Transplant pepper plants late in the afternoon or on a cloudy day to prevent the young leaves from being scorched by the sun. If you harden them off for a week beforehand you shouldn’t have this problem. You can also cover them with a pot or cardboard box during the day if you feel they need a break from the sun. If they look wilted or droopy they are getting too much sun.
When you transplant the peppers space them 12 to 15 inches apart. Pepper plants grow and produce better when the leaves touch! They will hold each other up leter in the year if you don’t stake the plants. I personally stake my plants.
Don’t plant your pepper plants where you planted eggplants, potatoes or tomatoes the year before. They all belong to the same family (nightshade) and will pass any soil borne diseases to each other. I always have a garden plan from the year before to help me with this.
It’s best to water peppers at the base of the plant. Watering from above will wash away the pollen from the blossoms cutting back on pepper production.
If you want more heat in your chili peppers harvest them when the ground is dry. If you want a milder chili pepper harvest them when the soil is moist. My neighbor told me this and it is true.
If your peppers are in pots you can bring them in for the winter. Set them in a sunny window and you will even get a few peppers! Next spring you can set them back outdoors and they will start to reproduce in a larger number. Give them a good dose of fertilizer.
The smaller pepper plants, particularly the variegated leaf ornamental pepper looks great in hanging baskets and in flowerbeds. Between the vibrant leaves and multi-colored peppers it’s a focal point to any arrangement.
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