Want to know how to grow peppers from seeds? If you need some tips on getting started with your peppers’ garden, read on!
How To Grow Peppers From Seeds
Many people really want to grow peppers, but their large size often keeps them away from growing this wonderful vegetable. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could grow them without blocking any sunlight for the rest of your plants? Without ruining the soil for the rest of your vegetables? If you answered YES, growing peppers in containers is for you!
Choosing the Container
Container Type: PLASTIC. For water-needing vegetables like peppers, plastic is the best material to use. Avoid wood containers because wood avoids water.
Container Size: 5-gallon buckets. Pepper plant roots do grow to be quite large; generally 2 ft down and 3 ft horizontally. However if the roots have limits as to where they are able to expand to, they won’t grow that big and will still thrive. For my peppers, I mostly use 5-gallon buckets. Which are about 14″ by 14″. Some people use bigger or smaller pots. As I mentioned before, their roots adapt well to their environment so they will grow almost anywhere.
Choosing the Soil
Peppers like well-drained soil, so when growing peppers in containers, potting soil is the best potting medium to use. Some people do use vegetable soil, but the soil compresses too much and this creates lots of pressure on the root system of the peppers. Look for soil with the white minerals, they create gaps in the soil which helps with air and water circulation. If you have well composted, light and fluffy manure, add that to the soil as well. Peppers need lots of organic matter, so some manure will really benefit them. Unlike other vegetables, peppers do well in acidic manure such as chicken, goose or duck manure. However, as much as they like acidic manure, they will not do well in raw chicken (or goose, or duck) manure. Make sure it has been composted for at least one year and mixed to at least 2/3 parts of potting soil.
If you have well composted, light and fluffy manure, add that to the soil as well. Peppers need lots of organic matter, so some manure will really benefit them. Unlike other vegetables, peppers do well in acidic manure such as chicken, goose or duck manure. However, as much as they like acidic manure, they will not do well in raw chicken (or goose, or duck) manure. Make sure it has been composted for at least one year and mixed to at least 2/3 parts of potting soil.
Choosing Your Pepper
You have two options for choosing your pepper: buying a pepper plant from a store or nursery, or grow peppers yourself from seed.
Here are the benefits of buying peppers from a nursery:
- you will be guaranteed to have strong, big, healthy peppers
- they already have a good root system
- they have already been hardened off
Here are the benefits of growing pepper from seed:
- you will save money (seeds are cheaper than seedlings)
- you can control what the peppers receive (you can start them off from the very beginning to be organic)
- you will have a lot more peppers to choose from
Most of my pepper plants are grown from seeds that I have saved from peppers the year before. (Read up on how to save seeds here.) Sometimes I come across a new interesting pepper seedling that I have not grown yet, and I’ll buy it. For example, this year I grew red bell peppers and orange bell peppers from seed and bought one California Wonder pepper as a seedling from a local nursery.
When choosing a pepper seedling, look for ones that are tall, have evenly – green coloured leaves, no yellow or brown leaves and no scrapes or cuts. Neither should the leaves have holes made my insects. So basically, the pepper plants should be perfect!
— Homesteading (@HomesteadingUSA) February 16, 2016
Transplanting your Pepper Seedlings
Once you choose a pot, and have a pepper seedling, you can transplant it! This is how to do it correctly:
Fill your container or pot with soil. Leave 2-3 inches space from the edge of the pot.
Remove the pepper seedling along with the soil from its original container. Pat the end of the soil you have removed to loosen up the roots. This will help the roots grow into their new soil a lot faster and easier.
Dig a hole, a little wider than the transplant and put the seedling into the hole. Cover with soil, and pat slightly, compressing the soil. Water right away.
Watering your Peppers
Peppers really like water. They grow very well even if they are watered more than needed. Generally speaking, people should water their pepper plants at least twice a week. That being said, there are many things that may effect how often people have to water their peppers; the type of soil, amount of sunlight, humidity, etc.
For example, potting soil holds moisture for longer, so peppers that grow in potting soil should be watered less than those growing in vegetable soil mix for example.
TIP: The soil should not dry out completely between waterings. What I do is I poke my finger in the soil and if the soil feels moist but doesn’t stick to your finger well, then it is time to water again. If it is wet and sticks to your finger, wait a couple days and try again then.
Nutrients for Peppers
As mentioned before, peppers like organic matter in its soil such as composted chicken manure, and nitrogen. Peppers also benefit from monthly vegetable fertilizer as well. For this type of vegetable, slow-release formulas are not recommended, but instead water dissolving ones or liquid ones are the best.
Harvesting our peppers is the most exciting and most rewarding part of all. At first, you’ll notice a small “bud” and then a small green pepper following quickly after. In a month or two, the pepper will redden and will be ready to be picked off and eaten! Each variety of pepper matures at different times, but generally, it’s about 1-2 months. Pick, slice and enjoy with your favorite meal! Or make one of our pepper recipes!
Want to see how you can start growing peppers? Watch this video from Gary Pilarchik and find out how:
Did your find our how to grow peppers from seeds post helpful and interesting? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.