Pepper plants, whether bell, banana, jalapeno or other varieties, are easy-to-grow vegetables for the home garden. These tender, warm-season plants do need lots of water while they are growing, but using good cultural practices will help retain moisture and keep out competitive weeds.
Peppers need a steady, adequate supply of water. Clemson University Extension suggests watering the soil until it is moist to at least 6 inches deep to keep the root system strong. The plants should be watered at least twice a week, and more if the weather has been particularly dry. Water immediately if the plants start to wilt. Peppers should be watered early in the morning so that the water does not quickly evaporate in the mid-day heat.
Soaker hoses are porous tubes that slowly leak water. Many are made from recycled rubber, but you also can make your own by poking holes in an old garden hose. Water from the soaker hose will drip into the soil around your pepper plant. Not letting water splash onto your pepper's leaves will help keep bacterial leafspot from attacking your plants, according to North Carolina State University Plant Pathology Extension.
A cut-off 2-liter bottle can help get water more quickly to your pepper plants' roots. Remove the bottom of the bottle and poke three or four holes in the bottle's lid. Bury the bottle, lid side down, at least 5 inches into the soil next to your pepper plant. When it's time to water, simply fill the bottle and the water will slowly seep out next to the roots, say Brenda and Brian Cameron in their 2008 book "Portable Gardens: Self-Watering-No Weeding".
To retain moisture and keep out weeds that will steal water from your plants, add a 2- or 3-inch layer of mulch around your peppers. You can use straw, hay, chipped wood mulch or grass clippings. If you use a black plastic mulch, place your soaker hose beneath it to make sure the water will drain into the soil.