Wednesday, January 27, 2010

3 Tips for Great Peppers in your Home Vegetable Gardening

Peppers are the number two most grown vegetables, behind tomatoes, in the home vegetable garden according to a recent study by the United States Department of Agriculture. Many home vegetable gardeners simply take a pepper seed, drop it in a hole, give it some water and hope for the best. However there are some great tips to increase the produce output of the pepper plants you grow.

After asking around on our vegetable gardening Facebook fan page, we came up with the top tips from fellow gardeners on producing the best results for peppers. Here are those results.

Start Indoors
Nearly all responses came back with starting the seeds indoors at least six weeks prior to the last frost of the year in your zone as per the frost zone map that can be found on our website in the downloads section. This gives the plants a chance to get a “running start” so to speak.

Create Heat
According to many of the home vegetable gardeners we talked to they all agreed that peppers like heat and although they used all kinds of methods for creating heat for the plant, from grass clippings to extra compost, but the most favorable way was putting a landscape fabric around the base of the plant. It prohibits weeds and keeps a steady higher soil temperature.

Out of the one hundred plus responses received from our request I would say nearly ninety percent of them used some method to make sure their peppers received more sulfur. Peppers love sulfur. One tip from Jen Fritz of KittyVista LLC likes to drop in a tablespoon of Epson salt (magnesium sulfate) into the hole where you will transplant your pepper plants. This allows for a timed release of sulfur for your plants. Another popular method which dated back to old time farmers was dropping two matches into the hole before planting.

If you are like most home vegetable gardeners then chances are you will at some point grow peppers. Use these tips above to maximize each pepper plant that you grow.

About the Author
Mike is the owner of Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC where you can sign up for their Seeds of the Month Club and receive 4 packs of vegetable, fruit and herb seeds every month.

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