Updated Sept 2023.
Have you been thinking about starting a garden, but just do not have a lot of space? Are you a pepper fanatic like me? Well, you do not have to have a huge garden to get it done! Consider growing your peppers in a GreenStalk.
I am now up to 6 GreenStalk Vertical Gardens. As an affiliate I was blessed to receive one for review in Spring 2021. I loved it so much that I purchased 4 more in 2022. And then in 2023 I was gifted another from GreenStalk. And THEN… I ordered a couple more. Why? I wanted to add more growing space to my garden area! And the GreenStalks fit the bill very well… and they look great. If you missed my previous post, Why You Should Get a GreenStalk, definitely check that out. It is a FAQ full of info that will help you decide before your purchase.
So, seriously though… Back to peppers… This post is heavy on talking about my GreenStalk, But, the GreenStalk is just a type of container, so these tips will apply to growing your peppers in other containers as well. I actually grow a lot of my peppers in 5 gallon buckets as well. Between my GreenStalks and the buckets, I have grown around 90 pepper plants the past 2 years. No matter what container you grow in, there are some things you do not want to miss when it comes to planting and nurturing your peppers.
I decided to fill one full Original full of a variety of peppers! The GreenStalk Original has 30 planting “pockets”. There are 5 tiers with 6 pockets on each. The pockets are 10″ deep. However, each tier is one continuous container that holds around 1 cu feet of soil. This means that there is plenty of space for deep rooted plants… like peppers!
7 Tips for Pepper Growing Success
If you decide to build a pepper tower, there are a few things that can help you grow it successfully. Here are a few tips that might help.
Start Your Peppers At the Right Time
Deciding when to start your seeds can be tricky. In general you want to start your pepper plants around 6-8 weeks before you plant them out. I wanted to give my plants a good early start this year. I actually started seeds in my AeroGarden back on March 13 which was about 3 weeks earlier than the year before. Some start them much earlier so they have larger plants to move outside. Now, in a climate like mine that means you need to have the space to keep them indoors under grow lights until it is safe to plant out. But, this gives your plants a great head start. Because, for some of us starting most garden plants from seed outside is just not a viable option. They take a while to get started and the season may be coming to a close when the plants really get going. So, starting them inside gives them a head-start so you will have ripe peppers mid-season.
As they grew to size I moved them to small soil pots under grow lights and nurtured them until it was warm enough to plant them out on May 14.
Start with Good Well-Amended Soil
Growing any garden plants can be helped along by giving them strong support from the start. This means starting with great soil. Now, in my area I knew that I would never want to plant in the ground for various reasons. One of those reasons was horrible soil. We have hard clay soil. When I decided to start a garden I knew I would do raised beds and containers of some type.
All of my GreenStalks are filled with Pro-Mix Moisture Control Potting Mix. I have purchased it at Walmart and Menards. It is available many places including Home Depot, and other places that sell soil. And it can often be found on clearance at the end of the season.
Once I had my soil set, I decided to amend it. This feeds more nutrients into the soil and gets your plants off to a strong start. I mixed a handful of Espoma Garden-Tone, worm castings, and bone meal into each tier. Sometimes I add mushroom compost. I prefer that to stinky cow manure. This will feed the plants very well.
Put Taller Peppers on the Top Tier
This is one these are tips that I know now that I did not necessarily know before I planted up my pepper tower. But, now my possible mistake can help you. It’s not a really big deal. But, I have one pepper plant that is growing up like 3 tiers! Honestly, I’m starting to wonder if it is not the variety that I think it is. It’s supposedly a Brazilian Starfish, but it looks different than my others. And it’s very, very tall. Anyway, had I known it would get so tall I would have put that plant on top so that it would not quite block other plants. But, I am sure it will work out fine. I can still reach around it… for now!
Label Your Plants
Yes, this should go without saying, but some people just do not do it and rely on their memories. This is almost impossible in a GreenStalk! One turn and it’s over. And with peppers, unless you are planting all sweet varieties, you probably want to be extra sure to label those hot ones! You do not want any accidents. LOL!
GreenStalk sells these awesome metal plant markers. But, you can also use your own. Although, if you choose to write on plant tags, I recommended using a real garden marker. I tried a Sharpie for the 2nd year and sure enough, some of the words started rubbing off. I quickly refreshed those with my plant marker.
Feed Your Peppers Often
Starting with great soil is one thing. But, it is also important to feed your plants in containers often. Why? Nutrients leave the soil faster in containers. Each time you water you drain out a little nutrients. If it rains a lot, nutrients wash out of the soil. Plan to feed about every 2 weeks. Now this is true of plants in raised beds as well.
You can feed in a variety of ways. For me, the easiest way to feed a GreenStalk is to use a good water soluble fertilizer. I like the Miracle Grow Garden Feeder for the end of my hose, or Jack’s Classic Blossom Booster. Feeding with a hose end sprayer makes it easy to feed each pocket and/or feed the top reservoir. I also mix in some Alaska Fish Emulsion for an extra boost. Every now and then I mix up some of the same things that I used to initially amend the soil and top dress around the base of each plant then water it in.
Harvest When Ready
Once your peppers really get going, harvesting the ripe fruits when they are ready helps your plant redirect energy back into pushing out more flowers. In fact, peppers can be harvested whenever you want since they can be eaten green or ripe. So, some people choose to take off the first set of young peppers early to allow the plant to develop more flowers.
Now, I am not always the best at doing this. When the garden really gets booming I am guilty of ignoring the peppers for a while.
Add the GreenStalk Ultimate Spinner or Mover Base
In my yard, I’m lucky that my garden gets full East sun in the morning, overhead sun in the afternoon, and West sun heading into evening. But, in your garden you may not be so lucky. Or, you may need to put the unit on your patio, deck, or balcony where sun is partially blocked by a wall. GreenStalk offers 2 bases, the Mover, and the Ultimate Spinner. The one that you choose depends on how you need to use it. The Mover comes with wheels so that you can roll it around on your patio or deck, or spin it. The Ultimate Spinner allows it to sit in one spot and be easily spun around for ease of harvesting or to catch the sun. You can optionally add the wheels. I have both and I prefer the Ultimate Spinner.
Watch below to see my GreenStalk pepper tower in action and see these tips in visual form.
Get a GreenStalk!
So, if have convinced you, you will love this! GreenStalk has sales often. Keep your eyes on my social, or subscribe to my mailing list to be notified. I usually announce in my Facebook group, AeroGarden, Kratky, and Gardening Fanatics, first! And when you use my code, LTG10, you get an additional $10 off on top of sale prices!
Questions? Just ask! Happy shopping!