Growing Organic Peppers

Peppers are a popular easy to grow vegetable for the home garden. Today’s gardeners have a tremendous array of choices. You can pick sweet or hot. There are a wide variety of sizes and colors to choose from. There are yellow, red, purple and orange colors.

Peppers like full sun, moist but not wet soil. Regular watering is required in the hot summer months.

Plant pepper transplants after the threat of frost has passed. Start pepper seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last expected frost. Harden off the seedlings, whether homegrown or store-bough. Space 18-24 inches apart. This spacing may vary somewhat by variety.

Days to Maturity: 70 to 90 days or more, depending upon the variety

If your space is limited plant try planting in containers.

Peppers like a loose well drained soil with a good amount of organic matter. I add compost, manure, organic fertilizer, and shredded leaves to my soil mounds before planting.

I fertilize every two to three weeks with organic tomato fertilizer.

Most peppers will drop their blooms when daytime temperatures get much above 90 degrees F. in combination with night temperatures above 75 degrees F. Optimum temperatures are between 70 degrees and 80 degrees F. for bell-type peppers, and between 70 degrees and 85 degrees F. for hot varieties.

I never use any pesticide on peppers. Control Spider mites and aphids by gently spraying both sides of leaves with water from the garden hose.

Apply a thick layer of mulch to conserve soil moisture, suppress weeds.

Fertilize one week after blossoming begins, and again three weeks later with organic fertilizer.

Harvest peppers early and often – the more you pick, the more the plants will produce. Is

50-70 days after planting. Frequent picking of cucumbers is essential as they grow. Delayed harvest results in reduced quality and less productive plants.

Peppers may be stored fresh, frozen, dried or pickled. Peppers will continue to ripen after being picked. Store peppers at room temperature if you wish them to ripen. The ripening process will be slowed if the peppers are stored under cool conditions. If whole fresh peppers are placed in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator, they should keep 2-3 weeks