Peppers seem to be universally loved by gardeners. There’s just something about the waxy green leaves adorned with bright fruit – like a vegetable Christmas tree.
Peppers also tend to be low-maintenance and highly productive. If you give them the right conditions and lots of heat, they’re a guarantee. In a garden full of fussy tomatoes and sensitive cucumbers, peppers are a steady friend. If you love your peppers, they will love you back.
Why grow Peppers in Pots
If this is your first time growing peppers, you should grow them in pots. Peppers do well in pots. I have not had great success with growing things like tomatoes and squash in containers, but my peppers have always thrived..
Peppers are happy in pots because they respond well to infrequent watering. Veteran gardeners often say, “they don’t like wet feet.” You can water your plants once or twice a week when they are small. Water every other day once they get established and start to set fruit.
Peppers are generally compact plants and are easy to maintain in containers. They also need lots of heat and sunlight. Experiment with your pepper pots by moving them around your yard to see how they respond to different levels of sun. Almost always, they will thrive in direct sunlight.
Self-watering containers are a great choice for low-maintenance peppers. These containers have a reservoir built into the bottom of the pot, separate from the soil. A wicking system allows water to move from the reservoir to the soil. These pots are ideal for peppers.
Another great option for growing peppers in pots are cloth pots. These are usually a type of reinforced felt that supports the pepper plant and its root system while allowing good drainage. You can find and order cloth pots here.
If you are gardening on a budget, you don’t have to shell out for fancy cloth pots. I often use re-usable grocery bags for planting out my peppers. At $1.00 per bag, the price is right, and they work just fine. Keep in mind that they are flimsy, and usually deteriorate by the end of the season.
If there is one thing that peppers can be picky about, it’s their soil. Peppers are big producers, and they need a nutrient dense soil that will feed them as they yield fruit.
Make sure their needs are met by using a great potting soil rich in organic matter. Don’t use regular garden soil – this can become compacted in containers. A good potting soil will stay aerated in the pots and encourage a strong root ball.
A good tip for an epic pepper harvest is to harvest often. The more you pick, the more the peppers will produce. I love sweet bell and Cubanelle peppers, and these will ripen off the plant if you pick them early to encourage growth.