Growing peppers is a fairly easy process as long as you have the proper environment set up for them. Peppers need a bed with plenty of sun and a sandy soil that contains a lot of organic material and drains well. Spacing should be between 10 and 12 inches apart depending on the variety. Placing two plants in one hole will help to protect larger-pod varieties from sunburn due to there being more leave coverage, and will also allow the plants to help support each other as they grow. Smaller-pod varieties don’t need to worry about sunburn, so one per hole should be fine.
Different varieties will mature at different times, so it’s important to keep good records of when things were planted so that you don’t pull them up too early or leave them too long. Marking the plants with stakes is a cheap and easy way to keep track of time. If you’re growing sweet peppers, they’ll likely mature sometime between 60 and 90 days. Hot peppers take around 150 days. It’s important to note that this time frame refers to the time after transplanting up until the plant produces a full-sized fruit, meaning you’ll have to add about 8-to-10 weeks to the time listed on any seed packet.
When planting seedlings, first soak them in water to ensure that the rootball is thoroughly wet. If you find a tight mass of roots under the plant, gently pull them apart with the blade of a knife before planting. Fertilizer should be placed about four inches from the stem once a month, and be increased to once every two weeks around August.
Drip irrigation and soaker hoses work well for watering throughout the growing season. If you’re growing hybrid varieties like NuMex chilies, it’s advised that you keep top watering for two extra weeks. Carefully stressing hot peppers by watering them only once a week will cause them to produce even hotter pods.
When it comes to picking peppers, it will depend on the variety you’re growing. Some peppers are fine to be picked small and green (like Pimiento de Padron), while others (like most sweets and Thai chilies) should only be picked after they’ve reached their full color.
Growing peppers can be a fun hobby or pastime. All of Mild to Wild’s hot sauces features handpicked and selected peppers chosen for their characteristics and flavors. Next time you are thinking about growing peppers, follow these tips and suggestions.