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  • Laurie Blake

Tricks and Tips for Growing Awesome Hot Peppers

Updated: Jun 22



Where to Plant Your Peppers


Peppers don't do well in colder temperatures, and I won't be able to plant them in Calgary in an unheated greenhouse until mid-June. I'm going to plant my hot peppers in 4-gallon food-grade pails so I can bring the containers in at the end of the season to finish ripening them off.


If you're planting them in a greenhouse or the garden, give them at least two feet of space.

Only bury the plants as deep as they are currently growing.


Temperature Tolerances


Peppers are not winter hardy and shouldn't be planted outside until the night time temperatures are above 12 degrees Celsius.


Companion Planting


Pepper plants repel cabbage moth and other flying pests. They're good with asparagus, basil, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, endive, oregano, parsley, rosemary, squash, Swiss chard, and tomatoes. Don't plant them with beans, the Brassicas plant family, or fennel.


Soil Requirements


I am going to put a half cup of this mix about ¾ of the way down the pail and mix it with the soil as peppers need phosphorus and calcium.


Special Amendment

Dividing what I have at planting - banana peels and eggshells,

1 cup bone meal,

¼ cup Epson salt,

1 cup kelp meal, and

1 cup volcanic ash

It would be best if you were careful not to over-fertilize peppers, or they may get beautiful foliage and not so many peppers.

Sun Requirements

Peppers need full sun along with a bit of protection from the scorching sun. If you're planting your peppers in containers, use light colours or shield darker containers from the sun as the plants don't like their roots getting too hot.

Water Requirements

Peppers need a moderate supply of water but won’t tolerate saturated soil that water logs their roots.

Plant Support


It is an excellent idea to provide support for your pepper plants like a stake or tomato cage as they can get weighed down by their fruit.


Pests


  • Aphids (side note ants farm aphids. Kind That's cool if they weren't killing my plants.) Insecticidal soap may be required if they are out of hand.






  • Pepper Maggots

  • Slugs

  • Snails

  • Spider Mites

  • Thrips

  • Tomato Hornworms

  • White Flys

Harvesting


Make sure you put on some gloves, so you don't get pepper oil on your hands. Hot peppers are harvested throughout the season; however, they should be fully ripe for drying.


Preserving


I put whole peppers in a freezer bag and just cut the ends off before putting them into my food processor with the onions for cooking. I also sliced and dehydrated them. Peppers can be left in pieces or ground into powder.


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Until next time take care and live well.


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