Growing peppers in a Topsy Turvy strawberry planter

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I made a little discovery last year and that is that peppers really don’t need a lot of room to grow, require soil a little warmer than it normally gets around here, and do not mind getting a little dry between watering.  This seems like great characteristics to grow peppers in vertical containers.  With this in mind at the end of last year I picked up a couple of Topsy Turvey Strawberry Planters at over 50% off when the season was well over.  Topsy Turvey does make hanging pepper plant containers but I chose the strawberry planters instead for two main reasons; first they normally sell for a few dollars cheaper.  Second, they are much larger and make better use of more vertical space and I can plant at least 18 pepper plants in each one.

        

For my mix I started with your typical soil mix and then amended it with perlite at a ratio of 3 parts potting soil and 1 part perlite.  I also added a cup of bone meal to since it much easier to add now then in a couple months when they really will need it.

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As you can see from this shot there is plenty of room for these peppers to spread out and should have enough root space for some decent yields

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I then filled up the hanging container until it was filled up to the bottom most hole.

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Next I carefully placed my pepper plants into the wholes than reached in from the inside and provided just a little bit of pressure to pack the soil enough to keep the plant secure in place.  I repeated this process for the 11 other pepper plants I had ready to plant.

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Finally my assistant and I poured in about a liter of water (soil was already a bit wet putting it in) and admired our work.  With some strange bit of crazy luck we actually started having some great weather after we planted these and hung them up.  So you can thank me Pacific Northwest…

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As you can also see from the picture above I still have 6 more holes to add some more pepper plants which I have plenty in my grow box which I am allowing to mature a little longer.  I will plan on providing updates on this post as highlights with this experiment develop.

RESULTS

After a cold summer weather we finally have had a good month of good weather with what appears to be at least another week of sunshine coming.  This has been great for the peppers in the strawberry planter.

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In this planter I have 18 pepper plants, even with the cold spring/summer they all survived and are now thriving on the top part of the plant I have hot peppers (cayenne) and on the lower half I have sweet peppers.  All that was required on maintenance was watering every few days where I also rotated about a quarter turn to get even sunlight on all of the plants.

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As these pepper on the plants ripen more I plan on making some cayenne pepper and some paprika (possible some smoked paprika as well) from the sweet peppers.  Overall I have been very impressed with the results of this little experiment and plant to grow more peppers using this method next year.

13 Responses to “Growing peppers in a Topsy Turvy strawberry planter”

  1. Red Icculus Says:

    I actually put a tree tomato in mine because I ran out of regular pots. Thanks for the great ideas!


  2. Tommy - Vegetable Gardening Today Says:

    Growing peppers in these grow bags is a great idea. Like tomatoes, pepper plants grow best in warm soil.

    I am very interested in your results this season. Extreme changes in soil moisture can lead to blossom end rot in peppers as well as tomatoes.

    Thanks for the great pictures and good luck!

    Tommy


  3. Mick Says:

    I am growing peppers indoors, using the topsy turvy, and doubling the use of the turtles heat lamp (125 watt)by suspending it above the tank. I am a newbie, any advice?


  4. Wooden Greenhouse Guy Says:

    Fantastic idea, id love to see what they’ll look like once the peppers begin to flower and eventually fruit. Inspirational!


  5. DianeH Says:

    How are your peppers doing outdoors? I’m in Seattle too and haven’t dared set out the peppers since my books say they can’t handle night temps below 50. They will go into buckets in an unheated green house, which doesn’t hold much warmth at night.


  6. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    DianeH, the peppers are surviving and starting to grow up towards the sky. Just for full disclosure, I only used about 1/4 of my pepper plants for this experiment. Once these plants appear to be pretty happy in their environment I will move out some more (same idea for tomatoes)


  7. Jack Says:

    I have been doing topsy turvies with tomatoes out the bottom and peppers out the top for the previous 2 years. They work excellent. This year I did buy strawberry and pepper turvies. All are doing very good but I have to say the big peppers (bell) are very crowded and causing deformed shapes. Taste great but tough to stuff. All the banana peppers are simply awesome.


  8. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    […] far my peppers in the Topsy Turvy strawberry planter appears to be a success.  Even with the cold wet summer we have been having plants have […]


  9. Allison Says:

    I am recently moved to Chicago and I am trying to plan WAY ahead for next spring. I have a very small deck and thought I could possibly grown a number of things in these plant hangers (that I wanted to find on sale now). Do you have any suggestions of what else could grow in these?


  10. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    I have seen people growing herbs in them, pretty much anything that works in containers can do great in these. Though any water loving plants would take a little extra care since these can dry out pretty quickly as temps and winds rise.


  11. Rob Says:

    Thanks for the post! I was wondering about these particular topsy turvy planters and whether they are worth the price to grow other things than strawberries!


  12. Nate Says:

    Hey I am in AZ growing all kinds of peppers from bell peppers to jalepenos, they are even growing great shaded partially throughout the day here even though its hot! as for the few strawberries i had didnt last like the peppers


  13. Dennis Dickinson Says:

    We grew two varieties of hot peppers this year in containers on our terrace in NYC. We bought the young plants from the pepper lady in Union Square. The plants grew beautifully and produced lots of beautiful looking peppers. However they had very little flavor and no heat at all. What went wrong?


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