Pepper Growing Tips and Tricks

Pepper AssortmentPeppers don't take up much space in the garden, but provide a good per-plant harvest and can be used in lots of different ways. You can also employ some creative preservation methods that will offer tantalizing options for using peppers in winter dishes.

The Old Farmer's Almanac has some good advice today for growing large bell peppers. This is also good advice for growing most garden peppers:

Pepper Growing Tips

Give peppers at least eight hours of light a day.

Peppers like rich soil that is high in phosphorous.

Make sure your peppers have good drainage.

Provide them with a soil pH between 6 and 8.

Pepper Varieties to Try

If you haven't put your bell peppers in the ground yet, look for Big Bertha and Goliath varieties for oversized peppers that will fill up a fajita skillet or hold lots of ground beef.

If you like a mix of peppers in the garden, give paprika peppers a try too. They dry well and taste wonderful. This fall you can dry and then grind them into your paprika powder using a simple coffee grinder.

For some adventure, try a habanero pepper plant (also known as a Scotch bonnet), if you can stand the heat. They're the orange peppers in the photo. If you pick them when they're green, they won't be quite so hot.

Sweet banana peppers make a nice change in color, texture, and flavor to the peppers you're probably used to. They are a great garnish or addition to your vegetable pizza.

JalapeƱo peppers and red chili peppers freeze beautifully for garden goodness all winter long.

Smoke a few jalapenos to make your own chipotle chiles using an inexpensive smoker or Weber style grill.

If you want to save some of your summer bell pepper bounty for winter enjoyment, roast them on the barbecue, skin, and freeze them. They'll add depth and flavor to your chili, sloppy Joes, and packaged skillet meals.

Many peppers are good producers, giving you an extended harvest into the fall if you're spared a hard frost.

When you're preparing your late summer feast, don't forget those wonderful, colorful peppers. They make a beautiful display tumbling out of a wicker basket, and they'll show your friends and family how productive gardening can be.


  1. Thanks for sharing wonder tips to grow pepper. I will grow it in my own garden

  2. Hey Beth,

    I'm glad you're going to add peppers to your garden. I think you'll be really pleased with the result.

    When I harvest my cayenne peppers over the summer and early fall, I dry them and then string them into a long swag using twine and a needle. Then I drape them on a rack in my kitchen. I snip individual peppers all winter and use them for salsa and such.

    Good luck growing them. They offer big payback for just a little work and space.

    Happy gardening,


  3. Hi Sara,
    Here's a silly pair of questions - I'm already growing bell peppers and two of them have started flowering. The plants are quite stunted in growth, is there any way I can get them to grow quicker / taller? Also, for the plants to bear fruit, do I have to have a male & female plant?

    ...I live in an apartment with lots of light; the plants are in containers.

  4. Hi Jessica,

    Peppers start out small and bushy, attaining a height of from two to three feet slowly over the summer season. Your plants may look stunted because you can't envision a huge bell pepper hanging from the stems as they look now.

    Beyond that, peppers need lots of light, so get them into the sun and keep them well watered. If you think the soil lacks phosphorous (P), which they need in abundance, add a little bone meal.

    As I understand it, pepper blossoms possess functional male and female organs and are self-pollinating.

    If anyone has tips for encouraging large pepper plants, please chime in.

    Have a great day.


  5. Anonymous5:18:00 PM

    Sprinkle your old coffee grounds on them as well they love it .. I fertilize with fish emulsion and worm castings ...

  6. Great advice! Do you compost your coffee grounds first?


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