Growing Peppers in Raised Beds: 13 Things to Know


Have you ever thought of growing your own peppers? Growing peppers is a fun and rewarding experience, and you’ll feel awesome when you get to taste the results of your labor. The best thing about peppers is that you can grow them in the ground, in containers, and even in raised beds.

There are many benefits to growing peppers in raised beds, which include proper drainage, better weed control, better pest prevention, and less soil contamination.

For those ready to embark on their pepper-planting journey, read on to find out more about the process of setting up, planting, and maintaining pepper plants in raised garden beds. We hope this guide helps you grow beautiful, healthy, and delicious peppers!

Photo of galvanized steel raised beds set a top woodchips
Photo by Hollyharryoz

Can You Plant Peppers in Raised Beds?

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Why Jalapeno Peppers Have Lines

First and foremost, it’s critical that you know if it is possible to plant peppers in raised garden beds. Not only is it possible, but there are many benefits to growing peppers and other vegetables in raised beds.

Raised garden beds allow you to have some control over the growth of weeds, and the soil you place in here will heat up sooner— which effectively lengthens your growing season. This means you will be able to grow peppers in a raised garden bed for longer than if you simply planted them in the soil in your backyard.

Additionally, if you live in an area that receives a large amount of rainfall, it may be helpful to plant your peppers in raised beds to keep them from drowning in soil that is too wet for them to grow effectively.

Peppers are vegetables that don’t need a ton of water. This is why growing them in a raised bed which is built to allow sufficient drainage to keep the soil at the right moisture level can be a good idea.

How to Plant Peppers in Raised Beds

As mentioned above, a raised bed helps to alleviate water sitting on top, or in, the soil. While this is great for your peppers as they grow, this is not ideal for pepper seeds. This is why you should start your peppers out as seedlings indoors first before transplanting them to your raised bed.

Once your pepper seedlings are ready to be established in your raised bed, you’ll want to fill it with the soil your peppers will be growing in.

Next, you’ll need to dig a hole slightly deeper than your seedlings’ current roots, somewhere in the neighborhood of six to eight inches (15 to 20 cms). Carefully transfer the seedling from its starting pot to the hole you made, then cover it completely with soil.

How Deep Should a Raised Bed be for Peppers and Why?

Pepper plants tend to be very tall plants. And plants that are tall usually also have roots that will need to go quite deep into the soil. For best results, your raised bed for your peppers should be at least 12 inches deep. But if you can give your peppers some extra room beyond the required 12 inches, this could help them to grow even taller!

How Far Apart Should Peppers be Planted in a Raised Bed?

Besides just being tall, pepper plants are also foliage-heavy plants, which means they need lots of space to grow.

When you plant your seedlings in your raised beds, they need to be placed 10 to 15 inches (10 to 38 cms) apart from other plants. To accommodate the most pepper plants in your raised beds as possible, you should stagger the seeds, ensuring the rows of plants are a minimum of two feet apart.

Keep in mind that different types of peppers require different amounts of growing room. Bell peppers can typically be okay with as little as 10 inches of space between seeds, while Pimento peppers will need the entire 15 inches of space to grow.

How Many Peppers Can Be Planted in a 4×4 Raised Bed?

Because pepper plants can get pretty big and need room to grow, it’s important that you don’t plant too many of them in one bed. If the plants are too close together, they won’t be able to grow well and may not produce as many or any peppers. Generally, for a 4×4 raised bed, you should plan to plant no more than six to eight pepper plants, depending on the type of peppers you select.

Photo of raised gardening beds set a top pale colored gravel
Photo by Marysmn

Which Peppers Do Best in Raised Beds?

Although almost all types of peppers will grow well in a raised bed, there are a few varieties that tend to fare especially well in the raised bed set up. Bell peppers, one of the most popular and least spicy peppers out there, love to grow in raised beds because they enjoy the warmer temperatures of the above-ground soil.

But you don’t have to limit yourself to Bell peppers, as Jalapeño and Serrano peppers also enjoy the set-up of raised beds and are easy to grow for beginners. You can also plant some really spicy peppers like Ghost peppers or Carolina reapers, just be careful as you walk around the garden sampling your crop!

How to Build Raised Beds for Peppers

If you aren’t a carpenter, it may be worthwhile to purchase a raised garden kit from your local hardware store. While these do require assembly, they don’t typically need tools to set up. However, for those desiring a challenge, you can construct your own raised bed with some plywood.

You’ll want to cut the wood into equal lengths to create a square garden or two sets of equal lengths for a rectangular garden. Then you will just need to use a drill, or nails, to hammer the ends together to create a box. You may also want to consider creating a box that is on legs to minimize the number of times you need to bend down to tend to your plants.

Whether you pick the option on legs or plan to place your garden bed directly on the ground, you should always line your beds with landscape fabric or mulch before you add the soil. This will help keep weeds out (if planting on the ground) as well as keep the soil in for beds that are in boxes on legs.

For raised beds placed on the ground, ensure you dig down an inch or two of the original soil before adding the liner to help keep your raised bed in place. Then you can add your soil to your box, and you are ready to plant your peppers!

Which Raised Beds are Best for Peppers?

As previously discussed, pepper plants need room for their roots as well as their foliage. This means you need to select a garden bed that is deep enough for them.

For these reasons, you should select a deep garden box that will be situated on the ground. While you can pick a garden box that is on legs for your peppers, this could make it difficult for you to tend to the higher branches of the plant later when the plant grows tall.

If you are constructing your own raised garden beds out of wood, you should plan to stack at least four 2×4 pieces of lumber on top of one another to get a box that is sufficiently deep for the roots of the pepper plants. You’ll also want to situate your raised bed in an area that allows access on all sides so you can easily tend to the plants as they grow.

What is the Best Soil for Growing Peppers in Raised Beds?

For best results, you should plant your peppers in a soil that is well-drained, sandy, and pH neutral. While you can purchase pepper-specific soil in the stores, making your own will ensure that it has all the aspects your peppers need for success.

Start with some potting soil from your local gardening store. If the soil doesn’t already contain perlite (most do), you should purchase some of this to add to the soil. Make sure whatever soil you select is at least 10 percent perlite, or plan to add more to it at home.

Next, you’ll want to add vermiculite to the soil mixture to help aerate it. This should also be added in an amount of around 10 percent. After that, you will want to add some compost to add nutrients to your soil. If you don’t have your own compost at home, you can also buy this in the store to add to your mixture.

Now you should have a nice mix of soil for your pepper plants! But before filing your raised bed with pepper plants, you’ll want to test the pH level of your soil. If the soil is too acidic, the peppers will not grow well. If you find that your soil is not pH neutral, you can use these tips to change the pH level to be acceptable for peppers. 

What Mulch Should Be Used for Peppers in Raised Beds?

It is always a good idea to add some mulch to your raised garden beds so that your pepper plants will be able to flourish. But you do need to make sure that you select the proper mulch for your pepper plants, because different types of mulch can affect how much water is retained as well as how warm the soil is kept.

For those who live in a cool climate or at a high altitude, plastic mulch can help keep the soil for your peppers warm enough for them to thrive. Clear plastic mulch tends to work best.

In a warmer climate, you won’t need to be as worried about keeping the soil for the peppers warm, and in this case, you can choose a black mulch instead of clear. This is because black mulch tends to be more effective at keeping weeds and other pests to a minimum, which means less work for you to maintain healthy pepper plants.

What are the Best Materials to use to Make a Raised Bed for Peppers?


Of course, the success of any raised bed starts by ensuring you select the best materials for construction. Wood is an inexpensive, and easy material to use, and your peppers will love it! Just make sure that you only select untreated wood, as the chemicals in treated wood could cause your plants harm.

Now, an untreated wood raised bed will last you a season or two, but it will eventually be affected by the elements. You can instead invest in some cedar or redwood to construct your raised garden beds, which will be more resistant to the weather as well as bugs and rot. A well-constructed cedar or redwood raised bed can last you about five years.

You can also use rock or stone to create your raised garden beds, but this isn’t a very economic or time-conserving option. But, if you would like to create a permanent installation for your peppers every year, then go for the stone raised bed.

Some people have taken to using cement blocks to create raised garden beds, but like treated wood, these should be avoided as sometimes cement is mixed with fly ash, which contains numerous heavy metals that could damage your pepper plants.

Photo of raised gardening beds made of wood with leafy produce being grow in them
Photo by Alisonh29

Can Other Plants Live with Pepper Plants in a Raised Bed?

Maybe you want to plant some peppers, but you only want to plant one pepper plant. Or maybe you don’t want to devote an entire raised bed to just peppers. Either way, if you are looking to plant another type of plant with your peppers, you should stick with tomatoes, eggplant, or okra.

Tomatoes and peppers are companion plants, which means they grow well together and can actually help one another to flourish.

Choosing to plant tomato and pepper plants in the same raised beds can help to stop pests like slugs in their tracks! These two plants will grow bigger and more productive when they are planted near one another so don’t be afraid to add a tomato plant or two to your raised pepper bed.

Eggplant and okra aren’t companion plants, but they require much of the same growing conditions as peppers and thus will flourish in the same environment. Just make sure if you choose to grow either of these plants (or the tomatoes listed above) that you still observe the minimum distance between plants!

Is a Trellis Necessary for Peppers in a Raised Bed?

When it comes to growing peppers, many people will tell you that you need a trellis or cage for the plants to grow to their full height, and this is generally true. If you want to have healthy and fully producing pepper plants, you should plan to add a trellis or cage around the plant as it begins to grow taller.

Trellis frames can also help to conserve soil space in a small garden with multiple plants, as peppers always prefer to grow up and out if they can. Thus, when you plant your pepper plants in your raised bed, you should allow some space to add a cage or trellis later as the plants grow.

But, if you follow the above instructions for spacing out your pepper plants that should leave plenty of room to add a cage later.

How Often Should Peppers in Raised Beds be Watered?

Peppers flourish in raised beds because they allow the proper drainage to keep the peppers happy. Thus, it is important that you don’t overwater your peppers beyond the capabilities of the raised bed to drain the excess water.

Depending on your climate, if the peppers get enough rain, you may not need to water them at all, but generally once or twice a week should be sufficient. You will know your peppers need water by feeling the soil. If it is still moist, skip watering for now and check back another day.

Closing Thoughts

Overall, growing your own pepper plants can be easy in a raised bed. You just need to make sure that you select a raised bed that is constructed out of the proper materials, and deep enough for your pepper plants to thrive. Then fill the bed with the proper soil and mulch, and you will be well on your way to having a beautiful raised bed filled with delicious peppers!

Here are Some of my Favorite Gardening Products and Tools

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful for growing some new plants in your home or garden. Here are some products I like that I hope you’ll also find helpful. These are affiliate links, and I am compensated for referring traffic. But in all honesty, these are the exact product that I use or recommend to everyone.

Soil: For high-quality soil, I really like Fox Farm Ocean Forest. I do all my growing in containers and this soil has worked great for me. I like how they use nutrient-rich contents like earthworm castings, bat guano, and composted crab and fish.

Fertilizer: Currently I am using a seaweed-based organic fertilizer call Neptunes Harvest. This is a great milder fertilizer option if you want to use something organic. If you want a more powerful fertilizer, I recommend Fox Farm Liquid Nutrient Trio, lots of people have had great growing success with this product.

Pruning Shears: Pruning shears are one of the most useful gardening tools to have because it’s important to prune your plants to keep them healthy. The pruning shears I recommend are the Gonicc 8’’ pruning shears. I like them because they are built sturdy and work both on bigger and smaller plants, so you don’t need to have multiple pruning shears.

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