Bell peppers are a popular and versatile vegetable grown in many home gardens. They are a staple in many cuisines and are known for their sweet and crisp taste. Bell peppers come in a variety of colors, including green, yellow, red, orange, and purple, and are a nutritious source of vitamins and minerals.
The success of bell pepper plants depends on many factors, including proper spacing. When bell pepper plants are planted too close together, they have to fight for light, water, and nutrients, which can make the plants smaller and less productive. On the other hand, if the plants are too far apart, they can become isolated and not get enough sun.
So, how far apart should you plant bell peppers? The optimal spacing for bell peppers is 18 to 24 inches apart. This gives each plant enough room to grow and develop without having to fight for space or resources.
For this reason, if you want to be a good gardener, you need to know how much space each bell pepper plant needs. This will make sure that each plant has enough room to grow and gets the nutrients it needs to be healthy and grow well.
How Far Apart to Plant Bell Peppers and How Much Space Needed?
Bell pepper plants transplanted into the garden should be planted 12 inches apart in rows spaced 30 inches apart. If you expect large pepper plants, something like 2.5′ x 2.5′, plant them 24′′ apart in rows spaced 42′′ apart. Plant it deep enough to cover the top of the transplanted root ball with a 1/2″ of soil.
If you have large transplants, overwintered peppers, or a long growing season, give the plants more space. For more on overwintering bell peppers and how spacing affects yields, check out “How Many Bell Peppers to Expect Per Plant?“
A large transplant would be around 18′′ tall, with good side growth and a 5 month or longer growing season with nighttime temperatures not falling below 60 degrees.
If you have bell pepper seeds, the time to maturity listed on the packet is most likely the time from transplanting and assumes that the plant was grown inside for 8 weeks before being transplanted outside.
The common time to maturity for bell peppers is listed as 60–90 days, but if you’re growing from seed, you need to add 8 weeks, so it’s 120–150 days.
Bell peppers planted directly outside will not get as big as bell pepper plants that are started inside and can be planted closer. If you’re planting from seed outside, expect bell pepper plants to reach around 1.5′ x 1.5′.
Another way to plant is to put bell pepper plants 18 inches apart in every direction and stagger them in this way. If it’s not in a raised bed you can reach across, remember to add space where you can reach the plants to fertilize and do pest patrol.
How Far Apart to Plant Bell Peppers According to the Experts
|Source||Bell Peppers In-Row Spacing||Bell Peppers Space between rows|
|International Journal of Vegetable Science||12″||31.5″|
|Journal Central European Agriculture||12″||20″|
|University of Georgia Extension Service||12-16″||36-42″|
|African Journal of Agricultural Research||6″||24″|
Remember that commercial growers are all about efficiency, high plant densities, and increasing bell peppers yields by weight. They will never be growing overwintered bell pepper plants or growing bell pepper plants to a big size that isn’t efficient for them to do with a whole field.
Why It Is Importance to Provide Spacing for Bell Peppers
Proper spacing is important for bell pepper yields. Plants spaced too close together will compete for sun, nutrients, root space, and water and will not produce well. Foliage on top of foliage will invite disease. This is the same for all plants. Plants spaced too far apart waste growing space.
Corn grown in the fields will generally have one large ear per plant, but corn plants on the edge of fields will regularly have more than one ear because the extra space needed on the edge gives them increased access to water, nutrients, and sunshine.
Bell pepper plants have large fruits and come in a wide variety of different colors, making them a pretty nice ornamental plant. They are self-pollinating, so growing them in a single row in a flower bed is just fine.
If they are too sheltered from the wind, they may need a little help pollinating. Just shake the branches, swirl a paint brush inside the flower, or use this thing that resembles a vibrating toothbrush to hand pollinate and give every flower the best chance at becoming a pepper.
How Far Apart to Plant Bell Peppers In A Raised Bed
Plant bell pepper plants 12–18 inches apart in every direction. Square foot gardening, talked about below, calls for 1 bell pepper plant per square foot.
Raised bed soil temperatures warm up faster in the spring and stay about 5 degrees warmer than ground soil temperatures. This is great for warm-temperature plants like bell peppers.
Another nice thing about raised beds is that you don’t need space to walk through because you can always reach the middle of the bed. As a result, a good raised bed will always have one dimension of 4 feet or less. This feature also means no compacting of soil or trampling of plants from walking through rows.
Square Foot Gardening Plant Spacing
One of the more popular methods of intensive gardening is called square foot gardening. This involves taking a raised bed and dividing it into square foot sections. A literal grid made of wood, wire, or irrigation hose is used to physically create the square-foot sections.
This method commonly uses “interplanting,” or planting assorted vegetables in one bed. This helps control pests and keeps them from destroying a whole bed of plants that are all the same kind.
Square-foot gardening leads to more efficient use of space because you know exactly how much space is available and what you can do with it. If you notice an empty square foot block, you can fill it with plant spacing guidelines. You can disregard the recommended space between rows.
|Plant||# of Plants Per Square||Space Between Rows|
|Baby Leaf Spinach||32||N/A|
|Melon||2 squares per plant||N/A|
Here’s a calculator from the University of Minnesota that will help you figure out how many plants to put in each square foot.
How Many Bell Pepper Plants Per Container
The number of bell pepper plants per container depends on the size of the container and the variety of bell pepper. In general, you can plant one pepper plant in a 5-gallon pot, and depending on their size, you can plant two or three peppers in a larger pot. Some more compact varieties may work best with three plants in a 14″ pot.
Bell pepper plants should have 5 gallons of dirt apiece to grow. If you use a large container, you can plant multiple bell pepper plants per container.
A nice thing about planting bell peppers in individual containers is the ease of maneuverability and the option to overwinter the pepper plants in the pot they are in. When the bell pepper plants break dormancy in the spring of their second growing season, they will likely need a bigger pot.
Planting Bell Peppers in a Garden Plot
You have many options for planting bell peppers in the garden. Judge what size you think the plants will grow to by assessing how long of a growing season you have left and the size of the transplants.
Plant the bell pepper transplants in rows 18′′ to 36′′ apart and 12′′ to 36′′ apart. Or plant bell peppers 18 inches apart in every direction. Plant the root ball 1/2 inch under the soil.
You should only be directly sowing bell pepper seeds into the ground if you have a long growing season of 5 months of weather with average lows above 60 degrees.
Soil temperatures should be 60 degrees or higher for bell pepper seeds to germinate. A cheap soil thermometer looks just like a meat thermometer but measures down to lower temperatures.
How Deep to Plant Bell Pepper Seeds
Plant bell pepper seeds in holes 1/2 inch deep outside or in pots, and 1/4 inch deep in starter pots planted inside.
Water the seeds after planting to ensure that they have enough moisture to germinate and to keep them from blowing away.
In conclusion, planting bell peppers with the proper amount of space is crucial for their growth and health. Spacing bell peppers 18–24 inches apart provides each plant with the room it needs to grow and develop without competition for resources. This helps make sure that each plant gets enough light, air flow, and water, which helps them grow well and makes them more productive.
Also, to get the best results, it’s important to follow the spacing instructions on the seed packet or plant label. This gives the most accurate spacing suggestions because it takes into account any special growing conditions for the type of bell pepper being grown.
Overall, proper spacing is one of the most important parts of growing bell peppers. If gardeners follow the guidelines, they can grow healthy, productive plants that will produce a lot of peppers.