Your own sweet peppers

Here's how to choose the best varieties for color, shape, and flavor

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Peppers in 3 easy steps

Start plants indoors from seed in February, or buy seedlings at the nursery in March or April. Plant them outdoors after the soil has warmed and nighttime temperatures stay above 55°.

In cold climates, choose short-season varieties, plant through black plastic mulch, and cover with floating row covers.

STEP 1: Amend the soil with compost, then dig a hole deep enough to accommodate the rootball. Plant 18 to 24 inches apart.

STEP 2: Squeeze the nursery container on all sides, then pop the rootball out of the container (don't tug on the stem). If the roots are circling the soil, carefully loosen them.

STEP 3: Place the rootball in the hole at the same level it was set in the pot, then fill in around it with soil and firm down; water well.

 

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