Plant pepper seedlings in the garden 2 to 3 weeks after the last frost in spring. Start pepper seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before setting transplants in the garden. Don’t set out pepper seedlings until the average night temperatures are 55°F (13°C).
You can set pepper seedlings in the garden earlier if they are protected from the cold by a plastic tunnel or other season-extending devices.
Sweet peppers mature in 60 to 70 days. Sweet peppers can be harvested and used before they mature, or they can be left on the plant until they reach full size and ripen to a deep red color. Hot peppers are ready any time they are usable size.
Peppers grow best in sandy loam that is well-drained and fortified with a lot of organic matter such as aged compost. Plant peppers in full sun. Keep the soil evenly moist from flowering through harvest.
Peppers can share space with cabbage and onions. Carrots are a companion that is said to enhance the growth of peppers.
Pepper seedling planting dates
(These dates are for the Northern Hemisphere)
|Average date of the last frost||Planting dates|
|Jan. 30||Feb. 1-Apr. 1|
|Feb. 8||Feb. 15-Apr. 15|
|Feb. 18||Mar. 1-May 1|
|Feb. 28||Mar. 15-May 1|
|Mar. 10||Apr. 1-June 1|
|Mar. 20||Apr. 10-June 1|
|Mar. 30||Apr. 15-June 1|
|Apr. 10||May 1-June 1|
|Apr. 20||May 10-June 1|
|Apr. 30||May 15-June 10|
|May 10||May 20-June 10|
|May 20||May 25-June 15|
|May 30||June 1-15|
Pepper planting details
- Sowing depth: ¼ inch (6mm)
- Space between plants: 18-24 inches
- Days to sprout: 10
- Days to harvest: 65-95
- Storage period: 10 weeks
- Seeds per 100 row feet: 1 packet (75 plants)
- Yield per 100 row feet: 50 pounds
- Sweet pepper varieties: Ace, Bell Boy, California Wonder, Orange Bell
- Hot pepper types: Jalapeno, Hungarian Yellow Wax, Long Red Cayenne, Red Chili
More on planting and growing peppers: