Looking for a few tips and tricks to get your pepper plants growing a little faster in the garden?
Whether you grow them in a traditional garden space, raised bed, or even in a container – pepper plants are notorious for being slow starters. Not only do pepper seeds usually take longer to germinate, the plants also have a much slower growth rate in the first few months compared to most other vegetables.
Part of this is due to the fact that peppers are a warm weather loving plant. They are not particularly fond of cool spring temperatures or cool spring soil. Because of that, they have a tendency to simply sit in the ground for the first month or so of the growing season, lagging behind the other vegetable plants.
Early Growth = Earlier Harvest!
Although pepper plants eventually begin to grow and produce as summer arrives, getting them to grow a bit faster early on has a few big advantages for you and your pepper plants. For starters, better early growth gives your plants a better chance at staying healthy and fighting off disease and pests.
But even more, the earlier you can get your plants growing strong, the quicker they will begin to produce and ripen their fruit. And the faster they can do that, the more peppers you will be able to harvest!
The good news is there are indeed a few simple tips and tricks that will help your peppers to establish and grow much faster early on. And best of all, they are extremely simple and easy to do. With that in mind, here are 3 simple tips that can help jump start your pepper plants and get them to take off!
How To Get Pepper Plants Growing Fast
#1 Give Your Pepper Plants A Boost Of Early Energy
Pepper plants require a fair amount of nutrients to grow and produce. Just like tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetable plants, if those nutrients are not readily available in the soil they are growing in, they will struggle to grow.
In the cooler spring temperatures, the roots of pepper plants are not fully established. Because of this, they struggle a bit early on to take in the energy they need from the soil. But by giving them a few doses of quick absorbing energy early, you can help jump start root and foliage growth. And the best way to do that is with a liquid fertilizer!
Although granular fertilizers release energy, it takes awhile to get into the plants. But liquid fertilizers are fast acting. Even better, they will absorb into your pepper plants in two ways – through the roots and through the stems and foliage of the plant.
The key with pepper plants is to start giving them liquid power early. Once plants have had a week or so to adjust after planting, it’s time to give them a dose of liquid fertilizer. You can do this with several great options, whether it be compost tea, worm casting tea, or with a good organic all-purpose liquid fertilizer.
Apply early in the morning, watering around the roots of your pepper plants and soaking the leaves as well. Do this early in the morning to avoid burning the foliage of the plants from hot, mid-day sun. If early mornings don’t work, early evenings are next best.
Repeat these feedings once every ten days for three weeks – and your plants will thank you with much more rapid early growth! Affiliate Product Link : Miracle Grow Organics For Vegetable Plants
#2 Pick Off Early Fruit – How To Get Pepper Plants Growing Fast
This little trick will do more for your pepper plants than you can ever imagine!
For the first month of the growing season, remove any tiny peppers that may appear on your plants. And if you happen to purchase a pepper plant from a store that already has a few small peppers on it, remove them right away as well.
All vegetable plants burn and use a lot of energy and resources to produce fruit. And for pepper plants, those early fruits are taking away precious early growing strength from the plant. Even worse, early fruits do not ripen quickly, so they really burn the energy.
It is far better to take off the early fruit and allow your pepper plants to simply grow for the first month. Then, once fruit begins to appear later, it will have an easier time maturing. Most importantly, your pepper plant will be bigger and more able to handle both fruit, flowering and growth all at once at that point.
#3 Water Smart – How To Get Pepper Plants Growing Fast
Finally, many young pepper plants struggle to grow because of inconsistent watering. Whether it be too little or too much. In fact, pepper plants usually are affected more from overwatering more than under watering.
When the roots of pepper plants take on or sit in too much water, they swell. As they do, the roots then become water logged. So much so that they simply can’t take in nutrients. Whether it be from the soil, or nutrients you are trying to provide via fertilizer.
Sadly, when many gardeners see their pepper plants lagging behind, they think they must need more water. And the more water they give, the more the plant’s roots swell. The result, of course, is the pepper plant struggles even more to bring in nutrients.
Don’t Water Every Day – How To Get Pepper Plants Growing Fast!
Once pepper plants establish in the soil, they rarely if ever need to be watered every day. Container plants may still need to be, but again, be careful not to overwater.
Watering every day actually harms pepper plants growing in traditional gardens. Not only can it saturate their roots, having too much moisture near the surface also keeps their roots from growing deeper in the soil.
Allow the soil to dry out a bit more between waterings. Check down a few inches in the soil, either with your finger or a moisture meter probe to see if any moisture is present. If there is still moisture under the surface, do not water. Instead, water less frequently but deeper.
This will allow the roots to continue to grow deeper and deeper. This in turn develops a healthier, more robust pepper plant in the process. Finally, remember that when you are providing your pepper plants with liquid fertilizer, that counts as watering too!
Here is to getting your pepper plants growing fast. And even more, to having your best pepper harvest ever this year!
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