London (change)
Thu 17°C / 10°C
Tomorrow 15°C / 9°C

How to grow sweet peppers

Overview

The range of sweet peppers available to buy may have increased in recent years, but the choice you get from growing your own is far wider. You don't need a greenhouse to grow sweet peppers - as long as you have a warm, sheltered and sunny site, you should get a decent crop. Sweet peppers are attractive plants (especially when in fruit) so are ideal for growing on a south-facing patio or window sill.

Varieties to try include: 'Mohawk', 'Unicorn', 'Gypsy' and 'Carnival'. These are all suitable for growing both indoors and outdoors.


How to do it

Sowing pepper seeds

1

Fill pots with compost to 1cm below the rim and firm gently with your fingers to remove air pockets. Sow four to five seeds per pot, ensuring they are well spaced and not too close to the edge, to give seedlings adequate room to grow.


Putting freshly sown pots of pepper seeds in a heated propagator

2

Cover seeds with a thin layer of compost or vermiculite and label pots clearly. Water well using a watering can with the rose attached. Let the water drain from the pots before placing them in a heated propagator or on a warm, well-lit window sill. 


Transplanting pepper seedling

3

When seedlings are 5-6cm tall, transplant them into individual 7.5cm pots filled with multi-purpose compost. Carefully ease the seedlings out of the original pot and tease the rootball apart. Make a hole in the compost in each new pot and lower the seedlings into position, handling them by their leaves. Firm the compost around the roots, and water. Return plants to a greenhouse or sunny window sill and keep the compost moist. 


Transplanting pepper plants

4

When plants start to become pot-bound, transplant them into 30cm pots filled with multi-purpose compost. If growing them outside, harden them off in late May, by gently letting them acclimatise to outdoor conditions. Provide protection with a fleece or cloche if temperatures fall again in the first month. It's a good idea to stake plants to provide additional support, as the crop can be heavy. 


Pepper flower and immature fruit

5

As soon as flowers appear, start feeding the plants weekly with a high-potash liquid feed, such as a tomato fertiliser or comfrey solution. In dry conditions, mist flowers with tepid water to help increase the fruit set and give you a better crop. Keep watering plants, but don't allow the pots to become waterlogged. Harvest peppers when they have reached the size and colour indicated on the seed packet



Discuss this project

Talkback: How to grow sweet peppers
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

Peppery 22/08/2012 at 20:23

Hi, I planted some sweet pepper seeds at the beginning of June on my south facing windowsill in pots. My first pepper started to grow last week but after about 2 days, the tip went purple. After another 2 days the whole pepper is completely purple. I also noticed that the stem and stalks have purple running through them. Any ideas what is the matter?

Peppery 22/08/2012 at 20:28

Hi, I planted some sweet pepper seeds at the beginning of June on my south facing windowsill in pots. My first pepper started to grow last week but after about 2 days, the tip went purple. After another 2 days the whole pepper is completely purple. I also noticed that the stem and stalks have purple running through them. Any ideas what is the matter?

budlia63 22/08/2012 at 22:54

hi Peppery i think you may have overwatered it ow is the rest of the plant looking?

 

Peppery 23/08/2012 at 18:52

thank you, i did wonder about that so have not watered it for the last 3 days - the leaves have not wilted yet!  Apart from the purple running through it,it looks good I think.  There is one more tiny pepper starting which is green but has a purple tip. - the purple doesn't seem to be spreading so that's good I guess. I also repotted it about a week and a half ago with multi purpose compost which was a different kind from what it was originally in,so I'm not sure if that's affected it too?  I haven't grown anything before and saw some pepper & tomato seed pots cheap in the supermarket and thought I'd give it a go!

budlia63 23/08/2012 at 22:28

keep going and just water when soil looks like it needs it good luck!

See more comments...