Pepper Basics

PEPPERS in-Ground - EASTPEPPERS in-Ground - WESTPEPPERS Raised Bed - EASTPEPPERS Raised Bed - WESTPEPPERS Containers - EASTPEPPERS Containers - WEST Who doesn’t love peppers? Ranging in selections from crispy sweet to fiery hot, and in a variety of sizes, stretching from short and round, to long and skinny, to big and blocky, peppers are perfect for stuffing, frying, roasting, and eating raw. Peppers are the perfect Summer vegetable! They are a staple in many warm season dishes and are happiest when grown in the hot weather. Are you growing peppers this year?

Pepper plants are one of the easiest-to-grow Summer vegetables that have the same basic needs and care requirements as tomatoes, making them perfect planting mates. Pepper plants are generally on the petite side, making them easy to grow in sunny garden plots, raised beds, and also in containers.

Start with a collection of healthy pepper plants of your choosing from your local Master Nursery® Garden Center. You will find a tag attached to each of your selections that will describe the size and color of your fruit and exactly how hot or sweet your chosen peppers will be. Plan to plant peppers once your soil has warmed in the early Summer. Peppers like it hot and sunny!

When planting directly in your vegetable garden, be sure to first amend your garden soil with Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Soil Builder [Eastern & Midwestern Regions | Western Region]. The addition of Bumper Crop® Soil Builder will get your plants off to a proper start by enriching your soil as it helps increase drainage while also improving the soil’s water-holding capacity. Though similar in their basic care, peppers, unlike tomatoes, are not a vine and should be planted no deeper than they are already planted in the container that you purchase them in. As with all vegetables, it is important to fertilize pepper plants at planting time and then once a month throughout the growing season. We suggest using Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Tomato and Vegetable Food. This masterly crafted vegetable food is naturally blended to enrich plant growth without producing excessive foliage at the expense of fruit. The additional phosphate helps to ensure the production of high-quality fruits and vegetables. Its calcium aids in preventing disorders like blossom end rot, a disorder that is common to peppers and tomatoes but easily avoided with the use of this fertilizer.

No in-ground garden? No problem! Peppers are just as easily grown in raised beds and containers. Simply fill your raised bed with Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Soil Builder [Eastern & Midwestern Regions], no need to mix in any native soil.

For planting in pots or containers, we recommend using Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Potting Soil [Eastern & Midwestern Regions | Western Region]. Be sure to fertilize all pepper plants, regardless of where they are planted with Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Tomato and Vegetable Food. Fertilize at planting time and then monthly thereafter.

Immediately after planting, water your pepper plants well. Containers and raised beds tend to dry out quicker than in-ground gardens. Be sure to check all your vegetable plants daily to assess their water needs and water them as necessary.

Pepper plants can get top heavy, especially when happy and healthy, producing a bumper crop of fruit. Be sure to add plant supports at planting time.

Oh, yes, and just a couple of final tips and things to keep in mind when selecting and growing this delicious vegetable:

  • Peppers prefer to be cut from the plant rather than pulled off.
  • Most sweet peppers become even sweeter when they mature as they turn from green to bright red, yellow, orange or even brown or purple.
  • As hot peppers mature and turn red, they get hotter.

Summer is here, the soil is heating up, and it’s time to plant those peppers!