The Q&A Archives: Dead green peppers

Question: I plant a garden every year. Everything grows beautifully except the green peppers. If the plants DO live through

Answer: In general, problems growing peppers in Michiga are related to weather. Bell peppers usually take about 100 to 120 days to mature, so our short growing season makes it difficult for large bells to reach maturity.

To overcome this challenge, select short-season varieties like "Gypsy" (64 days), "King Arthur" (67 days), "Bell Boy" (70 days), "Lady Bell" (72 days) or "Purple Bell" (75 days).

Select a sunny area in the garden that hasn't been planted in the last 2-3 years with tomatoes, peppers or eggplant.

Bell peppers become sweeter and more flavorful the longer they stay on the vine. As they ripen, they will turn red, orange or yellow, depending on the variety. Plant peppers in well-drained, amended soil and space plants in rows about 18 inches apart, with 30 inches between rows.

Mulch lightly to prevent weeds and to retain moisture. Cage or stake peppers to prevent the plants from breaking under the weight of the fruit. Lightly fertilize when planting and apply a small amount of fertilizer after the first fruit sets. Too much fertilizer may cause excessive plant growth and failure to set fruit.

I think if you follow these guidelines, you'll be successful with your peppers.

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