Peppers are a popular. They're easy to grow either in a conventional garden or container. Have you ever wondered about those tomato cages you can buy? The last thing I would use them for is to stake tomatoes. They are way too small. But if you're talking peppers, well now that is a different story. Those small push in cages for tomatoes work great for peppers! Sized 18-24" wide, these cages are excellent for supporting hot and sweet pepper plants. I plant my peppers on about 12-18" centers. After I get done planting I then take the push in tomato cage and put them around each plant. I always mulch afterwards with leaves or grass. Remember, plant peppers after the soil temperature is above 65 degrees and nighttime temps above 50.
Planting peppers this close will help keep the humidity higher. Studies have shown that even misting pepper plants periodically during the day helps them grow and produce higher quality fruit. Peppers do not like real warm nights. Sometimes when nights are 80 degrees or higher you will see blossom drop.
One thing you do not want to do in your garden is plant any nicotiana (or tobacco relative). This will be sure death for peppers as those plants host tobacco mosaic virus. Other than that peppers are relatively easy to grow.
Depending on how the summer is, hot peppers can range in heat. All peppers will mature red, some faster than others. Hot peppers are hard to germinate and the hotter the pepper, the longer the growing season. They mature very late.
In 1993, when Quin was little we were in the garden together. I was picking hot peppers putting them into a basket. I turned around and before I could say, 'no', Quin had a nice big fat jalapeno in his hand and he bit it. That was the first and last time little Quin pulled a hot pepper out of the basket and ate it. As we made our way back to the house, he was licking my jeans and crying. A glass of milk and a happy meal later, he was okay.
Twenty years later, in 2013, Quin planted his own hot pepper garden and picked and canned his own peppers. Quin paid the old man back by giving him a jar that was hotter than... well, I almost cried and licked somebody else's pants that day.
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