How to Grow Sweet Pepper Plants:
Sweet pepper plants are a wide variety of plants ranging from sweet and crunchy to spicy and even spicier. From sweet peppers to spicy, eye-watering peppers, they are great for a variety of purposes including stir-fries, toppings for meats, sides of vegetables, and even fresh salsas the endless purposes of sweet peppers in one's diet can be virtually endless.
Moreover, all peppers have one thing in common, they enjoy a long, warm growing season and under those conditions is how they will flourish best. Based on your tastes, you can make peppers taste any way you wish them to. They can also help spruce up any dish from rainbow bright colors to eye-watering spiciness. Whatever you want to add to your meal, there is likely a variety of peppers you can grow that will help you complete the job.
Even better is the concept that they can be grown right in your own personal garden in your backyard, making them easily accessible and enjoyed during the warmer, growing months of the spring and summer, and sometimes even into the early fall.
Seed Sowing Depth: Sweet pepper seeds should be grown at a depth of about 1/4 to 1/2 inches under the soil with about 1-2 FEET of space left between each row of plants. Soil should have a pH of between 6.2 and 7.0 for the sweet peppers to grow in their optimal environment.
When To Sow: Sweet peppers prefer the warmest temperatures and do the best growing in temperatures of between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, but can thrive in climates that are even warmer than that. If you are going to sow the sweet pepper seeds outside, you will need to wait till all of the frosts for the season are over. Waiting till mid-April to May in an average climate is recommended.
If you are going to plant them earlier, they will need to start their germination in pots where they can brought inside if cold temperatures or freezes set it. Then they can later be transferred to the soil when the temperatures are warm enough. Sweet peppers will not endure the cold or freeze well. They will likely not survive extremely cold temperatures.
Be sure you can provide peppers with 6 to 8 hours of sun on most days for them to flourish to their full potential. This is another reason why the summer months are the best time to sow sweet peppers, as the sunshine in these climate areas is more common during the warmer, summer months rather than during the winter months.
Plant Height/Width: The average sweet pepper plant will end up being anywhere between 6 inches tall for bell pepper plants and tall as 3 feet for other varieties of sweet peppers that are grown. In the upper US Department of Agriculture zones 8 to 11 is where the plants will "bush out" best and flourish to their fullest potential.
Bean Crop/Description: Sweet peppers will grow up to be a variety of shape and sizes depending on the type of pepper you are looking to grow.
Bell peppers will come in a variety of rainbow-like colors such as reds, yellows, and oranges. There are also green varieties of bell peppers that will turn a deep, dark green color. There are hot peppers like chili or habaneros that will turn a bright, deep red color when they are mature.
These colors can help spruce up your garden while also adding color and variety as well as a variety of health benefits to your daily diet. Usually the greener the pepper the less spicy they are and the more red they get the more spicy they are going to be in flavor. The orange and yellow colored peppers will fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of sweet and spicy.
Growth Habits: Sweet peppers of all varieties will prefer a warm climate in order for them to grow best. Temperatures should range between 65 and 85 degrees for peppers to grow to their potential. The Plant should be provided with a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day.
It's conditional to stake them, but it depends on how big the plant you are growing is. Some varieties will be able to grow up to 3 feet tall, and while not required, staking them up will be able to help them grow more steady and straight as they are offered some support. It can also help the peppers be kept off the ground where they are more susceptible to rot or being eaten by various pests that may be in the soil underneath the plant.
General Information on Their Uses: Sweet peppers can be used in a variety of various recipes and dishes. Some of these include sweet peppers being a topping to something like a vegetable or rice-and-meat stir fry. Others can be chopped up and put into a variety of salads to add a sweet or spicy flavor based on the peppers you choose to add. Peppers also make a great topping for meats when sliced up with mushrooms or onions and simmered to create a sweet, rich flavor that will help make the meat juicer and more savory.
Chili peppers and other hotter peppers can be used in spicy dishes such as gumbos to add some extra zest and heat to the dish.
Sometimes, it has also been known that some of the hottest peppers in existence such as the 7 Pot Douglah, 7 Pot Primo, Trinidad Scorpion "Butch 'T'", Naga Viper, or even the Red Savina Habanero are used in contests to see if contestants can eat a certain amount of the pepper for prize money. However, this is not recommended practices for everyone as many people cannot endure the capsicum in the peppers which can cause severe internal stomach and intestinal issues.
Pests & Diseases: Sweet pepper plants are prone to a variety of different pests and diseases if proper steps are not taken to ensure they are well cared for. The most common pests that will cause your sweet pepper plants problems include the cutworm, tomato heart worms (they infect sweet pepper plants, too - don't let the name fool you), pepper weevils, and root-knock nematodes to name a few. These various pests all effect the sweet pepper plant in the same way as they cause the plants to die.
When you are looking to remove such pests be sure to wash the plant (the pepper itself) in warm, soapy water to kill off the pests that may be lurking there. Wear gloves when unsure of what pest you are handling because crushing some of these insects can lead to blistering your skin which can cause painful, open welts. They have inner "juices" that are powerful enough to harm not only the plant, but your skin as well.
Harvesting Information & Storage: When harvesting your sweet peppers, it is best to harvest them when they are big enough to eat. Harvesting them early ensures that they will not over-ripen on the vine and go to waste. Peppers can be eaten at almost any stage of development, but waiting till they are fully matured and reach the color they should be is the best time to eat the pepper.
Remember that mild peppers will get sweeter as they mature and the hot peppers will get even hotter as they mature.
Remember that most sweet peppers whether mild or hot will take about 70 days to reach total maturity from when they are transplanted to taking another 3 to 4 weeks after that to begin producing any yield.
Also, remember that the more often you harvest the crop the sooner it will be able to regrow fresh crops for you to be able to enjoy harvesting it again.
Edible Uses & Flavors: The edible uses and flavors for peppers are virtually endless, with peppers commonly being featured in dishes from stir fries to salads or as toppings to various meats, the uses of peppers are virtually endless.
Their tastes can range from sweet to spicy and everything in between. Moreover, the variety of different tastes peppers can take on allows them to compliment a variety of cuisines from around the world. People everywhere enjoy various sweet peppers that will help perk up the taste buds and provide great flavor to dishes.
Moreover, sweet peppers are relatively low in calories and provide a variety of health benefits when eaten. Sweet peppers from the bell pepper family provide an excellent source of Vitamins A, B, & C and also provide great sources of folate, molybdenum, Vitamin E, dietary fiber, niacin, and potassium as well. All of these health benefits make it a highly recommended vegetable to include in one's diet.
Studies even show that for the more spicy varieties, the capsicum might even help aid in weight loss through speeding up the metabolism of the person eating the spicy food. This makes spicy peppers a popular food among dieters, however, the ability of these peppers to help people lose weight has not been definitively proven to be true.