I’ve been sharing a lot of photos of my homegrown peppers on social media lately. Every time I do I get asked “How do you grow such big peppers?” I’m in Minneapolis (growing zone 4b) and grow all my peppers from seed – so no, it’s not that I’m “lucky” because I live in the perfect climate (I wish!).
But, over the years I have learned some tricks for growing amazing peppers in my garden, and since I’ve been giving out a lot of pepper growing advice lately, I’ll share some of my best tips with you too.
5 tips for growing bigger peppers
1. Lots of sun – Peppers require full sun to grow their best, and the more sun the better. I grow my peppers in areas that get full sun from dawn ’til dusk.
Related post: Play with your food: fun in the veggie garden!
2. Heat – Along with full sun, peppers like it hot. I know we can’t always control the temperatures in our gardens, but it’s best to wait to plant peppers in the spring until the ground and temperature has warmed up. Planting the seedlings in cold, wet soil can stunt their growth.
3. Organic fertilizer – Peppers benefit from being fed during their active growing season, and a rich organic fertilizer is the best. For liquid fertilizers, I recommend using a compost tea or fish emulsion. I also love add slow release organic fertilizer into the soil of my pepper plants too. My favorites are Healthy Grow organic vegetable fertilizer and Sustane all natural plant food. I start feeding my peppers with a weak dose of the liquid fertilizer as soon as the seedlings get their true leaves, and gradually increase it to full strength as they grow. Then I add the slow release fertilizer to the plant hole when I plant them in the garden. I continue to fertilize every few weeks through the growing season.
4. Consistent watering – Though peppers like to be kept on the dry side rather than having wet feet, pepper plants grow best when they get a consistent amount of water. Inconsistent watering can stunt the growth of both the plant and pepper production, and is a contributing factor to blossom end rot. A drip irrigation system is super easy to install, and it makes a huge difference when it comes to giving your peppers the right amount of water. Learn how to install your own here.
5. Pruning – Pepper plants are generally very low maintenance, but they will produce larger peppers if you pinch off some of the flower buds once the plant starts to produce peppers. Like tomatoes, pepper plants will also benefit from pinching off any suckers or extra growth.
Follow these tips, and soon people will be asking YOU how you grow such huge peppers!
More posts about growing vegetables
- Fertilizer for herb gardens and containers
- Tomatoes not turning red? Try these 5 tricks…
- Growing rice in my backyard vegetable garden
- 6 High-yield vegetables
- 10 easy edibles that give you the most bang for your buck
What tips for growing bigger peppers would you add to this list?