How to Plant a Proper Pepper Garden

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Take a guess where I’ve been living for the month of May?

Yup, at the Lowes garden centre. This year I was invited to partner with Lowes Canada to celebrate #LoveLowes and was asked to write about all things gardening – can you imagine how fast I said ” Yes please!” to that partnership? Shopping in the garden centre…as work? I might have giggled at little bit with excitement.

This year I have been given three challenges to write about. The first one I am going to talk about is peppers.

Lowes Home Improvement Warehouse

Does anyone remember how peppers are my nemesis in the garden? I couldn’t have been given a better topic to write about. Peppers challenge me, but along the way I’ve learned some secrets. I actually have grown peppers successfully and they are easier than you think!

One: Peppers should be bought blooming, with peppers formed already if possible. Here in Edmonton we need to cheat as much as possible because of our short growing season. I have tried from seed – and failed miserably. We don’t have the time. This is especially important with red and green bell peppers, as they take longer. Hot peppers grow faster, but I still buy them blooming if I can.

Pepper plant with white flower

Awww, it’s so cute! And delicious.

pepper plant with pepper formed already

Two: Peppers love eggshells. They really, really do. This is something very easy for everyone to do, as almost all of us eat eggs on a daily basis. Keep the shells, dry them out and mix them into the soil at the base of the peppers.  Not only do they provide calcium for the soil as they break down but they help prevent blossom end rot, those black spots that happen on tomatoes and peppers.

Every time I remember to use egg shells, I have the best pepper crop ever.

 adding eggshells to the base of the peppers

Three: Feeling hot, hot hot! Peppers like it as hot as can be. Do you have a hot spot in your yard, a little microclimate that gets hotter than the rest? Usually this happens along a wooden fence or corner that radiates heat from the sun back on to the garden. My garden beds are along a south facing fence, meaning the temperature  in the garden makes it the hottest place in the entire yard during the day. Peppers do the best in the hottest area of your yard. Again, this is the most important for bell peppers.

But Magpie, what did you plant? you may ask. I had a ton of fun picking peppers out at Lowes. I had no idea that Lowes carried so many different varieties and let me tell you, they are selling like hotcakes and its no wonder. They have everything that the home cook and avid gardener could ever want when it comers to peppers! I was like a kid in a candy shop!

They have all sorts of heat levels of peppers available for you to try.

I went with Tiburon Pepper, which is actually a poblano pepper! Mild heat and delicious, I am so seriously excited about growing these peppers and cooking with them! This guy is going to need a cage ASAP.
Tiburon Pepper started growing

Note that full sun sign – don’t ignore it! No shade for peppers!

Close up of Tiburon Pepper seed Packaging in its plant that started growing

Medium heat: Hot Red Cherry Pepper. These should be sweet and slightly hot at the same time and apparently amazing stuffed. Watch for those recipes coming later this summer!

Red Cherry Pepper plats started growing

What’s that I see peeking through?

Jalapeno peppers seed Packaging


Oh yes, I love Jalapeno peppers! I’m pretty sure there will be some cheesy stuffed goodness happening this year!
Jalapeno peppers seed packaging in the soil

Then theres the green and red bell peppers. These are the toughest to grow, but I do have success with them if I follow all my rules for growing them.

red bell peppers seed packaging

My straggly garden. Oh, give it two weeks and everything will be lush and green! I need to get cages around those peppers soon.

top down shot of pepper plants in the garden

Mmm. Think of all the recipes I can make with these….

camera and pictures of possible recipes for growing pepper plants

So, my first mission with Lowes is complete. Backyard pepper garden – check!

Stay tuned for more gardening fun! Make sure to check out all the other DIY ideas from the Lowe’s Bloggers! 



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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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