The Q&A Archives: How can I grow good sweet peppers?

Question: I have tried to grow sweet bell peppers in southwest PA with no success. The plants are short and give very small fruits. I was so frustrated I wasn't even going to plant them, but someone gave them to me. We have great soil and soaker hoses for even watering. Our tomatoes and banana pepper do very well. What am I doing wrong?

Answer: Bell peppers thrive in warm soils and lots of sunshine. There are some specific short season varieties for your region (but if you have gift plants, you may not know which type you will be growing). About the only thing you can do to raise the soil temperature in your garden is to cover the soil with black plastic and then cut holes or X's in the plastic for your transplants. The black plastic will absorb and radiate heat, keeping the roots of your peppers nice and warm. Give it a try this year. I hope it works for you!

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