In this article, I will discuss what I consider to be the 10 best peppers to grow and how to grow them to get the best tasting and largest yield.
5 Best Peppers to Grow
These peppers are hot ranging from mild to extremely hot. The Scoville heat measurement or SHU is 2,500-5,000. The seeds can be removed to reduce the heat or spiciness of the pepper. They can be milder if well-watered and fertilized and if you let the pepper change in color from green to red they will become hotter.
These peppers take 75 days to mature to 2-3 inches long, they can be harvested green in color or at maturity of deep red.
They are known for making salsa and are used in Mexican dishes.
This is a hybrid pepper that is one of the largest of the peppers, it has thick walls and grows to about 4-5 inches. It takes approximately 75 days to mature but is worth the wait since it is full-flavored and sweet.
This is a bell type of pepper that has many colors from green, orange, or red.
This is a great pepper to stuff and bake.
Sweet Long Hybrid Peppers (Orange, Red, and Brown)
These peppers are heavy-yielding 8-12 inch long peppers in several colors.
They have exceptional flavor both raw and added to dishes.
Snacking orange peppers
These peppers are similar in shape and size to a jalapeno pepper but are not hot but sweet and great to eat seeds and all from the garden. They are bright orange and full of flavor.
They are great to eat right out of the garden or added to salads.
This is a pepper that is between a bell pepper and jalapeno pepper in flavor, it is used in Mexican dishes.
It is an elongated pepper 4-6 inches long, deep green to almost black.
How to Grow Peppers Successfully
Peppers need a sunny place in your garden to grow, they prefer to have 8+ hours of sunlight. When planting them make sure the soil is warm enough and there are no warnings of frost on the horizon.
They need a PH between 5.5-7.0 to be successful.
The soil should also be well-draining and amended with organic matter to provide the best growing conditions and the soil temperature needs to be approximately 70 degrees.
Pepper starting from seeds needs a warming pad to keep soil temperatures warm enough to germinate the plants, be sure the pods or seed starter does not dry out in the process.
With the larger peppers, you need to stake the plants when planting them so that you do not disturb the roots and since the weight of the plants can break them.
Be sure you amend the soil and provide fertilizers throughout the growing season since peppers are heavy feeders.
If your peppers have flower buds developing before you move them from pot to ground pinch them off to allow the plant to send all of its energy to the development of a strong root system which will help to produce more fruit later.
Mulch the plants to protect the roots and keeps the water from evaporating.
Peppers like tomatoes should receive 1 inch of water per week and watering once a week is best to prevent blossom end rot. In the heat of the summer, you may need to provide 2 inches of water to keep the plants watered.
Mulching the plants is critical to watering once a week allowing the plant to retain the water for the roots, best to apply the water to the roots and not overhead to the foliage.
Most peppers will be ready to harvest in August, you may have some of the smaller peppers that can be harvested sooner if they are smaller such as the jalapeno peppers.
When harvesting be sure to use a sharp knife or clippers to cut off the pepper and not damage the plant.
Enjoy the work you have put in to grow these great peppers by eating them fresh from the garden either raw or used in salads or other dishes.
Overwintering Peppers (See comments below)
Since peppers are perennial plants you can save the plants at the end of the season and overwinter them to give you a jump start with your pepper growing, by having a plant that is ready to take off as soon as temperatures allow you to plant it in your garden. In my testing of overwintering peppers, I was not successful and thus would not recommend it.
See my seed list companies to purchase from or here are a few that you can purchase pepper seeds from to grow in your garden.
Happy Pepper growing from the Urban Gardener!