Growing bell peppers is a brilliant idea that has several outstanding benefits. They are very productive and contain antioxidants, vitamins, and carotenoids, which help improve vision and reduce the risk of several chronic diseases. However, they can be challenging to grow as they often require a long growing season and are especially susceptible to pests and diseases.
Fortunately, it is possible to grow peppers in a pot; you have to get down to basics and be extra vigilant. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on successfully growing bell peppers in a jar.
Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Bell Peppers in a pot
Growing bell peppers in a pot are brilliant, especially if you are short on space. The plant comes in various shades of yellow, orange, purple, red, or green, depending on how ripe they are. Hence, they add a dash of color to your living space while providing you with a commonly used spice. Follow the steps below to grow bell peppers in a pot:
Step one: Choose a Large Container
Get a pot at least twelve to fourteen inches in diameter because bell peppers require space to spread their roots. You can drill a hole at the bottom of the container by yourself for good drainage or buy a well-draining planting vessel. You can use a plastic or metal pot since peppers require moist soil.
Step two: Use the Right Soil
Use a potting or seed starting mix because they drain more thoroughly than garden soil. A good potting mix will help to avoid waterlogging, which is very bad for the bell pepper. Preferably, you can use an organic natural potting mix as they contain nutrients your plant needs to grow in a pot. Add calcium granules to the potting mix at planting time to combat blossom end rot, where the vegetable ends turn black due to lack of calcium.
Step Three: Place Container in the Right Spot
Bell peppers are warm-weather plants that strive at relatively high temperatures, ideally between sixty to eight degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme temperatures are not ideal for bell peppers, so remember to keep this in check. A shaded backyard or grow light may not give you what you want; your plant needs at least six hours of sunlight. If you can place your pot where it can get more sunlight than this, it’ll be all the better for your plant.
Step Four: Water your Plant
Pot plants require more consistent watering than those grown on the ground, as potting soil has no natural means of replenishing moisture. Bell pepper plants need to be moist so ensure you water them regularly, but don’t overdo it! Refrain from watering if the soil is still wet to avoid overwatering.
If the soil feels dry, then know that your plant needs watering. When watering your plant, aim for the plant’s base and not the leaves to prevent the leaves from dying out. Also, water your plant in the morning hours to reap more benefits. Avoid watering at nighttime as this will leave the plant wet for too long and make them soggy; soggy soil and plants are conducive breeding grounds for bacteria that can attack your plant.
Step Five: Harvesting
Your plant is ready for harvesting when they turn green, but you can leave them unharvested until they turn yellow, orange, or red before harvesting them.
How to Take Care of Your Bell Peppers While They Are in a Pot
Properly Fertilize the Plants
Always use organic plant nutrients and follow the instructions on the label of the product you bought. Use nitrogen fertilizers sparingly as they often promote more foliage growth at the expense of flower and fruit development.
Water the Plant Regularly
Potted soils usually have little or no means of replacing their water. Ensure that you regularly water your potted bell pepper to guarantee proper growth. You can water it daily, however, ensure you don’t overdo it as too much water is bad for the plant’s growth. Feel the two inches of the soil to check the soil moisture before watering them.
Mulch them Properly
Spread a generous layer of mulch over the topsoil in the pot to help suppress weeds, and conserve water and temperature in the root of the plant. Mulching also supplies extra nutrients to your potted plant.
Natural mulch includes pine straw, composted leaves, and bark mulch. However, it would be best to wait until seedlings are some inches tall before spreading some natural mulch on them as they leave room for cutworms and slugs, which are unhealthy for your plant.
Protect them Against Pests and Diseases
Keep an eye out for pests or microbes that could ruin your plant. Common bell pepper pests include cutworm, pepper maggot, and pepper weevil. Bell pepper is also susceptible to diseases such as tomato spotted wilt virus, bacterial leaf spot, and tobacco mosaic virus.
Another issue you encounter while caring for potted bell peppers is blossom end rot. This condition can result from inconsistent or insufficient irrigation, making the plant suffer from a lack of calcium. To prevent this, ensure that the pot’s irrigation is consistent and sufficient. You can also include calcium fertilization in your plant menu to keep it healthy.
Make Use of Companion Plants
To better protect your plant when you transfer them to your pot, you can make room for companion plants to attract beneficial predators, pests, and pollinators. These insects will help limit harmful pests in your pot and feed the soil.
Add Appropriate Shade
In some areas where temperatures are consistently above 90 degrees, your plant would need protection from the blistering heat. You can protect the bell pepper by placing the pot in the shade of neighboring plants. If no taller plants are available, you can build a tent-like structure to protect the plant from sunscald.
Growing bell peppers in a pot have so many benefits- you get to save space and add a dash of color to your living area while having access to a delicious spice. However, the process can be challenging as bell peppers have very peculiar needs and are prone to attack by pests and diseases. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can successfully grow your bell pepper in a pot.