I've been cultivating a vegetable garden for many years now, and while it seems to expand a bit more with every season, I also learn a few tricks about how I can make my plants grow stronger for the following year. My family and I have a special love for peppers, and after growing some different varieties for quite some time now, I've discovered what I consider to be a better means of growing this particular crop. If you're a gardening enthusiast with a pining for peppers and you live in the northeastern U.S., you'll want to give this a try.
Rather than planting those beautiful, full-bodied Jersey tomatoes in the many potted plant holders I have on my deck, I have opted to plant peppers. Why? Simply put, the tomatoes actually do well enough in my garden, next to my other crops. Seeing that this was the case, I decided instead to use the pots on my deck for peppers a few years ago.
We have about 20 pots on the back deck, to which I added some new soil and bone meal. I purchased a variety of pepper plants from the local nursery including green bell, red bell, banana, Cubanelles, and lots of jalapeños for homemade chili. As they started to grow, I removed some lower leaves, and any flowers or peppers that were a bit too eager, growing before the season even began. The potted pepper results were outstanding - far better than anything I'd ever experienced when planting them along with the rest of the veggies in my garden. My deck is hot and gets full sun exposure all day long. The plants in my garden required more water than the peppers did, so this set up allowed me to control the amount of water I provided to the pepper plants with a bit more precision.
Ultimately, the end result was the best pepper crop I have ever witnessed as a backyard gardener. Even with all the fresh salads, chili, Italian dishes, and homemade spaghetti sauces we made, I was still able to freeze some leftover jalapeños, bell, and Cubanelle peppers. Best of all, the preserved crop gave my family a little taste of heat when we used the peppers in some of our dishes throughout the winter months.
So if you want to change things up a bit and enjoy cooking with peppers as much as we do, don't pass up an opportunity to spice things up a bit this spring. You, too, can pick a peck of peppers - just be sure to plant them in pots!
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Article provided by Kurt Hansen