A staple in your summer garden should be a variety of pepper plants, and the culinary uses and applications make them a practical and nutritious crop.
Long after you have picked your last pepper of the season, you can enjoy your harvest in dried, pickled, and preserved recipes, all year long.
Choosing the right peppers that will be hardy and vigorous in your own garden is simple.
Talk to your gardening retailer for specific pepper seed and plant recommendations or consult with the US Hardiness Grow Zone to determine the best types of peppers for your geographic location.
How Far Apart to Plant Pepper Plants?
Pepper plants should be a minimum of 18 inches apart (46 cm) when planted, whether using rows or a ‘checkerboard’ planting system. Some other variables regarding the optimal distance between plants include climate and the type of pepper being planted.
Properly Space Pepper Plants With These Tips
Spacing Pepper Plants Properly
In a perfect world, you would space your pepper plants in rows that are spaced around 24-36 inches apart (61-92 cm). This provides enough room for pepper plants to grow and reach, while also bearing fruit- in this case, peppers!
Since peppers are self-pollinating plants, they do not need to be close together to be pollinated. The ideal distance between plants whether you are planting in a row or a checkerboard pattern is a minimum of 18 inches apart (46 cm).
This distance also allows you the room to get in between to weed, trim, and harvest your peppers without crowding or inconvenience.
Purpose of Spacing Pepper Plants
When you plant your peppers too close together, they vie for nutrients and oxygen. This can impact your yield at harvest time.
Instead, provide your peppers with the room that they need by spacing them thoughtfully to ensure each gets the nutrients they need to bear more peppers.
The space allows for adequate air circulation which allows the plants to develop and grow, without being impeded or stunted.
Growers can appreciate the space around each plant as it makes it easier to maintain and tend the plant, as well as key in finding mature peppers to pick at harvest time.
Tips for Planting Peppers
Peppers are easy to grow, but there are a few tips that may make a difference in the hardiness and yield of your plants. So, take a look at these tips for planting peppers this year.
Wait after the last frost of spring before putting pepper plants or seedlings outside.
Peppers need around six to eight hours of sun daily to thrive and bear fruit.
When tilling the soil for your peppers, add some organic compost.
Water liberally after planting or transplanting. Try to provide peppers with one to two inches of water weekly, but more if the temperatures are higher.
Top plants with an inch of mulch to protect them from drying out and to preserve moisture in the soil.
Plant ornamental peppers in flower beds or other garden patches.
When it comes time to harvest your peppers, use a pair of scissors or a sharp knife. Store harvested peppers in the refrigerator and pick all peppers before the frost in Fall sets in.
When it comes to peppers, know that the color of the variety is indicative of the nutrients and flavor. The redder the pepper, the riper it is.
Also, when it comes to varieties of hot peppers, redder peppers are the hottest, too.
Peppers have a long growing season throughout summer, often being the first and last crop to yield.
You can put pepper plants outside after the first frost but bring young seedlings inside if the weather turns too cool.
Potted Pepper Plants
If you lack conventional outdoor garden space, or if you just really love peppers, consider planting peppers in containers or pots this year.
The key in potted pepper plants is the soil; make sure that it is light, fluffy, and enriched with low-nitrogen compost for extra nutrients.
Top each planter or pot with an inch of quality mulch to help retain moisture in the soil for your peppers’ roots.
Companion Plants for Peppers
Just like other plants, peppers do well when planted with companion plants nearby. That is, there are some specific plants that help peppers grow- and taste- better merely by planting them in close- proximity to one another.
Peppers of all varieties, sweet and spicy, do well side-by-side in a garden or bed. As members of the nightshade family, eggplants and tomatoes do well in growing with peppers.
Peppers also do exceptionally well when neighbored with cucumbers in your garden. They thrive in a similar growing environment and can share a bed or patch fine but try to space plants around 18 inches apart.
They both like slightly acidic soil that is well-draining.
Frequently Asked Questions About How Far Apart to Plant Pepper Plants
What about growing peppers in pots?
Can you plant both sweet and hot peppers in one location?
You can plant both sweet and hot peppers together without the tastes becoming altered or skewed. Make sure that you are planting your peppers an ideal 18-24 inches apart, or you do risk creating a hybrid pepper. Pepper seedlings are usually transplanted from indoors to outside in spring, usually late March to early April.
What is the fastest pepper to grow?
Peppers are an easy-to-grow crop, but perhaps the fastest variety to yield are the hotter members of the Capsicum Annuum family of peppers. This includes poblanos, cayenne, and Serrano peppers, as well as a range of other ornamental varieties of peppers.
Are peppers easier to grow than tomatoes?
Indeed, peppers are easier to grow than tomatoes, or at the very least, peppers are as easy to grow as tomatoes. Just like growing tomatoes, you should support your mature pepper plants from leaning and possibly breaking with stakes or caging during growth.
Peppers are easy to grow and versatile in the kitchen. You can grow them outside in gardens or beds, as well as inside in containers or plant pots.
Provide your peppers with ample air circulation, rich soil, and adequate water- and use these tips for a bountiful harvest, or two, of peppers this season!
Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.