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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Best way to grow peppers

This is my experience from 45 years of gardening. I have learned if your soil is hard it restricts root growth and pepper plants are small and peppers are small too. Cover your soil with 6" of peat moss then till it in. Plant your peppers and the roots grow like crazy in the soft soil. My plants are 7 feet tall by September and bell peppers are 4.5" to 5" diameter. Plants are loaded with 60 to 70 peppers each.

Sweet banana peppers get as large as real bananas 8" long these are great in salads.

Sometimes I plant cayenne pepper but I never eat them. Plants have 600 peppers each that I grind up like a milk shape and us it for paint stripper to clean up my 6 lawn mowers to be repaired and repainted.

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Re: Best way to grow peppers

I would suggest tilling first - THEN working in any humus or peat moss or what have you.

I speak from experience, having had a near disaster after spreading the peat moss FIRST over the very very very hard clay soil.

I've gone no-till, but I've also gone square-foot and much smaller garden. Yields are plenty high - but I don't can any more, so I don't need mega-yields. Too decrepit, LOL! I do freeze a few things.

I learned after many attempts at double-digging and all that stuff that the best way to soften clay soil was to encourage an earthworm population - and you do that by growing cover crops, mowing that and letting it fall where it lies (buckwheat lets me get 2 to 3 crops per season even in shorter season areas) and being patient.

Mulching with straw if you can get it, or cardboard covered by woodchips if you can't, also goes a long way to encouraging earthworms. That's plain brown corrugated cardboard, like they use for shipping boxes. Not glossy cearal boxes and the like. Newspaper or computer paper also works, but it has been my experience that paper must be covered - again, straw or wood chips, or it will mat, shed water, and lower the soil temp by at least 10F - which might be good in the heat of summer, but is not so good in early spring.

Not just peppers, but EVERYTHING, will grow better after even the first year. Mulching alone (even if you skip the cover cropping) will help to make big differences. Just takes a little bit longer. That and not walking on your beds, but only between them.

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