Pepper plants are versatile, pest-resistant summer crops. There are spicy and sweet varieties to appeal to any palette. They are mostly vertical plants so that they can thrive in many conditions, including in raised gardening beds.
To grow peppers in a raised gardening bed, you need to plant them in a sunny location early in the season, make sure their roots have enough room, keep the soil moist and cool, and possibly support the plants with stakes.
This article will show you step-by-step how to grow your own peppers in a raised garden bed, including:
- What size of raised gardening bed is best for peppers
- How deep the raised bed needs to be to grow peppers
- How many peppers you can grow in a 4×4 raised bed
- And how to calculate how many peppers you can grow in a raised bed
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Raised Bed Gardening: A Brief Overview
Raised bed gardening is a solution to a lot of common gardening problems. In a raised bed, you plant in a container that’s elevated off the ground by at least a foot. This lets you reach all the plants in the bed without needing to step on the soil. It also helps prevent undo stress on your lower back when harvesting peppers from your plants.
Another benefit of raised gardening beds for pepper plants is you can place raised beds in areas where the ground isn’t ideal for gardening, such as a concrete driveway or a small yard. They can be whatever size and shape you need them to be to fit your space, too.
Pepper plants are a great candidate for raised bed gardening because they grow vertically rather than horizontally. A raised bed provides plenty of room for root growth while also maximizing the number of plants per square foot.
Peppers are a warm-season plant, so you shouldn’t put your pepper plants outside in raised beds until the last spring frost is over. Be sure to keep checking the frost predictions for your area after planting. If there is an unexpected cold snap, you’ll want to protect your pepper plants to keep them warm.
You may also need to wrap your plants at night if the temperature will drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). Cover the plants with paper, burlap, or plastic. Make sure the entire plant is covered, all the way down to the soil, and secure the wrapping with rocks or stakes so it won’t blow away.
You can start your peppers as seedlings or plant grown plants directly into the raised gardening beds once the soil warms up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). If you start the peppers from seeds, you’ll need to grow them indoors first for six to eight weeks. After the last frost, you can move your seedlings outdoors.
Sunlight and moisture will make the biggest impact on the size of your pepper fruits. Pepper plants need six to eight hours of sunlight per day at minimum and 1-2 inches of water every week. The best way to keep the roots moist with that amount of sunlight is to spread mulch around the base of the plants. This will trap the moisture and retain heat to keep the plant healthy.
Peppers need a long growing season for the fruits to reach full maturity. Some varieties can take as long as 100 days to fully mature. You can harvest the fruits as they ripen, but there will only be time for one crop annually during the summer months.
When constructing or purchasing your raised gardening bed, make sure to match it to the right size for what you intend to grow. For pepper plants, you’ll need the bed to be deep enough for the roots to take hold and wide enough to fit enough rows of plants. If you are growing varieties of peppers that can benefit from staking, make sure to add a little extra room to your measurements.
The most important measurement for your raised bed is the depth. The minimum depth of your raised bed should be 12 inches (30 cms). This will provide enough depth for the roots to grow and water to soak into the soil and keep the plants well hydrated.
Each pepper plant needs 18-24 inches (46-61 cms) of room around it, so roughly one pepper plant every 2 feet. In a 4×4 foot raised garden bed, you can comfortably fit about six to eight pepper plants.
If you’re looking for a good quality nice looking 4×4 bed I recomend the Vita Classic 4×4 found on Amazon.
You can use the same formula to figure out how many pepper plants you can fit in whatever sized raised beds you have available. Peppers also do well in raised beds alongside other vegetables. If you’re planting more than one crop in your raised bed, give the peppers their own row, so they have plenty of root space.
Over the growing season, you should make sure to keep the pepper plants’ environment conditions stable. If they receive adequate sunlight and water, your plants should produce delicious peppers in a few months.
Pepper fruits will generally start green and gradually change color as they ripen. Many species are safe to eat when green, such as Bell peppers or Jalapeños, but green fruits tend to be bitter. The longer they ripen, the more flavorful the fruit will be.
When you decide to remove the fruits from the stalks, use sharp shears or scissors to cut them. If you pull the fruits off by force, you could easily break the stalks, damage the plant, and jeopardize any fruits still growing.
At the first signs of frost, you can harvest any pepper fruits still on the plants and take them indoors. They may ripen over the next few days in a warmer environment.
If you want to plant peppers from your seeds the following season, make sure to save a few ripe peppers. Dry them out and scrape out the seeds to save for next year. Keep them in a cool, dry place to prevent early sprouting.
You can also overwinter your pepper plants indoors in a cool, dark environment like a garage, and re-plant them outdoors once the weather starts to warm.
Raised garden beds are a great location for growing peppers because of the way they let you control the environment. Pepper plants are particular about their growing conditions, so a raised bed helps make sure that your plants will thrive.