Whether you sauté it, dip it in sour cream, top it on pizzas or eat it raw, peppers are among the most common vegetables we eat regularly. But have you ever thought about planting them in your backyard? Growing peppers are relatively easy, especially if you live in warmer climates.
But before you start planting, it’s essential to know the basics, such as what to plant with peppers to encourage healthy growth, the different types of peppers, as well as growing plants in greenhouses.
Peppers are native to Mexico, Central and South America, and the West Indies. They grow best in sunny areas, and they should be planted in nutrient-rich, well-drained soil. You can improve your soil quality by adding a generous amount of organic fertilizer, like aged herbivore manure (goats, cows, lamas, etc.).
The Different Types of Peppers and Its Advantages
Peppers are a kitchen staple in every household. Additionally, each type of pepper has its unique health benefits. According to Dr. Michael Greger’s Nutrition Facts, eating bell peppers and other vegetables can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Here are the different types of peppers and their health benefits:
Red Bell Peppers
Most people think that all bell peppers are the same regardless of color. However, different bell peppers have their unique tastes and nutrients.
Red peppers are sweet and delicious, and they contain loads of vitamin A. Red bell peppers are also rich in vitamin C, providing 200% of a person’s daily dose. They’re full of vitamins and antioxidants, including vitamin B56 and folate.
Yellow Bell Peppers
Yellow peppers are also sweet and contain vitamin C; niacin, keep your digestive system healthy; and vitamin B can improve skin health.
Green Bell Peppers
On the other hand, green bell peppers have a slightly bitter taste, making it a great addition to salads and stir-fried dishes. A cup of green bell peppers contains 2.5 grams of fiber, and it’s loaded with antioxidants, vitamins C, and E.
Aside from bell peppers, chili peppers are also a staple in every kitchen. These spicy peppers pack a punch, adding heat and flavor to any dish.
Most people consume the chili peppers come in powders and pastes, but you can use them straight from the pepper plant. These peppers are rich in minerals like potassium and vitamins C, B6, K1, and A.
Serrano peppers are another type of spicy peppers that contain capsaicin, a chemical that can improve heart health. These peppers also contain antioxidants that can boost the immune system. They also contain vitamins C and B6.
This mild California chili has high water content, making them a low-calorie vegetable. These peppers grow up to 6 to 10 inches, and they contain iron, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
This pepper is known for its mild to moderate spicy taste, a perfect addition to any type of dish. Jalapeño poppers, dips, pickles, and salsa are just some of the dishes we all know and love. Aside from its versatility, this pepper contains capsaicin, which may increase metabolism, relieve topical pain, and reduce insulin spikes.
Habanero peppers may be small, but they have a Scoville measurement of 100,000 – even higher than jalapeños. These peppers may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Some studies even show that habanero peppers may prevent prostate cancer.
You probably have a bottle of cayenne peppers sitting in your spice rack. This pepper is another kitchen staple that’s often used to flavor savory dishes. Cayenne contains vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K. It also contains manganese and potassium, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits.
Companion Plants for Peppers and How Each One Contributes for Companion Growth
Companion planting techniques can be very beneficial for your garden. It can maximize garden space, enhance the flavor of your crops, increase growth rates, increase yields, and repel harmful insects. As a result, you wouldn’t have to use chemical products to ward off bugs or fertilize your garden plants.
There are different companion plants for different types of crops. Here are some of the vegetables, flowers, and herbs that you can plant near your pepper patch.
Peas can increase the nitrogen in the soil, enhance the flavor of your peppers, and cover the ground to prevent weeds from growing.
When planted around peppers, radishes can enhance the flavor, utilize garden space, and serve as a beautiful ground cover to prevent weeds. It’s relatively easy to grow radishes as well, and you can harvest them in about four weeks from sowing.
Garden pests like mites, slugs, aphids, flies, and certain beetles don’t like basil. Planting them near your patch prevents insects and critters from destroying your plants.
Onions, Leeks, and Chives
Planting chives, onions, or leeks near your pepper plants can prevent insect pests and enhance the flavor of your patch. Chives are a perennial plant, so you’ll enjoy more flavorful chives after your first harvest. They also attract pollinators like bees and butterflies to your garden.
Spinach, Chard, and Lettuce
These low growing plants can provide ground cover that can help control weeds.
Dill repels aphids and spider mites that can ruin your pepper patch. At the same time, it also attracts helpful insects and pollinators to your garden.
Petunias, Nasturtiums, and Marigolds
These beautiful flowers are a perfect addition to every garden. It provides aesthetic value, but these flowers can also help repel aphids, squash bugs, whiteflies, beetles, and other pests.
Tomatoes are a tremendous neighboring plant for peppers as it helps keep the soil free of harmful roundworms and beetles.
Oregano, Rosemary, and Marjoram
These herbs have a strong scent that can enhance the flavor of your peppers and repel insects.
Germanium leaves can paralyze Japanese beetles if they munch on them. It’s a great trap crop, and it’ll be easier for you to pick them off your patch. Cabbageworms are not a fan of germanium as well.
Planting corn around your pepper patch can shield your peppers from strong winds and excessive heat.
This attracts pollinators to fertilize your pepper plants. Additionally, buckwheat can be a green mulch for your garden after harvesting it.
Comingling asparagus with peppers is an effective space saver. After you harvest asparagus in the spring, you can immediately plant peppers on the same bed.
Don’t Plant These Plants Near Your Pepper.
While there are beneficial companion plants, there are also harmful plants that should not be placed near your peppers:
While sweet peppers can tolerate beans, you don’t want to plant them next to your hot peppers; otherwise, they will grow poorly.
Not a lot of plants like to grow near fennel, including peppers. If you’re planning to grow fennel, make sure to keep them in a separate bed.
Apricots and peppers usually suffer from similar diseases. Prevent them from spreading by planting them away from each other.
Kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and other brassicas shouldn’t be planted near your peppers as well.
Even though peppers grow well with eggplants and tomatoes, you should keep your peppers away from potatoes. Peppers and potatoes often catch the same diseases. To prevent the spread of disease, don’t plant potatoes next to peppers.
The Benefits of Growing Peppers in a Greenhouse
Investing in a greenhouse is one of the best decisions you’ll make. It provides an ideal environment for healthy plant growth. If you’re still on the fence, here are some of the benefits of growing crops in a greenhouse:
Protection from the Elements
Getting a greenhouse makes sense if you live in areas with extreme weather conditions. Greenhouses shield your plants from the elements. Strong winds and extremely high temperatures can negatively affect delicate plants.
Greenhouses have a translucent cover that diffuses the sunlight while ensuring sufficient ventilation. Using a greenhouse will protect your plants from unwanted elements, keeping them safe and healthy until harvest.
Another notable benefit of greenhouses is that it protects your plants from animals and insects. With your plants enclosed in the greenhouse, harmful insects and unwanted predators like moles, birds, and deer, won’t be able to prey on your plants. As a result, you wouldn’t have to use toxic pesticides or chemicals to repel pests and critters.
Longer Growing Periods
Greenhouses offer longer growing periods since it offers a controlled climate for growing plants. This ensures that your plants will grow healthy for weeks or months longer.
Plant a Variety of Plants
If you live in colder climates, it may not be a good environment to grow peppers. Greenhouses can provide a warmer and more humid environment, even if the weather is chilly.
This heat and insulation enable you to plant warm-season vegetables like peppers and other exotic plants. You must understand the needs of the crops you’re planning to grow. In this way, you’ll be able to adjust the greenhouse according to your plants’ preferences.
Tips in Planting Peppers in a Greenhouse
If you’re planting peppers for the first time or need a refresher, here are a few tips you need to remember:
Speed Up the Process
The spicier the pepper, the longer it takes to mature. You can hasten the growth by soaking the seeds for 10 minutes before planting it. This softens the seed cover and increases germination time.
Diseases to Watch Out For
Keep your pepper plant healthy by getting rid of snails and slugs that could harm your peppers. Aphids are your plant’s enemy as well. You can rid of them by hosing your adult pepper plants (not advisable for seedlings), but be sure not to soak the plant! Rotating your crops can also avoid these pests.
You don’t want flea beetles munching on your fresh leaves as well.
Their larvae can survive in the soil and roots.
They often appear in the middle of the day. You can get rid of them by hosing your plants down. Fortunately, growing crops in a greenhouse prevents pests from eating or destroying your plants.
Since peppers thrive in full sun locations, they require a lot of water to cope with the heat. Keeping the soil damp and wet is enough, but when temperatures rise, you may need to increase your watering frequency. An inch of water every four days is the standard amount.
Peppers grow best in nutrient-rich soil that contains a good amount of phosphorus and calcium.
The soil’s pH levels should range from 6.0 to 7.0, and the ideal soil temperature for improved germination is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly above that to break dormancy. You can also place heat mats beneath the pots to achieve the perfect soil temperature. When your pepper plants start to bloom, apply foliar feed every ten days.
Additionally, make sure to add fertilizer once the first fruit emerges. This ensures that you’ll grow larger fruits. However, keep in mind that too much fertilizer may limit your plants to produce more fruit.
Lighting and Temperature
Along with proper temperature control, pepper plants need consistent light. Pepper seedlings grow better with a temperature of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the morning and 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit in the evening. Be sure to choose a spot in your greenhouse where your plants could get at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
When harvesting mature sweet peppers, it’s essential to be gentle. Otherwise, fragile parts will break if you tug too hard. It’s better to use scissors, hand pruners, or a sharp blade.
For hot peppers, don’t forget to wear gloves. If not available, be sure to clean your hands after harvesting. NEVER rub your eyes or face to prevent burning.
Greenhouses are an excellent investment for every plant lover. It lets you create your microclimate, control temperature, and humidity, and you can grow vegetables throughout the year.
If you’re looking for high quality and cost-effective greenhouses, Krostrade offers a wide range of foil and plastic greenhouses. You can choose from our wide array of products, or you can have one custom-made based on your needs and preferences. If you want to know more, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].