Growing and Caring for Bell Peppers

Growing and Caring for Bell Peppers

Growing and Caring for Bell Peppers

The bell pepper is a warm-season vegetable that needs fertile, well-drained soil. Bell peppers are also called sweet peppers, and they come in a variety of colors, such as red, green, yellow, purple, and even brown.

These peppers are the most widely used type of peppers in the United States. In order for pepper plants to thrive, they require a uniform moisture supply. Too much water can kill the plants, and too little water can cause the plants to not produce any fruit.

Pepper Growing – Starting a Garden with Pepper Seeds

It is best to plant pepper seeds indoors during the late winter months. This is to protect them from the frost. The soil and air should be warm before transporting the newly sprouted pepper plants, as bell pepper plants don’t fare well in cold soil.

Bell pepper seedlings often grow slowly and tend to be difficult to germinate. Some gardeners choose to purchase the seedlings because of this, as a convenience. Once the cold weather has cleared, the garden bed should be prepared with starter fertilizer in preparation for transplanting the seedlings.

Growing Peppers Requires Proper Irrigation

Spread four inches of compost over the entire garden bed before transplanting the bell peppers, and use a garden tiller to till the compost into the top 10 inches of the soil. This ensures proper drainage and gives the pepper plant a boost of essential nutrients.

Cover the entire bell pepper garden with a two-inch layer of mulch. This helps maintain the moisture in the soil, which is essential to a bountiful harvest. Water the bell peppers once a week in normal conditions, and more often during spells of exceptionally dry or hot weather. Give the peppers enough water so that the soil is very moist, but not water-logged.

Harvesting Bell Peppers

Bell peppers can be harvested at any time. They are usually ready to pick within 70 to 90 days of the seedlings being planted. Green bell peppers are usually picked when they are approximately 4 inches long and firm to the touch. Cut the peppers off of the plant rather than pulling them off, as this causes less damage.

If left to mature, the green peppers will turn red, yellow, orange, or even brown. Not only will the color change, but the flavor will change as well. It is all a matter of preference as to when to harvest bell peppers.

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