When pairing the right companion plants with your sweet and hot peppers, the benefits are well worth the work.
Companion planting attracts useful insects, saves space, and helps deter certain pests. Besides, with their spectacular colors, peppers also add to the beauty of your garden.
With the right guidance and some dedication, you could be harvesting your very own freshly grown peppers without the problems some farmers face.
Helpful Pepper Companion Plants
Pairing the right vegetables together is a far more organic approach to growing a thriving garden than many conventional techniques. As mentioned, good plant companions can also be a protection against certain pests that love to munch on your crops.
Here’s what to plant with peppers:
- Basil (enhances the taste and keep away pests like flies, mosquitos, aphids, and thrips)
- Carrots (ground cover)
- Peas (nitrogen-fixing)
- Petunias (repels leafhoppers, some beetles, and tomato worms)
- Onions (deter pests like cabbage worms and slugs)
- Lovage (sun and wind protection)
- Garlic (repels beetles, aphids, and others)
- Geraniums (repel pest varieties)
- Dill (enhances flavor and deters aphids)
- Chives (improve taste and yield)
- Rosemary (good ground cover)
- Nasturtiums (deter several pests)
- Okra (provides wind protection)
This list answers a lot of questions. Yes, you can plant tomatoes and peppers together. Also, marigolds and peppers go well together. In particular, French marigold repels bad nematodes.
What Not to Plant With Peppers?
While finding the right neighbors for your peppers is vital for a good harvest, so is ensuring you don’t use the wrong ones.
The wrong ones can devastate your garden by attracting unwanted insect pests or spreading diseases. Therefore, you wouldn’t want all your hard work to be undone by planting bad crops next to your peppers.
Below is a list of plants to avoid growing together with bell peppers, chillies, jalapeno, habanero, and others. These can either harm each other by competing for nutrients and/or attract pests and diseases.
- Beans (vines will choke them)
- Brussel Sprouts
- Apricot trees (spread fungus)
How to Grow Peppers
There are some general guidelines you must follow when planting and harvesting.
Peppers are all-rounder crops that are known to grow well in raised beds and in-ground gardens. Seeds are generally started in potted pans or containers and transplanted once the seedlings reach about 6 to 8 inches.
Additionally, the spacing between them is important — anywhere between 18 and 24 inches is ideal.
The use of mulch is highly recommended, as this will keep soil moisture levels under control and maintain coolness. The weight of the fruits can also affect the plant’s ability to grow, so the use of a stake or cage is recommended.
Also, ensure that these fruit-bearing shrub trees get between 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily as they rely heavily on sunshine for optimum yield. Read: 15 High Yield Vegetables and Herbs to Grow
Furthermore, peppers grow best in warm weather, so do your planting during spring and try as best as possible to avoid any frosty weather.
Pepper trees thrive with a moderate amount of water, so do not overwater them. Also, they are extremely sensitive to heat and will drop their blossoms if the time gets too hot.
Introduce natural fertilizers to the garden after the first fruit set. Additionally, fertilize regularly to ensure your plants are getting the right amount of nutrients.
A tomato fertilizer is recommended as it is high in potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus — nutrients that peppers need.
The roots are also very delicate, so be cautious when removing weeds to avoid disturbing them.
Pests and Diseases
Unfortunately, you aren’t the only one who enjoys delicious peppers.
- Pepper weevils are among the main culprits when it comes to a ruined garden.
- Another pest to be mindful of is the hornworm, which comes out at night and can leave your plants in a really bad state.
- Keep an eye out for root-knot nematodes. The roots of the plants are very delicate, so they are easy prey for the critters.
- Thrips, greenflies (aphids), beetles, and mites are some others that can cause stunted growth, leaf discoloration, and disfigured fruits.
For the most part, dealing with these pests can be done by hand or other organic methods of pest control. Horticultural soap spray, for example, is an all-rounder natural remedy to help eliminate pests.
Peppers can also suffer from several diseases — most commonly, bacterial leaf spots, southern blight, and blossom end rot. However, a simple way to dodge the bullet from these plant problems is to rotate your crops seasonally.
Depending on which type you’ve decided to grow, the harvest time varies.
Sweet peppers tend to mature within 60 to 90 days, while the spicy ones can take upwards of 150 days. However, you will know the fruit is ready for harvesting when it takes on its full color.
Always choose a pruning knife or shear over any other to detach the fruits from their stems when harvesting, all while avoiding the breakage of delicate branches.
Moreover, you can store peppers in a cool dry place for approximately two weeks before using them and they will not go bad.
However, remember to wear gloves when picking hot peppers, or you could end up burning your hands.
Utilizing herbs, vegetables, and flowers that grow well with peppers can make a huge difference in your garden.
With peppers, there are a plethora of options, as seen from the list above, which can help your patch thrive to perfection. The most common varieties grown today are bell peppers, jalapeno, shishito, ancho, chili, anaheim, and serrano.
Additionally, it is important that you keep them away from crops that will drain the life out of them or, interchangeably, have negative effects on each other’s growth. Bad companion plants can stunt growth and attract unwanted visitors, while good ones can encourage growth and deter certain pests.