Growing Peppers in Containers

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Growing peppers in containers is highly recommended if you’re looking for a veggie that is ideal for small spaces and planters due to its size and output.

Which types of plants do well in the pepper family in confined containers?

Well, man if not most of them. Bells and sweet red pepper do well, they may increase in height but they as a rule do not spread out much. It may be a good idea to stake pepper plants if they start getting taller and top heavy as it can give added support if they start to blow around in the wind.
Chilis and jalapenos can also do well in containers.

The common denominator here is that they like a lot of sun, if you find that one spot is too shady to provide enough you can move them to a better location. this is more easily accomplished with carriers – they’res a special type of plant tote with handles that makes transporting large container plants easier and less burdensome.

They will do well and thrive alongside their favorite in the nightshade family – tomatoes, and another plant to have nearby is basil. They can often be mistaken for each other, basil leaves are kind of inverted if you look at them closely.

Just as you would do with elevated beds, when the seedlings start to develop it is a good idea to pinch off hte top flower of the plant as this will lead to a much better yield going forward.

One thing about planting hot/cjili pepers in pots is that if they are close by, you may not have to worry about them cross pollinating and potentially changing the taste of nearby related plants. Last summer we got some babnana pepper that had a little heat to them, because they were close to Thai chiis. I’d been told they were “Rainbow bells” and they weren’t -oh well! Unless polle from each plant gets dropped on neighboring ones. If you’ve eve had benana peppers you knwo they are very mild tasting.

As far as your container of choice goes, you have a number of options:

Grow Bags, Buckets, Window boxes, and other (misc) containers that you create yourself or upcycle from something else.

growing peppers in containers

Five gallon buckets are great. Not only are they ideal for tomato plants, especially smaller ones, they suit many types of peppers very well too. Our cat litter that we get regularly, we save the bucket it is packaged in and repurpose it into growing containers like these. I just used a cordless drill to put various holes in the bottom and the sides (about 2″ from the bottom is a good drainage point)

In addition to potting mix I make use of other addins…some pinestraw and sticks, potash, and yes, even aged chicken manure is great if you want to uplevel the fertility of your soil for sure! Note – I say “aged” for a reason. It must set up for at least 6-8 months for the nitrogen level to be at a “good” amount, as too high can burn delicate plants while being transplanted. Better yet, it doesn’t stink so much at that point.

I make use of different potting mixes, one that has been really fruitful for me contains mushroom components. It’s very dark and rich looking….twice as dark as a conventional brand we use too. So I mix these up and for one five gallon bucket, one shovelful of aged manure (still want to go easy on that stuff) and I combine it will a narrow shovel. I almost don’t even have to worry about fertilizer later on!

Dig a hole about 3″ for your pepper seedling to go into. I also add a tablespoon of bone meal. WOnderful stuf too.. I cover with a little more dirt adn then I plant my peppers.

And of course don’t forget to water them in!

Window boxes I have used too. I think they are far better suited to strawberry plants which hwave a penchant for sprawling out as they develop runners, but bush varieties would be good candidates for these. I washalf joking when I said you don’t need to use fertilizer if you work with chickenm manure. You will eventually.

The best way to add fertilizer to pepper plants in containers is to side dress them. I use Miracle-Gro Tomato Food (which is also great for other veggies as well) and another product that is great is Cal-Mag, a combinatio of calcium/magnesium.

 

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