spacing a variety of peppers

growsy(8b GA)April 16, 2013

I have one empty 4' x 4' bed that I'd like to plant my peppers in. It was in my head that the square foot garden recommendation for peppers was 1 per square foot. However, I have been looking up the varieties I have (awesome gift of the pepper exchange here on the gw!) & a lot of them call for 18-24" spacing. I live in GA where we have long, hot, humid summers. This bed gets full sun. I would like to fit as many of the peppers in this bed as I can, & then put the rest in 5 gallon buckets. Which ones would you plant in the bed & at what spacing?

Mini Chocolate Bell
Pizza Pepper
Jimmy Nardello
Sweet Chocolate
Bulgarian Carrot
Serrano Tampiqueno
Alma Paprika
Ancho San Luis
Chihuacle Negro
Aji Yellow
Sigaretta di Bergamo
Joe's Long
Red Ruffled Pimento

Currently, my peps are little starts in solo cups with their second set of true leaves just coming out. They have been outside since sprouting, except on a couple of freezing nights when I brought those I couldn't cover back in.

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esox07 (4b)

I guess you could squeeze 9 in there but that would really be crowding them. 4 is probably optimal or 5 with one in each corner and then a center plant. I would probably go with 5. Then put the rest in buckets.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 8:53PM
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I agree with Bruce 5 would be the max. Also plant the Bell in the ground, I had a bell pepper in a pot and had only 4 decent peppers from it. All my hots and super hots did great in pots and I had several harvests from them.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 7:29AM
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growsy(8b GA)

Shoot! I was hoping to put 4 with 12" spacing along the front & 5 in the 3' X 4' space left. Then we wouldn't need so many pots. However, if we're going to grow them it makes sense to grow them well. Thanks for the advice!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 8:39AM
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This guy puts 48 peppers in a 4x10 raised bed. He seems to know what he's doing pretty well. He has more videos about lots of plants in small spaces as well.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 8:48AM
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Guys.... he's got 16 sq ft, 5 plants? That's too far apart. I put mine max. 18" the closer together they are, the better they shade each other's fruit. 5 plants, that's 3 sq ft/plant. I would put them all in, that's still a bit more than 1 sq ft/plant. I have 4' x 12' beds and I have 24-36 plants in each one.

p.s. I'd put the Bulgarian Carrot on the outside, it's a smaller plant and it might get dwarfed if it's inside. I always put it in a corner.

This post was edited by kuvaszlvr on Wed, Apr 17, 13 at 10:45

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 10:01AM
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18" is optimal in the garden, but if you have less space - go for it. For peppers you don't really need 5 gal. pots either as you do with tomatoes. Just my thoughts...
John A

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 11:51AM
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Not sure about all those varieties, but generally 18" is fine for anything but the bushier chinense vairieties; especially if you cage the taller or spindly branch varieties like ancho, bell, negro(on the tall and heavy fruited side) and the serrano(spindly branches). I'd put these types in the middle of the bed with 4' cages and then some shorter varieties around the perimeter with 42" cages. All in all -- about 9-12 plants.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 11:43PM
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growsy(8b GA)

Thanks, guys, for all the advice. I went ahead & planted today - 10 peppers in the bed. I did 6 around the front edges & 4 in a diamond pattern in the back. We'll see how it goes; call it an education.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 8:53PM
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What about cross pollination?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 12:06AM
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SandraMort: That only matters if you're intending to save seeds for next year. Even then, I wouldn't worry too much unless you're producing pure seed for sale or something like that.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:42AM
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growsy(8b GA)

There is a possibility I may move in the middle of the summer, so I wasn't worried about cross pollination, or in the end (after help here & much thought) about them getting too crowded. Took me a while to let go of the idea of putting them all in buckets so we could take them with us, but it wasn't realistic. Just like to have some peppers before we go.

It is hard to consider leaving a garden you've put a lot into, even if it is a small one. But maybe by this time next year I will have a big one!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:30AM
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