Greenhouse Home PageAbout Beiers GreenhouseNursery Trees ShrubsGreenhouse Plants VegetablesGreenhouse EventsGreenhouse Garden GiftsGreenhouse Seminars Books Articles

Beier's Greenhouse Plants and Vegetables Section >> Patio Peppers, Little Plants Big Flavor

Patio Peppers: Little Plants, Big Flavor - by Evelyn Fielding of Beier's Greenhouse

This year Beier's has a variety of patio peppers to choose from: red bell, orange bell, and the lovely purple bell. Each has its own unique flavor, and the plants are pretty as well as tasty. Growing sweet peppers in containers on the deck is so easy! Use any type of container that holds about 5 gallons of soil and has drainage holes. Of course, you can also grow smaller patio pepper varieties in a square foot garden or a regular-sized garden.

Follow these tips to grow successful patio peppers:

  • Don't over-fertilize container peppers. High nitrogen grows foliage and the plants forget to set fruit. Feed every two weeks with Miracle Gro or another balanced fertilizer and let it go at that.

  • Pepper plants and fruits can get sunburn. Protect your containers from reflected light (such as from the house or light colored deck). If possible, allow them 4-6 hours of morning sun, shade during the hottest part of the day, and 2-4 hours of sun in the afternoon and evening.

  • Use a small tomato cage if your plants set a lot of fruit. Patio peppers are bred to stay small so the weight of the fruit might bend or break branches.

  • Always keep ripe fruit picked so the plant produces over a longer period of time. Use a scissors or bypass pruner to avoid damaging the plant.

  • You may eat red, yellow, or orange peppers before they're completely ripe (while they're still green). The flavor will not be as mellow, but heck—eat them when you're ready.

  • If you have a gas stove, you can roast a pepper in under five minutes. Turn the flame on medium and use tongs that don't conduct heat. Hold the pepper close to the fire until the skin blisters and blackens, then place in a plastic bag for a few minutes until cool. Slip the skin off and you've got roasted peppers without the hassle.

  • At the end of summer if your plants are still looking good and producing, bring them into the house and place in a south-facing window. You may be lucky enough to harvest fresh peppers for Thanksgiving or even Christmas!

Finally, container-grown peppers are much happier if they have a little company in the pot or bucket. Add some low-growing agaeretum and a few marigolds. Absolutely plant kitchen herbs like marjoram, basil, oregano, tarragon, sage, and so on with each pepper.