Peppers are the summers thirst quenching snack, one we appreciate for fresh eating and salads. Growing bell peppers from seed is worthwhile if you don’t have a nursery close-by or the cost of pepper seedlings are too high.
While I start the majority of our plants from seeds, it is easy for me to start our pepper plants also. In fact, it is one of the first plants we start each year along with our onions seeds.
What is the bests month to plant bell peppers?
This will depend on when your last frost date is. It is common to start plants indoors 9 weeks before your last frost date, however we start ours 10-12 weeks prior.
This is because pepper plants are notoriously slow growers and can take a while to germinate and grow into big plants. Especially if you don’t have a heat mat to speed the process along.
Consider your last frost date and try 8-12 weeks prior. That’s the month you should start your bell peppers.
How long does it take for bell peppers to fully grow?
Depending on the climate that you live in, this may vary.
For us in zone 8 (with a long spring last year), we started our seeds on Valentine’s day (14 Feb) and didn’t harvest fruit until mid July. That’s 5 months. However the year prior it was closer to the 4 month mark.
Are peppers easy to grow?
Well, you plant the seeds like you do all other seeds. Growing bell peppers just takes time. The plants grow nice and slow and can easily be managed indoors, and once you plant them outside they pretty much grow on their own. So yes.
How many bell peppers will one plant produce?
This will depend on the health of the plant and your climate. We see about 20 bell peppers per plant in one season, and LOADS of hot peppers per plant.
So, we plant several bell pepper varieties and multiples of each plant to have ample harvest.
Varieties we are growing
- Cubanelle: a wonderful sweet pepper, grows well abundantly for us.
- Lipstick: a new variety for us, on the smaller side.
- Orange bell pepper: a variety from last year that didn’t do well, but we love sweet peppers so much that I’m willing to try again and see if starting it earlier will do better for us.
- Tam Jalapeno: new variety, mild jalapeno, good grower
- Nadapeno Jalapeno: Maybe. mild jalapeno, good grower
- Leutchauer Paprika
Planting, Growing and Harvesting Peppers
About peppers and when to plant peppers
Growing bell peppers is similar to growing all other vegetables, but it is good to know some basic information:
- They are notoriously slow growers
- They are one of the first plants I start each year indoors
- Advised to start them 6-8 weeks before last frost, we do even more
- They are not frost tolerant, so be careful
- Once ready to transplant, plan them 12 to 18 inches apart
- Shade in the afternoons
- Staking necessary to keep upright
We have a short gardening season, so the bigger and stronger I can get the plants indoors ahead of time, the greater chance we have to get a good harvest.
For more information on planting and growing peppers, refer to the Farmers Almanac for detailed information.
Pepper plants pests
Aphids. The sap sucking bug that can do quite a bit of damage over time. Planting sunflowers and spearmint close by will help attract minute pirate bugs, which eat aphids. As well as lady bugs, which eats thousands of lady bugs in its lifetime!
I hope that has been very a good introduction to pepper plants.
More Mountain Valley Refuge Gardening
View our latest garden posts here. Each month we post a garden tour showing what our garden looks like or what seeds we are starting.