Peppers prefer a sunny location, long growing season and fertile, well-drained soil for best yields. For more information on peppers, click here.
VARIETIES: Peppers can be categorized by maturity class (early, mid-season or late), fruit types (cherry, bell, wax, pimento, paprika, cayenne, jalapeno), fruit color (green, red, yellow, orange, purple), or pungency (non-pungent, mildly, moderate, or highly pungent). When selecting varieties, consider your growing environment, primary use and how much space needed to grow the plants. Most varieties grow well in Utah, but all are not available.
Before planting, incorporate 2 to 4 inches of well-composted organic matter and apply 4 to 6 cups of all purpose fertilizer per 100 square feet. Work this into the top 6 inches of soil. For more information on soil preparation, click here.
- Plant four to six pepper seeds ½ inch deep and 18 inches apart in the row.
- After the seedlings have two leaves, thin to a single plant.
- Peppers should be transplanted when soils are 60°F or frost danger has passed.
Irrigation: Water peppers deeply and infrequently while trying to maintain even soil moisture. About 1 to 2 inches of water are required per week. Use drip irrigation, if possible, to conserve water. Applying mulch around the plant also helps conserve soil moisture and reduces weed growth. Irregular watering can cause flower drop or blossom-end rot. For more information on watering, click here.
Fertilization: Avoid heavy fertilization of peppers which encourages excessive foliage growth and delays flowering and fruit maturity. Side dress the rows with nitrogen using ¼ tablespoon per plant at four and eight weeks after transplanting. Place the fertilizer 6 inches to the side of the plant and irrigate into the soil. For more information on fertilizing, click here.
Harvest: Pepper fruits require 35 to 45 days to mature from flowering to full color depending on the temperature and variety. Fruits should be firm, plump and smooth skinned for best flavor and quality. Pick fruits as they mature. At the end of the season, harvest all fruits that are mature green or colored slightly. Peppers will store for one to two weeks if held at 50-55°F.
COMMON PESTS AND DISEASES: Aphids, flea beetles, hornworms, virus and sunscald are common pests of peppers. Insecticides, nutrient control, watering and removing infected plants are ways to manage these problems. For more information on controlling pests and diseases, click here.