soil that is too alkaline, and lime is for soil that might be too acidic. Consult your local garden center. This step is not mandatory but can help you grow faster and better peppers.
Before planting the seedlings, remove rocks and harder chunks of dirt. You can mix in some ecological fertilizer (chicken manure, fishmeal, etc.). Remove any weeds, that might obstruct the growth of your peppers.
Soil pH Testing
You need to make sure that you accurately test your soil to give your plants the best chance. This Apera kit has ±0.1 pH accuracy, see the star ratings over at Amazon.
If you like spicy peppers, you might decide to grow jalapenos, if not, you can choose from many other sweet or spicy variations of peppers. Hot peppers need around 12 weeks to mature, and most of the bell peppers need 8 weeks.
For best results, you should never plant pepper seeds straight to the garden, but always try to grow seedlings indoors, and transplant them outside when it’s warm enough (at least 1 month after the last frost, or more).
The best way to germinate your seeds so that they have a great start is with a germination kit. Seeds that are grown this way produce greater results. Check the specs of the MXIC over at Amazon.
Usually, you will need to start planting your seeds indoors, at the beginning of March. If you are preparing seedlings for a greenhouse, you can plant seeds at the end of February.
Choosing pepper seeds, that haven’t been on the shelf for too long, will give you a better chance for germination. Before you plant your pepper seeds, you will need to soak them. Place them in a cup of warm water and let them soak from 3-8 hours.
Clean the Seeds
It’s good to disinfect your seeds with a solution made from white vinegar and water (50/50) or a mixture of warm water and 3 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide. Even mild chamomile tea can do the job if you don’t have any vinegar or peroxide.
You can use a bigger pot or a seeding tray to start your seeds. You can be creative with this, using a plastic bottle cut horizontally and filled with soil or a longer pot or tray, just make sure it has holes for the excess water to run off.
Optionally, you can cover the bottom of the planting container with small rocks, covering them with soil. Wash your hands well, before dealing with the seeds.
The seeds should be planted 1 inch apart and just gently pushed under the soil, only to be covered with dirt (don’t push them too deep). Water well. You will need to find a bright spot for your seeds to grow. The seeds can take from 10-21 days to germinate.
They require lots of sunlight, so it’s best if you place them near the window or any other area with lots of light. If you are struggling to find the perfect spot, you can help them with an indoor lamp and place it close to your growing tray.
Transplanting your seedlings
The seedlings will grow the first pair of the “unreal” leaves, that have the task of feeding the growing plant. Once the seedlings have 4-5 real leaves (like you would see in a big pepper plant), you can transplant them to bigger pots. If you have a sunny balcony or terrace, you can grow your peppers there.
You should get 1 pot for each pepper to have the best results, and if you decide to transplant them to the yard later, they should be separated from 16-24 inches. Each pepper will need enough space to grow. The space between them should be from 16-24 inches (40-60 cm) for optimal growth.
Each separate row should be from 12-16 inches (30-40 cm) apart. The young seedlings are not ready to be transplanted to the garden, or taken to the balcony yet, first you have to wait until they grow stronger, and prepare them for the transplant.
When the seedlings grow up to 5-7 inches (12.7-15 cm) tall, you can gradually start exposing them to the outdoors. Ten days to 2 weeks before transplanting them, you can place them outdoors every day, for a period of a few hours, shielded from strong wind and direct sunlight.
Eventually, you can leave them outside longer but never leave them overnight, if you are not sure they are strong enough. When you feel that seedlings are strong enough and have at least 5-8 inches (13-18 cm) they can be planted outside.
Your pepper plants will require up to 2 inches of water per week, depending on your location. Keep the soil moist. Check the soil with your fingers to ensure there is dampness. Peppers originate from a hot climate, so be sure not to overwater your plants, this can lead to fungal problems.
As with any plant in a container, they will dry out much quicker than if they were in the ground, as they lose moisture fast and the base is exposed to the sunlight. Water once a during the spring in the morning, then also during the evening during the summer.
Replant the peppers on the same ground level, as they were planted in the pots. You will have to water your plants regularly (2-3 times a week), and that will help them to produce healthy and juicy peppers. Keep the soil moist, but not soaked.
Adding some mulch around the plant (dry grass), will prevent the weeds to grow around your pepper, and give it additional nutrients.
Make sure you clean out any weeds that might grow around your peppers and add some fertilizer if the leaves start turning pale, and the plant is growing slowly.
You will have to wait for around 8 weeks to harvest your peppers. You can leave them a little longer to reach the full aroma and flavor. Cut them off with scissors or shears, because otherwise, you can damage the plant and the roots.
Once the peppers are harvested, rinse under the tap and dry thoroughly. Transfer the peppers into paper bags and fold the tops. They can last for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Once you have washed and dried your peppers, you can freeze them. Place the peppers into a freezer bag and squeeze all the air out of them, seal the tops and place on a tray – be careful not to let them touch the frozen walls.
One of the issues people have is that their crops produce all at once. The best way to overcome this is with a dehydrator so you can store your food for years and the flavor is amazing. The best one on the market is the Excalibur with a 10-year guarantee, see it at Amazon.
Drying and Roasting
Peppers can be roasted and stored in the fridge or the freezer. Slice and place on a baking tray in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 180c. If you are using a drying machine, follow the guide on your machine as they all vary.
Enjoy your sweet peppers – who’d of thought they were a vegetable!
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