Peppers are a great source of vitamin A and C, which are also antioxidants. These antioxidants help to reduce the amount of free radicals in our body fluids and can help to prevent illness or disease. They are a nutritious addition to the garden whether you choose hot, sweet or your typical green pepper to grow. Peppers are perennial plants that will live for more than two years, if raised properly. You can raise your peppers to produce a harvest throughout the year.
Keep the soil around your peppers high in organic matter by adding 2 to 4 inches of compost each spring.
Remove weeds by hoeing at a shallow depth. If you hoe too deep you could harm your pepper's feeder roots, which could affect the amount of water they get and cause flowers to drop.
Give your pepper plants about 2 inches of water a week. Water more frequently during dry, hot periods to prevent your pepper plants from becoming stressed.
Mulch around your plants with straw when the soil reaches about 75 degrees F to conserve moisture levels.
Add a side dressing of 34-0-0 fertilizer when peppers begin to appear on your plants.
Begin to overwinter your plants when temperatures get below 55 degrees F. Fill a pot half full of loamy soil, and dig deeply around your plants to remove them to transplant them in your container.
Clean and prune your pepper plants before you bring them indoors. Fill a spray bottle with a quart of water. Add 1 tbsp. of ground cayenne or hot pepper, 1 tbsp. of Dr. Bronners soap and 2 drops of neem oil to the spray bottle to make a safe insecticidal soap. Remove dead leaves from your pepper plants, and spray a fine mist of the soap over the remaining leaves to protect them from insects.
Place your pepper plants in a sunny window or under grow lights for 16 hours each day. Keep the temperature between 65 and 75 degrees F. Replant your pepper plants outside after the soil temperature reaches above 75 degrees F.