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When starting from seed, it is best to grow peppers indoors in early spring (March – April). However, they can be started almost any time as they will keep producing until temperatures drop in the fall.
Leave plenty of space between seeds in seed trays or individual small pots, covering lightly with a thin layer of soil (1 cm or 1/2″). Keep soil moist and warm, and seedlings should sprout in 10 – 21 days.
I personally use this Pro Mix Organic Seed Starter Mix when starting my seeds. It’s top quality stuff that the pros use, so you really can’t go wrong with it!
You want to avoid using regular garden soil when starting seeds because it contains all sorts of large matter, bacteria, and bugs which can hinder your new seedlings from sprouting or growing properly. A good seed starting mix has a fine texture and is sterile — a perfect combination for baby plants to thrive in.
Related Post: How to Start an Indoor Garden for Beginners
Peppers require larger pots to produce well, ideally in containers that are 30 – 60 cm (12-24″) in diameter, or 3 to 5 gallons in volume. They can be hardened off and introduced to the outdoors when night time temperatures are consistently above 15 C, normally some time in June.
To eliminate the guesswork in selecting the right size containers for your plants, we’ve put together a list of commonly grown herbs, veggies, fruit and flowers along with the minimum pot sizes required by each.
Starting a container garden? Grab my free guide on choosing the best sized pots for each veggie, fruit, and herb in your container garden – Veggie Garden Potting Guide
If you don’t have the patience to start peppers from seed, you can often find small pepper plants at most nurseries in the spring. These are perfect for starting outdoors once the temperatures have warmed up and your local last frost date has passed!
Though peppers are tolerant of dry soil, they will not produce well unless soil is kept well moist. Make sure you water thoroughly whenever the top inch of the soil is dry.
Where Can I Grow It?
Grow peppers outdoors in the sunniest and warmest spot you can provide. Peppers need hot summer temperatures to do well and produce lots of peppers, so offering them the sunniest and most sheltered space you have will help to increase yields.
If you are growing in cooler conditions, simply move the plant indoors overnight when it is expected to be cold.
You can start peppers indoors to get a head start on the growing season. Peppers are notoriously slow to get started, so you’ll maximize your harvest if you start your seeds early under a grow light.
I use this Sunblaster Grow Light Garden to start my seeds indoors in early spring. It’s nice and compact, and will provide full-spectrum light to your little seedlings so they grow up strong and healthy.
I also use it to grow lots of fresh herbs and greens indoors during the long winter months when it’s too cold to grow anything outside. It is definitely one of my favorite purchases!
If you have limited indoor space I recommend the Sunblaster Micro Grow Light Garden. It’s the small version of the one I use and linked to above and will do the job just as well.
Related Post: Indoor Seed Starting 101
Pepper Growing Tips
If your summers tend to be on the cooler side but you still want to have a go a growing peppers, try growing spicy varieties over sweet bell peppers. Spicy pepper varieties tend to cope better in cooler temperatures than the sweet ones.
Peppers do well when grown alongside many common herbs and vegetables in the urban garden, such as tomatoes, green onions, basil, oregano, parsley, sunflowers, geraniums and petunias. Herbs such as oregano and basil are great at providing ground cover around the base of the pepper plant, which traps warm air and increases heat and humidity (which peppers love).
Do not grow peppers along with beans, brassicas (such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage) or kale, as they do not grow well together.