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Step-by-step Instructions for growing some great peppers in your garden!

green pepperIf you want to see the biggest difference between home-grown food and store bought, peppers are perhaps the best way to do this.  They have great nutritional content, add a ton of great flavor, and best of all, they (sometimes) are spicy!  If you want some of the best peppers ever, then here is where you pay attention.

Picking the best place to plant peppers can actually make quite a big difference in how they turn out.  Typically, you want to pick a spot where the same plants have not grown the prior years(a great reminder to rotate your garden).  It should be sunny and not too wet.  If your soil is not deep and rich, go ahead and add some compost.  Don’t add TOO much, as excess nitrogen in the soil can cause way too fast of growth.

When you plant your pepper seedlings, you will need to prep them for planting outdoors, by exposing them to a bit of the outdoors.  This basically is weaning them off of indoor living, and preparing them to live outdoors in your garden.  If they adapt as seedlings, then they will not waste valuable time after you plant them outside.  When you do this, you can typically expect to see bigger peppers!  When you are in the sixty-seventy degree range, put the seedlings outside for a few hours a day for a week or two, extending the time each day.

When you plant, make sure you are not going to freeze or have frost overnight.  Plant the peppers 12-20 inches apart(some smaller plants can be planted closer together).  They will typically want to be a bit deeper than they were in the pod container.  If you have a tall pepper plant, consider putting it in a tomato cage.  Water well when planting.

After the peppers are growing, consider mulching them.  This works quite a bit in hot dry regions, and can help with moisture and keeping the soil temperature down.  Obviously, not too much mulch, or you will not have a good crop either.

Lastly, when you are starting to get peppers, pinch off a few of them.  This will cause the plant to focus on producing much more, and putting it’s “energy” into growing.  This will give you much more in the long run.  Typically, if you wait until the peppers are darker in color, they will be much better (with a few exceptions).

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