Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Planting Peppers

It's finally time for our peppers to make it into the garden. I say Finally, because it seems like it has been a really drawn out process and I'm ready to see some headway.

Most gardeners will start with a few plants picked up from your local nursery or big box store but if you are planning on a lot of peppers, starting them from seed is your best bet.

We are lucky enough to have a bathroom in the shed that doesn't get much use and it was converted to a mini greenhouse late in January so we could start our Peppers. Yes, we started these seeds in late January. Sounds crazy doesn't it, but peppers are a picky plant and take forever to get started. These are a few weeks into the process. The soil needs to be a good 70 to 80 degrees for them to sprout, so if your trying it be prepared with grow lights and a warming mat. We cheat and use rope lights that I got on clearance after Christmas one year, for under the pots to help warm the soil as well as the lights. We got them up and running and in late March we moved them to the Green house. Of which I of course have no pictures..

The seed package is very misleading for peppers, it says that most peppers will be mature and produce peppers in 60 to 90 days, some can go as long as 130 days. This is from the time it is transplanted, if you are using those seeds from that package, go ahead and add 8 to 10 weeks to that number. I say seed manufactures need to have more truth in advertising. If I have started my first garden, bought seed from a big box store and direct sowed into my garden, I would realistically expect to have peppers in three months.
If your lucky, conditions are great and your chickens don't eat them, this is what your pepper plants will look like in 90 days. No where near ready to fruit.Give them another  90 days and the weather would probably be turning really hot and you might not get a chance for peppers this summer. Not fair at all. Then the gardener feels like they have failed at pepper, which isn't fair to them at all.

 Peppers are one of the few vegetables that we recommend getting from a grower. Let someone else do all the work but remember that you'll still have to wait a while before you enjoy those Jalapeno poppers you have been dreaming about.

Two more tips for you before you plant your peppers into the garden. Peppers like a lightly sandy, well drained soil. And sometimes when peppers are grown in greenhouse or the weather goes up and down and you end up with young plants that are already starting to bloom. Before  you plant them it's best to go ahead and pinch those blooms off. Otherwise the small plant will pour all of it's energy into producing the blooms and fruit. It's better to take them off ,let the plant mature and then it will produce blooms again. This will ensure that you have a healthier plant that will produce larger and healthier peppers even if it takes a bit longer.
These are some of the blooms I had to pick off before planting this week. Hopefully we'll continue to have warm nights, peppers need to have night temperatures drop no lower than 50 degrees. Just last week we dropped into the 40's, so we are going ahead and rolling the dice with Mother Nature.

If you're south of us you could be a bit ahead but this could be very timely if you are north of us. You guys have a bit more time before the pepper planting starts!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope to have some updates on the projects started during the A to Z Challenge last month!