Master of the Peppers

I have had a slow start to my gardening process, because I was insisting to myself that I would build the raised bed gardens, but I finally said, no, I really just want to get started… I just don’t have quite enough time to woodwork….

I have a bunch of seeds, some herbs and teas, peppers, various vegetables, but I’m going to get even more… but mostly, I want to grow every kind of pepper. I already have a couple pepper plants but I didn’t put a name-stake in and so I don’t remember if they are jalopenos. They may be. They recently grew flowers so I am pretty excited. Ben loves peppers, and they make any dish amazing so I figure I will specialize in them.

Peppers play well with tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers. Rotate with peas and beans.

We live in zone 7b: 5-10.

Last spring frost is approximately late march.  First fall frost is approximately mid-November.

In summary, it appears that pretty much all the peppers do well planted 8-10 weeks in well drained mulchy composty not-so-nitrogenized soil supported with a stake or cage.

So here are my notes, these are untested rules, so I wouldn’t follow this if I was a reader, I would do my own research:

Bell pepper

  • Start: indoors 8-10 weeks before last spring frost date. 3 to a pot, and thin out the weakest seedling.
  • Germinate: 70° F.
  • Soil: A week before transplanting, introduce fertilizer or aged compost into your garden soil. Well drained, with mulch or plastic covering.
  • Transplant: Put in shade before transplanting.  Transplant when soil should be at least 65° F
  • Plant spacing: 18 to 24 inches apart (but keep paired plants close to touching.)
  • Fertilize:  Fertilize after the first fruit set. Put two or three match sticks in the hole with each plant, along with about a teaspoon of fertilizer. These give the plants a bit of sulfur, which they like.
  • Water: one to two inches per week; For larger fruit, spray the plants with a solution of one tablespoon of Epsom salts in a gallon of water, once when it begins to bloom, and once ten days later.

Jalopeño pepper

  • Light: Full sun
  • Start: Indoor, 8 weeks before last frost.
  • Matures: 65-80 days
  • Plant spacing:  1/4″ deep; 12-36 inches apart
  • Soil requirements: well-drained; Amend soil with 3 to 5 inches of compost or other organic matter prior to planting. Soil pH should be pH 5.5-7.0. Use mulch.
  • Fertilize: rich in phosphorus, potassium and calcium

Serrano pepper

  • Light: Full sun
  • Fruit size: 3 to 3.5 inches
  • Matures: 80 days
  • Plant spacing: 18 inches apart
  • Soil requirements: well-drained; Amend soil with 3 to 5 inches of compost or other organic matter prior to planting. Soil pH should be 6.2 to 7.0.
  • Fertilize: a

Habenero pepper

  • Light: Bright Sun
  • Temperature: Warm
  • Plant spacing: 18 inches apart
  • Soil requirements: Peppers need well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. Amend soil with 3 to 5 inches of compost or other organic matter prior to planting. Soil pH should be 6.2 to 7.0.
  • Start: indoors. Plant outside after at least 6 leaves in warm soil.
  • Water: Infrequent but deep watering
  • Fertilize:  ¼ tablespoon of nitrogen per plant when six weeks old.

Poblano pepper

  • Light: Full sun
  • Start: Indoor, 8 weeks before last frost.
  • Matures: 65-80 days
  • Plant spacing:  1/4″ deep; 12-36 inches apart
  • Soil requirements: well-drained; Amend soil with 3 to 5 inches of compost or other organic matter prior to planting. Soil pH should be pH 5.5-7.0. Use mulch.
  • Fertilize: rich in phosphorus, potassium and calcium

Chili pepper

  • Light: Full sun
  • Start: Indoor, 8 weeks before last frost.
  • Matures: 65-80 days
  • Plant spacing:  1/4″ deep; 12-36 inches apart
  • Soil requirements: well-drained; Amend soil with 3 to 5 inches of compost or other organic matter prior to planting. Soil pH should be pH 5.5-7.0. Use mulch.
  • Fertilize: rich in phosphorus, potassium and calcium

Shishito pepper

  • Light: Full sun
  • Fruit size: 3 to 4 inches long
  • Matures: 60 days for green fruits, 80 days for red
  • Plant spacing: 18 to 24 inches
  • Plant size: 24 to 30 inches tall
  • Start: Indoors, 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost.
  • Water: check the soil 4-6″ inches deep and water when the soil feels dry to the touch.
  • Fertilize: Balanced vegetable fertilizer with a formula such as 5-10-10 or similar.
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