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