Summer’s heat is tough on peppers, so don’t try to save tattered plants on their last leg. Instead, get ready to restart your pepper season with fresh plants that will produce crops in the fall.
Small-fruited peppers including banana peppers, cayennes and jalapenos adjust to high heat better than sweet bell peppers, so you can get them started in your garden before the weather cools down.
Be sure to save room for sweet peppers, which often become huge plants when grown from late summer into fall.
Grow More Peppers This Fall:
- Prepare garden bed by removing weeds and old plants and cultivating the soil. Make 10″-deep planting holes at least 24″ apart. Mix in an organic dry vegetable fertilizer, following label directions, and a heaping spadeful of compost into each hole.
- Water the planting hole before you set the plant in it and water again when you are done.
- Protect newly transplanted peppers from the strong sun with shade covers, baskets or upturned flower pots. Remove the covers after 3-4 days.
- Fertilize hungry peppers every 2-3 weeks with an organic liquid vegetable fertilizer.
- Cover the surface with a 2″-thick blanket of organic mulch to help retain soil moisture.
- Stake or support pepper plants to keep them from toppling over. Small 3-ring tomato cages are ideal for supporting bushy pepper plants.
Tip: Some gardeners swear by Epsom salt to help peppers produce bigger fruit. Before trying, test your soil for deficiencies. If low in magnesium, try scratching a tablespoon of Epsom salts around the base of each pepper plant as soon as flowers appear. Or spray the tops and bottoms of leaves with one tablespoon of Epsom salts mixed with one quart of warm water.
- Pepper seedlings or seeds
- Digging fork
- Gardening gloves
- Dry organic vegetable fertilizer
- Watering can or garden hose
- Shade covers
- Organic liquid vegetable fertilizer
- Organic mulch
- Stakes or small tomato cages
- Optional: Epsom salt