Plant seeds indoors 8 weeks before last frost date. Keep them in a warm area because for seed germination the temperature needs to be at least 70 degrees F.
Each pot can contain 3 pepper seeds, that way you can thin out the weakest seedling later and keep the remaining 2 pepper plants together for the rest of their lives. Before transplanting begin to harden off plants for 10 days.
After the danger of frost has passed, transplant seedlings outdoors, 18 to 24 inches apart (keep the paired plants together).
When to Water
Water 1 to 2 inches per week, but remember peppers are extremely heat sensitive. If you live in a warm or desert climate, you may have to water daily.
Peppers are strictly summer vegetables, and cannot tolerate the cold. Frost can kill them, and when nighttime temperatures are lower than 55° (13° C), the plants grow very slowly.
Peppers are generally problem-free. It is recommended to weed the garden, since weeds provide a refuge for garden pests and can also spread fungi and viruses to your healthy plants.
Since green peppers have shallow roots, you must create a loose soil texture so that the roots can spread easily. Green peppers are grown as annuals in zones 8 and lower, but as perennials in zones 9 through 11. Peppers like a moderate to slightly acidic pH range of 5.8 to 6.5. If your soil is lower than 5.8, spread lime on the ground to increase your pH.
Green peppers plant can reach a height of 3 to 5 feet.Take that into consideration when planning your garden. Make sure there is enough distance between your tall vegetables and short vegetables. That way both will get enough sun light.
You can harvest your peppers when you think they are large enough to eat. Peppers don’t have an exact picking time like many of the other vegetables. The green bell peppers turn red as they mature. Frequent harvesting increases yields, often at the sacrifice of flavor. If you continually pick the peppers before they mature, the plants will continue to produce fruit.
Green peppers like mild climates. Only gardeners who enjoy long growing seasons in the Deep South should attempt to sow pepper seed directly in the garden. Otherwise seeds should be started indoors about 8-10 weeks before transplanting, which should be done 2-3 weeks after the expected last frost.
Peppers are light feeders. You don't need to put much fertilizers into your soil. When peppers are overfertilized they develop lush foliage at the expense of fruit production. If you work 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil prior to transplanting, that's probably sufficient. You can also side-dress the plants with a light sprinkling of 5-10-10 when blossoming starts, just to give them a boost if needed.
When two peppers are planted together, the leaves of two plants help protect peppers against sunscald, and the yield is often twice as good as two separate plants.
There are many varieties of peppers to choose. You can choose anything from a hot jalapeno or cayenne pepper to a sweet bell pepper. The sweet peppers come in a variety of colors. Plant many different types of peppers and enjoy their nutritious flavor.
Peppers are easily damaged when laden with fruit. For support, tie the plants to stakes using old nylons, which have some 'give' as the stems enlarge. Don't use wire twist-ties or twine which will gradually choke off or even snap the stem.
Green peppers like full sun and do well when they get about 8 hours of sunlight.
Beans and Kohlrabi should not be planted next to green peppers.
The following vegetables will do well when planted next to green peppers: Basil, Coriander, Onions, Spinach, and Tomatoes. Planting certain vegetables next to each other can deter insects and encourage growth.
Next year, DO NOT plant peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, or eggplants on the same location where you planted peppers this year. Because they are all members of the nightshade family. Instead use that spot to plant other vegetables from a different family such as:
- Carrot (Umbelliferae) - celery, carrots, parsley
- Legume (Leguminosae) - peas, beans, lentils
- Mustard/Brassica (Cruciferae) - broccoli, caulifower, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turnips, radishes.
- Sunflower (Compositae) - lettuce, artichokes.
- Cucurbit (Cucurbitaceae) - pumpkins, melons, squash, gourds, cucumbers.
- Allium (Amaryllidaceae) - onions, garlic, leeks.
- Goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae) - spinach, Swiss chard, beets.
Growing Green Peppers Overview
In General, green peppers are not hard to grow as long as they get enough sun light and warm temperatures above 70 degrees F. For more planting information, please visit our Farming Tips homepage.