If you’ve decided to start growing peppers in your AeroGarden, congratulations and welcome to flavortown! There are so many varieties of peppers, giving you a wide range of flavor (as well as heat) that you can use in everything from soups to sauces. Since growing any flowering veggie or fruit can be intimidating, here are five tips to making sure you get perfect peppers from your AeroGarden:
1. Be sure to give your peppers plenty of room to grow. You want to make sure you don’t overcrowd your garden with seed pods, so leave a few holes in the grow deck empty and cover them with our plastic spacers. And though it’s important to keep the lights close to your seed pods while they germinate, once they’ve sprouted and started growing, be sure to move the lights up frequently giving the plants plenty of room to lengthen. Gardens like the Bounty or the Farm Plus or Farm XL tend to be best for peppers, as these gardens can expand to 24” high or more, given your plants plenty of room to grow.
2. Make sure to feed your peppers frequently. Liquid nutrients should be added to your water every two weeks, but it’s important to provide enough nutrition for your plants to have the energy they need to bud and then grow fruit. Once they’ve started growing, you may want to add an extra capful of liquid nutrients to your water during your regular feedings, depending on the size of your garden.
3. Don’t forget to pollinate! With our indoor garden systems, we have to do the work of outdoor pollinators, like bees and the wind, ourselves. Peppers are self pollinators, meaning they just need to move the pollen around within each blossom to create fruit. So shake those little flowers around! Using a tool like our Be the Bee pollinator, shaking your branches every day, or running a fan next to your garden are all good ways to mimic outdoor pollination. Just be sure to do it while the grow lights are on.
4. Keep your water cool and clean. A rinse and refill every other feeding will keep your plants water healthy and support the plant’s energy to building fruit. Plus, the peppers you’re able to harvest will taste even better. Make sure you refill with cool, unfiltered water and add nutrients to the new water right away.
5. Prune often! Keeping your plants from getting out of control helps them focus their energy on the blossoms, leading to bigger and better fruit. Trim branches, but never more than ⅓ of the plant. Get rid of leaves at the bottom of the plant so it doesn’t have to siphon energy and water to them. These are typically the leaves that will fall off on their own naturally, but you can help them along. And keep your plants from growing up into the lights where they can burn.
Keep your eye on those blossoms and soon you’ll see your hard word rewarded with delicious little red, green, and even purple peppers. Check out our collection of pepper seed pod kits to see what you’ll grow next, and be sure to share your pictures with us using the #showwhatyougrow hashtag or mention our @officialaerogarden profile. We can’t wait to see your success and hear your own tips for growing the best peppers Peter Piper ever picked.