Grow Some Peppers!

What a Pepper Prefers

  • Season:Summer
  • Sun: Full
  • Moisture: Lots of it - peppers love water
  • Soil Fertility: High
  • Soil pH:Slightly acidic
  • Other Soil Characteristics: Loose, well-drained
  • What to Plant: Transplants
  • Spacing: 18” between plants; 24” between rows (chiles plants are variable in their size; refer to seed packet or transplant tag)
  • Planting Depth: Seeds - 1/4”; Transplants at soil level

*Don’t let these preferences stop you from trying. These conditions are what a pepper PREFERS. 

How to Grow Some Peppers

Varieties

If you lack nerves in your tongue, enjoy melting concrete with food, or your masculinity is threatened by the prospect of growing vegetables you can always try growing “Bhut Jolokia” or “Trinidad Scorpion”. These are among the hottest known chiles - read: inedible, dangerous, blister-raising. A tea made of their flesh is said to make an excellent pesticide. 

I prefer fairly standard bell/sweet peppers like “California Wonder” but also enjoy “Sweet Chocolate”, “Purple Beauty”, and “Shishito”.

Chiles/hot peppers are amazingly diverse - I love almost all of them. Some favourites include “Burmese Reaching-To-The-Sky”, “Pasilla Bajo” and “Chocolate Habanero”. “Anaheim” chiles are a community favourite in this neck of the woods.

Below: Seed Sowing, Bed Preparation, Planting, Maintenance, Harvesting, Cooking

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The weather’s warming up in this neck-of-the-woods and I want to get some sunflowers in the ground soon. These plants from last summer were the result of three generations of seed-saving from some purchased “Russian Mammoth” seeds. Big huge heads with delicious seeds sit atop some really beefy stalks!

A furrow is simply a small trench that you create in your garden soil. Check out those onions thriving in furrows! In most situations where excess water is not a concern (*see caveat below) sowing into a furrow or any sort of depression in the soil improves your chances of seed success. Water is concentrated where it is most needed and gravity keeps your newly-sown seeds where you put them.

I am frequently asked about starting vegetables from seed sown directly into the ground. The process really seems to test people’s confidence. Though the open garden/field usually presents a less hospitable environment to the germinating seed than say a pot in a greenhouse or an egg carton atop your fridge, direct sowing remains a simple task. Try a furrow and see if your germination rates improve!

*If your climate and/or soil is particularly damp, sowing on top of a mound can improve drainage and increase soil temperature (mounds have more surface area; more sun-to-soil contact = warmer soil). These factors can help to keep seeds from rotti