Hot Peppers

Quick Reference

Harvest Type:  Continuous

Transplant/Direct Sow:  Direct sow

TIP: For transplanting, start seeds in peat pots and transplant the whole pot.

When to Plant:  When soil temperatures are 70-80°F

Days to Germinate:  10-14 days

Days to Maturity:  60-120 days

Planting Depth:  ¼” deep

Germination Temp:  70-80°F

Seed Spacing:  Sow 3-4 seeds together, 18" apart. Thin to 1 plant every 18”.

Rows:  24” apart

Light:  Full sun

Soil pH:  6.0-6.8 pH

Water:  1” of water per week

Soil Temperature:  70-80°F

Fertilizer:  5-10-10 N-P-K ratio

Rotation:  Heavy feeder.  Rotate annually with root vegetables.


Harvest Type

Pepper plants generally produce a continuous crop of peppers over their growing season.

TIP: Pepper plants can be perennial. When they finish producing, lop off the plants to 18" tall and cover them before the first frost. If protected from a hard freeze, they will come back and produce earlier with a larger yield.

Transplant / Direct Sow

Direct sow peppers as they tend to go into transplant shock. You can transplant but do so with care. Use a peat pot to start them, and then remove the bottom and cut sides of the pots before transplanting the entire unit into the soil. Be sure to completely cover the pot as it will wick water away from the plant roots.

When to Plant

Sow seeds directly outdoors when the soil temperature is 70-80°F. Do so 2-3 weeks after the average last frost date for your area.

Days to Germinate

It takes peppers seeds 7-14 days to germinate.

Days to Maturity

It takes as few as 60, but up to120 days for peppers to produce their crop.

Planting Depth

Plant seeds at 1/4" deep.

Germination Temperature Range

Pepper seeds germinate the best when the soil is 70-80°F.

Spacing Between Plants

Place 3-4 seeds per plug and space plugs 18" apart. Keep rows spaced 24" apart.

Companion Plants

Basil, dill, chives, oregano, onions, and garlic are excellent companion plants for peppers.

Growing Conditions

Peppers love the heat. They also love good nutrient-rich soil. Prepare the ground with aged compost.  Add a liquid fertilizer, such as fish emulsion, when the plants begin to set fruit. Water the plants consistently but avoid getting the leaves wet. The soil should be moist to 8" deep but not soggy.


Peppers are heavy feeders. Rotate peppers annually with root vegetables. 

Anticipated Yields

Plan your garden yield at 4-5 plants per person. Plan on 4-8 pounds of peppers per 10' row space. Plant more plants if you plant to dry, roast, pickle, or can the peppers.

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