Pepper seeds require 14-21 days to germinate. Seedlings grow slowly, at first. Start pepper plants indoors, eight to ten weeks or more before the last frost date for your area. Pepper seeds can be a difficult seed germinate. We recommend using a seed germination mat, to shorten the germination time and increase the germination rate.
Many growers simply visit their local garden store for seedling to transplant. Avid garden hobbyists find pleasure in a new challenge, and start their own pepper plants indoors.
Tip: Provide bottom heat or heat lamps to raise the soil temperature to 80 degrees. This will promote better and quicker germination.
Days to Maturity:
70 to 90 days or more, depending upon the variety. A quick Google search on the variety you choose is a good idea for anyone growing peppers.
Select a location in your garden that receives full sun. Prepare the garden, adding plenty of compost, manure, and a general fertilizer.
All varieties of pepper plants grow best in warm to hot weather. Do not transplant seedlings outdoors until all danger of frost has past, and the soil begins to warm. If the weather is still cool in your area, delay transplanting a few days, if possible. Tender, young seedlings do well in hot snaps and cold frames.
Space 18-24 inches apart, in rows 24 to 36 inches apart. This spacing varies a little for each variety.
Pepper plants prefer moist soil. However, avoid wet soil. Water regularly in the hot, dry summer months.
Add mulch around the peppers to keep down weeds, and to retain moisture. As the peppers develop, switch over to a fertilizer higher in Phosphorous and Potassium. Gardeners often make the mistake of providing too much nitrogen. The result is a great looking bushy, green plant, and few fruit.
Tip: Peppers are self-pollinators. Occasionally, they cross pollinate from pollen carried by bees or other insects. To minimize this possibility, don't plant hot and sweet peppers too close. This year's cross will not affect the fruit of this year's crop. The cross will show up in the genetics of the seeds