Bell peppers are among the most popular vegetables grown in a home garden. The green bell pepper is typically less sweet and slightly more bitter than red bells, which are actually green bell peppers that have been left on the stem to ripen further. Bell peppers do not contain the chemical, capsaicin, that gives hot peppers their "bite." Green bell peppers can be used in a variety dishes, including stir fry and shish kabobs, or they can be stuffed and served alone. Planting and caring for green bell peppers is relatively easy and will reward you with wonderful results.
Plant in late spring when the soil and temperatures are beginning to warm up and the last frost has passed. Choose an area that gets at least six hours of full sun daily.
Prepare the soil by loosening it to a depth of 1 foot with a rototiller or rake. Mix in 4 inches of compost and work it in well so the soil will drain well.
Dig holes twice the size of the root balls and space the plants 15 to 18 inches apart, with rows at least 24 inches apart. Place the plants into the holes so they sit at the same depth as sat in their pots. Firmly tamp the soil down around the stem of the plants. Water your newly plants well so the soil is moist but no puddles form.
Water your plants deeply once a week. Use a soaker hose or a garden hose that allows the water to trickle out slowly giving your plants at least one-inch of water a week. The soil should stay moist. If necessary, water more during hotter months.
Apply a low nitrogen fertilizer, 1-3-3, around the base of the plant at the time of planting and again each month until it begins flowering. Too much nitrogen will cause abundant foliage and fewer peppers.
Add a layer of mulch around the plants to keep weeds down and retain moisture in the soil. Straw, shredded bark or chopped leaves can all be used, and will additionally provide nutrients into the soil.
About this Author
Residing in Southern Oregon, Amy Madtson has been writing for Demand Studios since 2008 with a focus on health, pregnancy, crafts and gardening. Her work has been published on websites such as eHow and Garden Guides, among others. Madtson has been a childbirth educator and doula since 1993.