Monday, August 03, 2009


Here's a response I wrote to a question on Garden Web about pepper growing...

i'm only an ok pepper grower--this year's better than most.

here's my accumulated wisdom: 1) pick the right variety. for sweets, i've had great luck with fat n sassy, flexum and sweet spot (all from tomato growers supply). hot ones--tabasco, habanero, anaheims. 2) plant them as early as possible. when you plant your tomatoes--i.e., probably the beginning of march in n fla., maybe earlier. you might have to protect them from frost. for fall planting, they should probably go in now (mine have). 3) plant them CLOSE together for support and to protect from sun scald. stake them or grow them in cages. (i don't have room for cages, so instead i use multiple bamboo stakes--as many as 4 per plant.) 4) hot peppers do very well in pots. use a loose, well-drained mix that includes pine fines, perlite and peat. i use equal quantities if i can get fines in bags; otherwise i use a mix from my local landscaping co that is 1/4 hardwood fines, 1/4 pine fines and the rest peat.

on this forum, search for "post hole method" or posthole method. it's how i plant them in the ground--essentially, dig out a cylinder of "dirt" and replace it with dirt.

i haven't sprayed mine. they're under attack from stinkbugs (leaf-footed) and flea beetles, but they're healthy enough. i fertile monthly with a small amount of balanced fertilizer, and every once and a while a handful of epsom.

i just got a BIG bag of peppers from happy_fl_gardener. my own plants have tons of fruit on them, and will produce another crop in the fall, as soon as the light changes enough and it cools down (sometime in september).

it CAN be done. but it takes some practice and luck.

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