Are there few peppers on your bushes with leaves wrinkled and twisted? Here is how to grow tantalizing peppers.  Be they sweet or hot, peppers take me back to our ancient roots. Camels fully laden with aromatic treasures, travelling the spice route, bringing colour & flavour to the tables of the king and peasant alike.

Sammy tip ‘MAKE IT SNAPPY’ by Dogtor Sammy


SOWING SEASON: Late winter to early summer – see sowing chart
LIGHT: Full sun
WATER: Keep moist
SOIL pH: pH 5.5 – 7
HOW MANY: 5 plants per 4 people
PLANT AGAIN: Plant 2 every 4 – 6 weeks in growing season – Plants live up to 5 years
SEED SPACING: Plant 40 – 50cm apart
GERMINATION: 10 – 18 Days (transplant after 6 weeks)
HARVEST: 15 weeks after sowing
STORE: Refrigerate or pickle
COMPANION PLANTS: Tomatoes, basil
HEIRLOOM SEED: Click for Sweet Pepper & Chilli varieties

‘SOW SIMPLE’ by VanessaVanessa's version


Peppers need warm growing conditions and have a relatively short sowing season from August to November. All peppers (chillies or sweet) are green when immature but as they ripen change red, yellow, orange or even purple.  I have successfully grown mine in containers and they also perfect for small gardens.

soil preparation1 – SOIL RECIPE: 

Peppers grow best in well drained fertile loam soil. I have found that for best results, my peppers must grow quickly.  I prepare the soil with plenty of old manure (horse manure is best) and mulch with wood chips on top to keep soil moist.


pepper seedlings2 – HOW TO SOW:

I have seen that peppers grow best if grown in seedling pots first rather than sown directly into soil.  I used the seedling pot maker to make my pots from recycled newspaper which gets planted straight into the soil = no root disturbance & the newspaper is fully biodegradable & feeds the earthworms.

*TIP: soak seeds overnight to speed up germination period which is 10-18 days.                                                                                         

planting peppers3 – HOW TO PLANT:

I plant out my seedlings 40 – 50cm apart about 6 weeks after I sowed them. When transplanting, I bury them so that their leaves are just above the ground helping them develop stronger roots. They love a warm climate & don’t like the cold. I shade new seedlings with leafy twigs & keep well watered (never allow to dry out).

harvest peppers4 – FLOWERS & FRUIT:

As peppers start to flower, I feed with a high potassium fertilizer like Biotrissol.  I keep my plants well watered & mulched to stop poor flower set or bud drop (which can be a problem in hot weather) as flowers become the fruit.  Pick fruit pods often, using sharp secateurs (the more I harvest the more they bear).

coloured peppers5 – SEED & COMPANION PLANTING:

On my journeys I discovered the most delightful pepper seeds to plant like these gorgeous sweet purple peppers called “Purple Beauty“, or the heart shaped “Pimento” or the hot colourful “Tabasco” chillies, like in the famous sauce. I find that peppers do well as a follow-on crop to beetroot, carrots, turnips or radishes.

GOOD COMPANIONS: Tomatoes, basil

BAD COMPANIONS: Potatoes, eggplant

chilliesEXTRA TIPS:

I eradicate pests like Cutworm and Powdery Mildew with organic  Bioneem and/or  Copper Soap.  Chillies get hotter the longer they left on the bush and are the main ingredient in curry, cayenne pepper & paprika. I made some of Nigella Lawson’s ‘chilli jam‘ with mine.

REMEMBER: Peppers are prone to cross pollinate so if you want to save the seed plant the same variety together.

FACT:  The same chemical that makes Chillies hot (Capsaicin) also helps boost the metabolism and burn calories in our bodies! If looked after, a chilli plant will keep producing for up to 5 years.

Delightful garden goodies…

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4 Responses to “Grow PERFECT PEPPERS”

  1. congratulations all for the excellent text – very good

  2. Just got the Chocolate Beauty for my birthday. I have always loved gardening and plants and chocolate, and now I get this all in one present. I think your whole concept is awesome.

  3. Hi,

    Hope you are well.

    Where can I buy the purple beauty pepper seeds


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