How to Grow Tomato Peppers

Overview

Tomato peppers are a type of chili pepper that has a small hint of bite but is not overly spicy. If you want to try growing hot peppers but are worried that they may be too hot to enjoy, this may be a good gateway pepper for you. Like most other types of peppers, they have certain growing requirements. Tomato peppers are best started indoors, while winter is in its final throes. They prefer a specific temperature range and are sensitive about their care, but will reward you if treated well.

Step 1

Start your tomato peppers indoors, about six weeks before the date of the final frost in your area. To do this, put some starter mix in a flat. Plant the tomato pepper seeds at a depth of about 1/4 inch. Water thoroughly and make sure the water drains well. Place in a south-facing window or another window that gets good sun for best results. If you have a grow lamp, you may want to use it. Pepper plants like to be babied.

Step 2

Wait to transplant your tomato peppers until the ambient outside temperature does not dip below 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit at any time of the day or night.

Step 3

Prepare your garden. To do this, dig up the soil to a depth of about 6 to 8 inches and turn it over. Make sure to break up any large chunks as you turn the soil.

Step 4

Transplant your tomato pepper seedlings. Dig small holes that are 18 to 24 inches apart in rows. Holes should be slightly longer than the root balls of your seedlings. Gently squeeze the sides of each segment of the flat to loosen the root ball and soil. Carefully ease each plant out, being careful not to damage its roots. Plant one seedling per hole and cover the root ball completely with soil.

Step 5

Apply a veggie fertilizer according to the manufacturer's instructions. Different fertilizers will have different instructions, and it is important to follow them exactly for best results.

Step 6

Cover the soil area around the seedlings with black plastic mulch. Tomato peppers, like other pepper plants, love warmth. Black plastic mulch will do a lot to retain the warmth of the sun, keeping the temperature of the soil and your plants more consistent.

Step 7

Water your tomato peppers regularly, but do not over-water. Harvest in about three months, after peppers have turned bright tomato red. Snip the tomato peppers from their stems to avoid unnecessary damage to your plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Tomato pepper seeds
  • Starter mix
  • Fertilizer
  • Plastic mulch
  • Flat
  • Grow lamp (optional)
  • Hoe, spade or other digging implement
  • Garden trowel
  • Garden shears

References

  • University of Illinois Extension: Peppers
  • Underwood Gardens: Hot Heirloom Peppers
Keywords: grow tomato peppers, transplant tomato peppers, start tomato peppers

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication CarEnvy.ca. Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.