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Pepper Growing Quick Tips

Pepper jalapeno

Sowing and Transplanting: Transplant pepper seedlings to the garden 2-3 weeks after the last frost. Sow seed indoors 8-10 weeks before transplanting to the garden. Sow seed directly in the garden only in long-summer regions

Start seed indoors in a warm, well-lighted location—in a bright window or under grow lights. Sow 1-2 seeds ¼” (6 mm ) deep in individual containers with seed starting mix. Keep mix just moist. Seedlings emerge in 1-21 days at 75-80°F (24-26°C). Thin seedlings to 1 plant per container once plants are 2-3” (5-7 cm) tall.

Growing: Plant peppers  in compost-rich, well-drained soil. Pre-heat planting beds by covering with black polyethylene sheeting 1 week before transplanting. Move seedlings to a sheltered place outside to “harden off” 1 week before transplanting. Space plants in garden 18” (45 cm) apart; rows should be 24” (61 cm) apart. Keep the soil just moist throughout the growing season–watering deeply as the season progresses.

Harvesting: Peppers can be harvested green–even red, orange, and yellow varieties. For full flavor allow fruits to ripen to maturity and full color. Note days to maturity on your calendar when you set out transplants.

See all detailed pepper articles at Peppers.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. Harvesttotable.com has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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