Growing Peppers in Arizona Gardens
There is a simple reason I grow peppers. To be perfectly honest because they are one of the most natural garden plants to grow and produce peppers almost all year long. It only takes a few healthy pepper plants to make your garden look good. Peppers are one of the most useful plants depending on the type of pepper plant you can make salsa, pickle them, grill them, and add them to a wide variety of dishes.
Peppers require only a good garden soil, excellent drainage, and a consistent watering schedule. The plants can be planted from seeds, or you can buy seedlings from any local garden shop. Keep in mind when planting from seeds, some pepper species take longer than others to propagate. I am currently growing three pepper types, including Banana, Jalapeno, and a yellow Thai Chile. While they are easy to grow, there are a few things you need to remember when growing peppers. As mentioned before, keeping to a watering schedule depending on the heat may need more water during certain times of the year. They like warm weather, and new pepper plants should be planted when the temperature consistently reaches around 60 degrees. Now I write these blogs for peppers grown in Arizona desert if you live in colder climates peppers need to be inside in the wintertime. Even in Arizona, when we get below freezing temperatures, we must cover our pepper plants to prevent them from freezing.
I have learned that pepper plants that are appropriately taken care of will produce a lot and do not be afraid of trimming or shaping the pepper plant as this will cause them to bush out more. These are indeed one of my favorite plants to grow as they are not seasonal and get to a decent size. If you plan to plant pepper plants, I give mine plenty of room to grow as you usually need one or two to provide the number of peppers a small family would use. Again, this depends on the type of pepper plant as some produce more than others.
Now there are some specific items I do to keep my peppers being successful in the summer months. In my gardens, I only planted four pepper plants in the 4'X4' garden, which produces more than we can eat and still give peppers some away. Planting them this way gives the peppers plenty of nutrients with little competition. These gardens also use Ollas in the middle to ensure each pepper plant has a constant access to water without overwatering the plants. Ollas help with pepper formation in hot weather and keeps the plant hydrated throughout the day.
These are a great addition to any garden or container, and with the right about of care, they will last for years. Thanks for reading this short blog post.
Tip: If you ever make the mistake of picking peppers and rub your eyes us milk, not water till the burning stops, then flush with water—personal experience with a Thai yellow pepper. You will only make this mistake once.
Here is an excellent starting set of peppers that includes both hot and sweet peppers.