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Growing Bell Peppers

Posted on 16 January 2011

May 11th, 2010
by Mark Forester for the Landscape Network

Bell peppers are probably one of the most popular vegetables for people to grow in small gardens. They’re not hard to grow, they taste great, and also they provide some great color to a garden. There are some specific things to know about growing bell peppers that contribute to both the challenge and the fun of the experience

How to Grow Bell Peppers

Growing Bell Peppers in your garden can be fun and easy

With the many varieties of bell peppers, they’re also very versatile. The first step is to decide what kind of bell peppers you will grow. Green bell peppers have less of a sweet taste than other varieties, but are more robust. Red peppers are usually sweeter, but are more delicate. Red peppers also have a higher nutritional content than other varieties. Yellow and orange peppers are in between red and green in sweetness and texture, although this depends on the varietal you consider planting. If you’re interested in growing bell peppers for the wonderful colors they can add to a garden, you might want to consider the more exotic purple or white peppers. Or, you can try growing several varieties at once.

The next step is the actual planting. Bell peppers are native to warm climates, and as such, you’ll want to grow your peppers during warmer months. For the same reason, also plant your peppers in direct sunlight.

If you’re living in the Denver area, this means you’ll probably want to plant in May, as by then the snow has usually stopped. At the same time, you don’t want to dally because the bell peppers take a little over two months before they’re ready for harvest. Unless you plan on growing bell peppers in a greenhouse, you will run the risk of it getting too cold for the peppers if you wait too long. Bell peppers are very sensitive to frost, so be sure to protect them if it looks like it may frost at any time. Also, mulch may help the bell pepper plants in cold weather because it will insulate the plants’ foundations.

Having good soil and fertilizer are also essential when growing any kind of bell peppers. Bell peppers require lots of phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium in order to produce large, healthy plants. Don’t overdo it though! Plants that receive too much nitrogen will not produce many peppers.

Watering, as will all plants, is crucial. Peppers require a fair amount of water to grow properly. Too much water will promote plant diseases, while too little water will produce unpleasant tasting peppers. A general rule of thumb is to keep the soil moist, but not inundated with water. This will mean watering your bell peppers once a day.

When the bell peppers first start to grow, you may be confused why all the peppers are green! Do not be concerned—all varieties of pepper (even green varieties) are green in their unripe state. You can eat unripe peppers if you’d like to, but remember that the bell peppers are not likely to have their usual sweetness until they’re ripened. However, if you’re looking for a crisper tasting bell pepper, the unripe peppers are sure to please you.

Don’t wait forever to harvest, though, because bell peppers are just as tasty to bugs as they are for people. You can allow the peppers to mature on the vine for sweeter, richer-colored peppers, or you can let them ripen after you’ve harvested them if you’re not concerned with those qualities.

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1 Response to Growing Bell Peppers

  • Sheri Wills says:

    What causes brown burn-like spots on the sides of a bell pepper and also dark coloring at the bottom of a bell?

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