Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Summer Is Perfect For Peppers

basket of peppers

Get your trowel ready, summer and warm temperatures are perfect for peppers (Capsicum annum), which are second only to tomatoes as a garden favorite.  Peppers are colorful and come in many sizes,
pepper

shapes, and spiciness.  Peppers love heat.  Plant these tasty treats anytime after June 1st in Marin to take advantage of warm days and nights. Varieties that perform well include "Hungarian Wax Banana", "Cherry", "Pimento", "Jalapeno", and "Ascent".  Peppers grow slowly and harvest after 60-80 days.  Starting with seedlings is convenient, since seeds may take ~8 weeks to produce 4 - 6 inch transplants. Select seedlings without flowers or fruit to promote good root development.  Do not handle stems, as tomatoes, and space about 18 inches apart per variety.  Pinch off the tip at planting to promote side growth and fruit. Peppers do depend on pollinators and the wind, and sometimes gardeners tap branches to insure complete fertilization if plants are growing in a protected space. Sweet peppers get sweeter when they mature and turn from green to bright red, yellow, or orange.  Hot peppers mature into even a greater variety of colors, including purple and brown.  For questions about growing peppers, click here.

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