The Q&A Archives: Pepper Plants

Question: I plant bell peppers every year, but they do not get very big. Is there something I can add to the soil to make them grow. I have heard adding epson salt to the plants will help, because they need the sour soil. What should I do?
Also this is my first year for raising cabbage, any advice on that?

Answer: Peppers grow well in conditions that suit tomatoes -- rich soil, full sun -- so if you can grow tomatoes you should be able to grow peppers. Add plenty of organic matter to the soil when you prepare it. You might want to experiment with some different varieties. Also, make sure they receive ample water so that the soil stays evenly moist. The epsom salts should not be necessary in the soil in your area, unless for some reason there is a magnesium deficiency in your garden. Finally, peppers may be stunted if they are set out too early when the soil is still cool.

Cabbage also needs an extremely rich soil; pH should be between 6 and 6.5 ideally. Water them regularly so the soil stays moist but not soggy, but be careful not to overwater them the last few weeks. Sidedress every two weeks or so with compost or manure tea or a very light application of general fertilizer. You may also want to cover them with a summer weight row cover to exclude cabbage moths (and loopers) or else use Bt as needed to control them.

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