sweet bell peppers

Sweet Bell Peppers – Growing

Sweet bell peppers growing isn’t all that hard, but you do need to know a few things to raise your chance for success!  Here are some things you need to know about growing your own sweet bell peppers.

Pepper Needs

All sweet bell peppers have the same basic needs, which include:

  • Sunlight – at least 6 hours per day; 8 hours is even better.  But be careful about too much sunlight in some instances!
  • Warmth – peppers love warm to hot weather, but it doesn’t mean you can’t grow them in cooler climates.  Check out the bell peppers to consider.
  • Water – most peppers like moist, well-drained soil.

Let’s talk more about the above three items for your homegrown sweet bell peppers.

Sunlight and Sweet Bell Peppers

When choosing where you grow your sweet bell peppers, the first thing to consider is sunlight.  There isn’t much way around sweet bell peppers needing at least six hours of direct sunlight per day, but you also need to consider that you can actually have too much sunlight in some situations.

If you live in a place where your sunlight is extreme, you may have to actually provide a bit of shade when growing bell peppers.  For example, growing sweet peppers in the southern part of the United States, or in the desert Southwest, you’ve got the double whammy of intense sunlight + intense heat.  You may want to situate your pepper garden in a location where the peppers will get some light shade in the hottest part of the day.

If you live at a high altitude, you will also need to consider intense sunlight and the effect on the peppers.  But if you don’t also have the intense heat, you may only need to be concerned with shading the sweet bell peppers themselves, so  that they don’t get sunscald.  Part of that can be accomplished by making sure the bell pepper variety you are growing has a good foliage cover.

Growing Bell Peppers and Warmth

With growing bell peppers, warmth is also a major consideration — they like it very warm.  Which makes sense if you think about it, because peppers in general originated in Central and South America — quite warm regions!

They are happiest with temperatures in the 80s (Fahrenheit) during the days, and in the 60s at night.  Most sweet bell peppers take 75  to 80 days from transplant to grow into sweet green peppers, ready to pick and eat.  But if you want ripe bell peppers, that may take anywhere from another 2 weeks to a month before they turn their final color.

Bell peppers will quit growing at 55 degrees, so you need to consider the number of cool days you have in a growing season, as that may extend the time for ripe peppers.  Solution?  Grow a sweet bell pepper which needs a shorter time to harvest.  Some varieties include:

  • King of the North
  • Northstar Hybrid
  • Red Beauty Hybrid

What about frost?  Frost will kill the bell peppers, so you need to be aware of your growing season – the date of your average latest expected frost to your average first expected frost.  Unless you have some kind of frost protection, don’t think about transplanting them to the garden before the average last frost date for your area.  And frost protection may not mean freeze protection!

Growing Sweet Peppers and Water

Sweet bell peppers need adequate water, but they definitely don’t like wet feet!  Those growing sweet peppers need to be kept moist, and they like well-drained soil.  (You can check out the post for what kind of soil peppers like for more info.)

You also need to consider how much sun your peppers get, along with how hot it is!  If your peppers are in full sun all day and you live in a hot location, you may need to water every day in order to keep your sweet bell peppers from wilting (which can hurt the pepper development).  A thick layer of mulch will help in these situations, along with making sure you have a good soil that retains enough water without making the roots swim.

Hope this information helps you grow your own sweet bell peppers (or peppers in general).  🙂