Choosing the right companion plants for your hot and sweet peppers can be a rewarding experience. With the right guidance and some dedication, you could be harvesting your very own freshly grown peppers without the problems some farmers face.
When pairing the right companion plants on your farm, the benefits are well worth the work. Companion planting enriches the soil for maximum yield, encourages cross-pollination, and deters pests.
When selecting which plants to put alongside sweet or hot peppers, it is important to remember that they are closely related to the nightshade family. Pairing them with other plants from this family is a good idea.
Besides, peppers, with their spectacular colors, not only add to the beauty of your garden but also bring life to your cooking. With the vast varieties and different types of peppers, you will never lose interest.
Helpful Pepper Companion Plants
The perks of having the right companion plants far outweigh the cons of not having them.
Pairing vegetables together can help eliminate nasty chemicals and is a far more organic approach to growing a thriving garden than many conventional techniques.
Companions can also be a protection against pests that love to munch on your veggies.
This list of pepper companion neighbors will help your peppers thrive.
- Basil (enhances 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)
What Not to Plant With Peppers?
While finding the right plant companion for your peppers is vital for a good harvest, so is ensuring you don’t use the wrong ones.
You wouldn’t want all your hard work to be undone by planting the wrong companions with your peppers.
Here is a list of plants to avoid growing together with your pepper plants — sweet or hot. When companion planting peppers, there are bad neighbors that, 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
Some general guidelines need to be followed when planting and harvesting peppers.
Peppers are all-rounder crops that are known to grow well in raised beds and in-ground gardens.
Pepper seeds are generally started in potted pans or containers and transplanted once the seedlings reach about 6 to 8 inches. 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 pepper can affect its ability to grow so the use of a stake or cage is recommended.
Ensure that your fruit-bearing shrub trees get between 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily as they rely heavily on sunshine for optimum yield.
Peppers grow best in warm weather, so do your planting during spring and try and best as possible to avoid any frosty weather.
Peppers need to remain moist to grow, but make sure not to overwater them. They are extremely sensitive to heat so keep your environment in mind when deciding on how often to water them.
Introduce natural fertilizers to the garden after the first fruit set, then use regularly to ensure your peppers 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 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 pepper garden.
- Another pest to be mindful of is the pepper hornworm, which comes out at nights and can leave your peppers in a really bad state.
- Keep an eye out for root-knot nematodes. The roots of peppers are very delicate, so they are easy prey for them.
- 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 that can help you bypass the use of harmful chemicals. Horticultural soap spray, for example, is an all-round natural remedy to help eliminate pests.
Peppers can suffer from several diseases —most commonly, bacterial leaf spots, southern blight, and blossom end rot. A simple way to dodge the bullet from these plant problems is to rotate your crops seasonally.
Again, good companion plants for hot peppers and sweet can help in this area.
Depending on which type of pepper 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 pepper is ready for harvesting when it takes on its full color.
Always choose a pruning knife or shear over any other to detach the peppers from their stems when harvesting, all while avoiding the breakage of delicate branches.
Peppers can be stored in a cool dry place for approximately two weeks before using them, and they will not go bad. Remember to wear gloves when picking hot peppers, or you could be spicing up your hands a little too much.
Utilizing compatible companion plants 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.
It is also important that you keep pepper plants away from others that will drain the life out of them or, interchangeably, have negative effects on each other’s growth.
Bad companion plants can damage the soil and attract unwanted visitors, while good companions can encourage growth, deter pests, and lessen labor.