The Q&A Archives: Techniques for Great Peppers

Question: I have heard many rumors of how to grow peppers and get nice results with fruit. Some people say they must touch, while others say to lime the ground in which they are planted. I have both techniques, but I can not count on either to be ensure having anice crop every year. What is the best strategy for growing peppers to be ensured of at least having a decent crop each year? Bill Eaton Cincinnatus, NY

Answer: Start with varieties that can grow reliably well in your area such as 'Gypsy', 'Ace' and 'Northstar'. Go to a local garden centers to buy these transplants or if you're so inclined, start them from seed 6 weeks before you're going to put them out. Amend the soil before planting with compost, and a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10. Lay black plastic over the soil to heat it up and poke holes in the plastic to plant the peppers about 18" apart. Cover up the plants if cold weather (40F) is forcasted at night. Side dress the peppers at flowering time with another shot of 10-10-10 (small handful) and keep them well watered. This should get you some fruit!

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