How To Grow The Perfect Peppers: Survival Gardening

survival gardening growing peppers

Every survival garden should have peppers! There are so many different things you can do with them – anything from canning to eating them raw in a beautiful salad. Even if you've got a “black thumb,” Peppers are an incredibly easy and versatile crop to grow!

How To Pick The Perfect Peppers For Your Garden

Peppers remain a top crop among gardeners across the globe!  But knowing what pepper to grow might be a bit of a challenge. Let’s go over some basic information on various peppers to help you decide what varieties will work best for you!

There are 3 main categories of peppers:

1. Banana peppers: They are yellowish and have a peppery taste when they are raw but, establish a sweet taste when they are canned.

2. Bell peppers: The colors of a bell pepper can be green, red, yellow, or orange. They can be grown in both large and miniature varieties.

3. Hot peppers: The most common grown hot peppers are jalapenos, red chili peppers, habanero peppers, and ghost peppers.

Planting peppers in your survival garden is an easy process and peppers do not need a lot of care which is why they are such a favorite among gardeners..not to mention they are beyond flavorful. In this article, we’ll go over the planting process, common pests and treatment, and lastly, companion plants – good vs. bad.

Let’s get started!

The Planting Process

It is highly recommended that you plant your peppers AFTER the last frost. You can plant starter plants or grow the peppers from seed. It’s totally up to you. For me, my preference is to use starter plants. It’s a nice jump start for the gardening season!

Peppers can be planted in a raised gardening bed, a regular gardening bed, or in containers or boxes. It’s just a matter of personal preference on where you want to plant them. They have great success in all three of these options.

It is recommended that the hot peppers remain separated from other plants because of cross pollination. This can cause plants such as tomatoes to have a weird and possibly a spicier taste.

survival gardening growing peppers

Another thing to consider is, for example, if you want to plant a great number of banana peppers, I would suggest that they have their own area in the garden. A good-sized raised garden bed would be perfect. Container gardening would serve best for the peppers that you may plant in lesser numbers.

Once you have a layout of your pepper garden all set, then follow these simple planting steps to acquire a healthy and productive pepper garden this gardening season.

  • Plant each pepper plant 18–24 inches apart.
  • Make sure that the soil is well-drained when planting your pepper plants.
  • Apply compost when planting and follow up with compost every 3–4 weeks.
  • Apply mulch around the pepper plants, as this helps to lock in moisture and helps to protect the plants from disease.
  • Young pepper plants need about 3–4 hours of full sun a day. Full-grown pepper plants need about 6–8 hours.
  • Do not overwater your pepper plants, as this can cause them to wilt.
  • Make sure to fully harvest your pepper plants before the first Fall frost.

For more information on container gardening, check out my previous article, Container Gardening for Your Patio or Balcony for great tips on gardening in smaller spaces.

Common Pests And Possible Treatment

1. Whiteflies

Whiteflies can cause discoloration and possible death to your pepper plants. These pests also carry various plant diseases, which they can transfer from plant to plant. The best solution is

Best Recommended Treatment:

2. Aphids

Aphids are another danger to your pepper plants. They gather mainly along the stem area and their secretions will actually turn into a mold which, over time, can kill the plant.

survival gardening growing peppers

Photo by Jared Belson

Best Recommended Treatment:

3. Hornworms

These pests are easily spotted because of their size. Hornworms are bright green in color and can be spotted mainly on the leaves of a pepper plant.

Best Recommended Treatment:

  • Picked by hand
  • Introduce ladybugs

4. Flea Beetles

These pests are very common among the younger pepper plants. If you notice tiny holes on the leaves, it is most likely you have a flea beetle problem.

Flea Beetles | Survival Gardening - Growing The Perfect Peppers

Best Recommended Treatment:

5. Cutworms

These pests go after young pepper plants and their main target is the stems. If you see a stem that looks like it was cut almost completely in half, then you have a cutworm problem!

survival gardening growing peppers

Best Recommended Treatment:

Companion Plants – Good Vs Bad

As I said before, planting hot peppers next to other plants can give a weird and possibly spicier taste to other plants, such as tomato plants. This is due to cross pollination. As far as companion plants go, there are good vs bad ones for your pepper crop. A good companion plant can produce great benefits for both itself and its neighboring pepper plant.

Good Companion Plants

Here are my top ten choices:

  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Basil
  • Radishes
  • Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Okra
  • Oregano
  • Spinach
  • Onions

Bad Companion Plants

These are considered to be the worst companion plants for your pepper crop:

  • Apricot
  • Cabbage
  • Beans
  • Fennel
  • Walnut trees
  • Kale
  • Brussel sprouts

Watch this video by California Gardening as they share about the complete guide to growing:

Now that you have most of the information that you need, it's high time to consider including peppers as part of your survival gardening crop! There's just so many uses for it if you just know how to look for them. The web can provide you with more than a handful of information on uses for peppers that will leave you spiced up for life!

How To Grow The Perfect Peppers: Survival Gardening

Do you have gardening tips for pepper crops that you would like to share? Share with us in the comment section below!

Don't stop at peppers. Looking to create the ultimate self-sustaining survival garden? Check this out.

Here are 20 Survival Gardening Plants For Spring you might want to consider including in your garden!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 15, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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How To Grow The Perfect Peppers: Survival Gardening

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