The Q&A Archives: Hot Peppers--Soil Preferences

Question: What types if soil do hot peppers like jalapeno and hot wax, etc. like and how much fertilizer should they recieve? Also, how do you know when to harvest them? Christine Baptiste Attleboro, MA

Answer: Any good garden soil will do fine for these peppers -- an ideal garden soil is a nice dark loam with lots of organic matter and a pH of about 6.5. Since peppers are heat-loving crops, wait until the soil has warmed up to plant them. You can even cover the beds with black plastic or landscape fabric to help warm the soil, then plant the transplants right in, keeping the plastic there to continue to heat the soil and control weeds. Space these plants well, so they receive plenty of sunshine. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every few weeks. Harvest is a little trickier -- read the seed packet to determine mature coloring and size. Most can be harvested "green" but develop their full flavor upon maturation.

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