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Selecting Peppers for Spring Gardens

Selecting Peppers for Spring Gardens

AUBURN, Alabama—Though frigid temperatures may have homeowners stuck inside, late January and early February are prime time to begin researching types of peppers to grow in spring gardens.

peppersBy growing your own pepper plants, you can enjoy a wide variety of peppers during the summer months. Many gardeners use transplants instead of buying plants at the local home and garden store. Transplanting is the technique of planting seeds in containers with optimal conditions, then moving the plants to another location—usually outdoors.

Alabama Cooperative Extension System regional agent Eric Schavey offers some tips for gardeners making plans for spring garden vegetables.

Variety Selection

Selecting which peppers to grow is a personal decision, and there are many different types of peppers to choose from—some sweet and some spicy.

One of the most common peppers is the jalapeño. It is known to be spicy, but deveining and removing the seeds may help subdue some of the heat.

Bell peppers are another well-known pepper. These sweet peppers are most commonly seen in red, green and yellow, but can also be found in purple, brown and orange.

Schavey said some varieties of peppers can be hard to find.

“Unique varieties can be found by searching both general seed catalogs and specialty catalogs for specific varieties and start growing them inside as transplants,” Schavey said.

Schavey said this depends on what you are planning to do with the peppers and your family’s taste preferences. Different recipes need different varieties of peppers. For example, if you are making salsa you might want three to four varieties of hot and sweet peppers.

Pepper Plant Transplants

When growing transplants from seed, Schavey said you should start your seed at least 20 to 30 days before your anticipated planting date. Once planted inside, it takes five to 14 days for germination.

Schavey said it is important to acclimate seedlings to outdoor conditions one week prior to planting. After conditioning, leave them out overnight for one night to complete the hardening off process before adding your plants to the garden.

Gardening in the South iBook

To learn more about how to enhance your garden and landscape, check out Alabama Extension’s “Gardening in the South” series. You can find the series on iBooks.

Based on proven Master Gardener training and seasoned with university research, the “Gardening in the South” series of books is packed with information, tips and tricks to being a successful Southern gardener.

Have a gardening question? Call the Master Gardener Helpline. To reach the helpline, dial 1-877-252-GROW (4769).



Featured image by Narcis Parfenti/shutterstock.com

Seedling image by Anest/shutterstock.com

About Mary-Allison Thrasher