Bell peppers come in a variety of colors, from yellow to red and even a deep chocolate, but the green bell pepper may be the most popular. Although some bell peppers are green at maturity, the majority of the green peppers consumed are actually immature bell peppers that have not reached their full color yet. Growing green peppers in your home garden will provide you with a supply of these delicious fruits.
Things You'll Need
- Bell pepper seedlings
- Black 5-gallon buckets
- Water-soluble fertilizer
- All-purpose potting soil (optional)
Purchase bell pepper seedlings at your local nursery. Look for short, stocky plants that have thick stems. Resist the urge to purchase tall plants. These plants have grown tall and leggy because of a lack of light.
Prepare a 5-gallon bucket for each pair of seedlings. Black buckets work best because they draw more heat (light) in the summer sun, but other colors will do if you do not have access to black buckets.
Drill several drainage holes in the bottom of the bucket to allow water to drain from the bottom.
Cover the bottom with several stones to assist drainage.
Fill with soil. Regular garden soil amended with plenty of compost is fine, but an all-purpose potting soil will work well, too.
Remove the seedlings from the flat or peat pot you purchased them in. Gently squeeze the side of the pot with your right hand as you turn the pot over. Place your left hand close to the base of the seedling to hold it as it slips out of the pot. If this doesn't work, gently peel the sides of the pot away from the seedling.
Plant two seedlings in each bucket. Be sure to plant them to the original depth and firm the soil down around them. Space the plants several inches apart to allow the plant to grow.
Set the buckets in an area that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. Next to the foundation of the house or on hot top is ideal. The cement or tar will increase the temperature of the soil in the bucket. Peppers thrive in the heat.
Water thoroughly to give your seedlings a good start.
Water with a water-soluble fertilizer designed for vegetables on a regular 10 to 14 day schedule throughout the growing season.
Tips & Warnings
- Peppers produce better when plants touch each other. If you choose to grow peppers in the ground instead of in buckets, plant them in pairs so that the leaves of the plants touch during growing.
- Monitor your pepper plants closely for signs of dehydration. Container plants require more frequent watering than those grown in the ground.
- Pick peppers once they have reached full size, but before they have turned color.
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