Growing peppers is one of the most satisfying and rewarding things you can do, and you can reap many benefits from planting them in your garden. But before you get your hands dirty, you should know what nutrients your plants need to thrive for months. There are a few tips you can easily implement to make sure your plants are getting the nutrients they need. Discover how you should fertilize your peppers here!
Table of Contents
- How often to fertilize peppers
- Over-fertilizing and under-fertilizing bell bell pepper plants
- Fertilizing peppers with tomato fertilizers – the most important nutrients
- Secondary nutrients for your bell pepper plant
- pH value of the soil
- Fertilizing peppers biologically with coffee grounds
- Natural fertilizers for your plant
- Keep the following in mind
How often to fertilize peppers
Many casual gardeners fertilize whenever they remember to. This is not ideal, as they may over- or under-fertilize their plants. To get the most out of your bell pepper plants, remember when you last fertilized and stick to a schedule.
Once your plants have started to get their first real leaves, you can apply a light fertilizer. For most bell pepper varieties, fertilization should begin about 1 – 2 weeks after the seeds germinate. The first fertilization should be light (no more than half strength, depending on the strength of the fertilizer), because the small plants do not grow very quickly. However, the fertilizer will go a long way toward helping them develop healthy roots and strong stems and leaves early on.
If your seeds have been planted in a nutrient-rich medium, you should wait to fertilize until they are established in their final planting location. Compost, potting soil and other soils often contain all the nutrients peppers need, so additional fertilization is not necessary.
Over-fertilizing and under-fertilizing peppers plant.
Except for initial fertilization (during the first 3 – 5 weeks of growth), which should be no more than ¼ – ½ of normal strength, just follow the package guidelines. Most fertilizers are given weekly or bi-weekly.
Do not overfertilize because bell pepper plants need a steady supply of nutrients, not an overabundance of nutrients all at once. Some fertilizers should be worked into the soil before planting. Just try to keep an even fertilization schedule and don’t overdo it. Your bell pepper plants will thank you for it. If you apply too much fertilizer, your vegetable plants will show you. Brown spots will form on the leaves, predominantly on the leaf edges. This is because the nutrients can’t penetrate further into the tissue and the ends burn.
Note: If you are planting in a medium that already contains nutrients (potting soil, etc.), you should wait until the plants are fully grown before fertilizing.
Fertilizing peppers with tomato fertilizers – the most important nutrients.
The three most important nutrients you need for your bell pepper plants are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Nitrogen is the most important element because it helps regulate photosynthesis, which in turn promotes leaf production and growth. Since bell pepper plants would look a bit odd without leaves, nitrogen helps them develop healthy leaves and peppers.
Phosphorus enables plants to consume solar energy. This second key nutrient allows the bell pepper plant to absorb energy from the sun, which it needs to develop strong roots and robust peppers.
The last key nutrient is potassium, which plays a crucial role in water and nutrient transport and enables smooth photosynthesis. In other words, the elements keep water and other nutrients flowing through the plant.
These macronutrients are sometimes referred to as the big three in the world of peppers because of their critical role in building a healthy plant. Nutrients can also be abbreviated N.P.K., so it’s easy to remember these elements when looking for fertilizers.
Secondary nutrients for your bell pepper plant.
While the three main nutrients are the most important, there are several secondary nutrients, or trace elements, that are also critical for ideal bell pepper growth. Calcium and magnesium are very important for healthy cell development and green foliage.
Nutrients do make for healthy and vigorous vegetable plants, but soil pH is arguably even more important. Most bell pepper plants do best at a pH between 5.8 and 6.8, which is slightly acidic soil. If you suspect your soil is alkaline, you can have a soil test done.
Fertilize peppers organically with coffee grounds.
Coffee grounds have many uses, but one of the best is their use as a garden fertilizer. Many plants like blueberries, tomatoes and peppers do best in acidic soil. Recycle your coffee grounds to acidify your soil. There are several ways to do this: Either sprinkle the coffee grounds over the surface of the soil or make a garden coffee to pour on your garden: Soak up to six cups of used coffee grounds for up to a week to make garden coffee, then use it to water your acid-loving plants.
Natural fertilizers for your plant
You can also fertilize peppers naturally with compost from your garden or well-rotted manure.
Also, dilute nettle liquid manure with water in a 1:10 ratio and water your bell pepper plants with the solution.
Keep the following in mind.
When applying granular fertilizer to peppers, make sure the granules do not come into contact with the plants. This could cause burns or other adverse effects to the plant. Instead, spread the granular fertilizer in a circular pattern around the plants and water them thoroughly .
Spraying a water-soluble fertilizer on plants is not recommended. Diseases thrive on damp leaves, twigs, flowers and fruit. It is best to concentrate your efforts on the base of the plant.