Here we will share some tips
and tricks that we've learned through experience and knowledge and
sometimes a little luck.
USING FLOWER BOXES
1) This is the planter box style
you will need. We generally use a 36" box, however we mix in some 30"
boxes like this one and have a 48" or two.
These are often called flower
boxes. The planters should have three drainage holes; one on the
left and right side, and one in the middle. We begin filling the
planter almost to the top with a soil mixture as described below.
Since we use over 500 lbs of dirt each season, we double it at
If you click on the picture,
you'll see a secret. Yep, we even use these for germinating seeds.
Nurseries and garden centers just throw these out and they make
great germination pods.
We usually use the following ratio of soil types
3-40 lb. bags of top soil
2-40 lb. bags of potting soil
1-40 lb. bag of mushroom compost
Be careful how many flower boxes you puzzle together.
Their weight adds up quickly on decks or railings. A 36" planter box
can weigh in excess of 25 lbs. and tree planters can weigh over 75
lbs. If you're placing them on a surface that may be stained
such as wood, we recommended purchasing drip trays and/or an
artificial grass mat to help absorb any spill off.
Most planter boxes come with
straps that help the flower box maintain it's shape as the dirt
settles, we suggest you use them, but don't use them as handles. You
can also use nylon clothes line tied around the middle if the
planter boxes don't come with them. Don't use cotton kite string, it
will break in a few weeks.
As an alternative to the
horizontal flower boxes, you can also use large tree planters. We have 2-20", 2-24" and one 30" diameter planters that
get filled with peppers and tomatoes. In
one of them we grow Sweet 1000 Tomatoes. The tomato planter generally
has about15 plants which will produce well over 1000 marble-sized
tomatoes. We usually have about 10-30 pepper plants in the other
planters depending on the pepper type and the planter size.
We've found it best to put small
pepper yielding plants in the tree planters. If you want to put
medium sized peppers, I'd say 10 maximum. For large bell types, no
more than 3 and that's a waste or space. A single bell pepper will
do nicely in a 1 gallon container, but better in a three gallon one. Below is an example of one of
Notice how we group the plants into clusters of five. The
picture to the right is the same planter 6 weeks later and it was
still producing. At the time of the picture, that particular tree
planter of Tepíns had already produced over 800 peppers.
PLANTING IN FLOWER BOXES
The number planted depends on the type of pepper you are growing.
Below are some examples of a few peppers generally planted in our garden. As a general rule, the larger the pepper you grow, the more
space it needs to grow properly. Being in containers, most of the
plants don't really achieve their full potential but that is OK.
Remember we are growing a small space garden and not a farm. The
idea of compacting the plants together is needed for two
reasons; The first reason is to maximize the number of plants, and
the second is to control their growth. If you have a very small
space then this is the key. Flower boxes fit together very nicely in
a small space. Our garden is only 6' x 13' and we incorporate an
average of 200 plants for just over 4 plants per square foot. Here
is a picture of 9 Super Chili plants in a 36" planter. These
seedlings are about 11 weeks old and were grown over-winter
|Bell/Very Large peppers as such as Large
Finger Hot and Bell's (All varieties) don't do as well in the
shallow horizontal flower boxes as they do in larger containers with
12" of depth minimum. One plant in a 1 gallon container will do
quite well though.
Cluster of Robustini's
A Bucket of Bell Peppers
|Larger pepper varieties such as the larger
Red Chili, Anaheim and Hot Yellow, shouldn't have more than 8,
preferably 6, in a 36" flower box.
|Medium sized peppers such as Jalapeno,
Habanero and Serrano, can go up to10 in a single flower box, but
have found that 8 is a better number. Notice the close proximity of
Here is a nice shot of 4 different kinds of Habanero plants in order of
the hottest down.
Caribbean (red savina), Chocolate (brown), Scotch Bonnet (not yet ripe
lower right), and Orange Habanero (Orange)
|Small sized peppers such as Chili, Pods
and Cayenne can be as high as 10, but 8 is a better number. Small
peppers tend to be bushier and more squat than the larger varieties
so make sure they're not in the shade of taller plants. we've
found that these love the bigger tree planters and you can put a
crap load in them.
A Horde of ripe Tabasco Peppers
A cluster of our own hybrid. FC-WH08
Here's our greenhouse
for the seeds where it all starts. We use 2-4' dual
fixture fluorescent lights above the seeds for the garden. We've
find that cool white spectrum bulbs do fine, but use 40 watt 6500K
daylight bulbs instead they're a bit more expensive but are better
for indoor growing. There's no need for heating pads for us to warm the
soil since as it so happens the hot water pipes for our radiator
heating run right underneath and keep the soil at a nice 80 degrees Fahrenheit
is nice for germination. Here's our Germination
Tip Page if you need a little help. We will be adding pictures
on the tip page shortly so check back soon.
Webmaster and Designer Jeff Byrd
Copyright © 2009
[Jeff Byrd and JB Holdings] All rights reserved.
Revised: June 07, 2009