root ball. Add approximately 1 inch of warmed water (to lessen any shock the plant may
receive) to the hole and firm the soil around the plant.
If there is a problem with cutworms, create a cutworm collar when planting. This is
simply a piece of paper, or a toilet roll holder which is lightly wrapped around the stem at
the point where the stem enters the soil. Cutworms are nocturnal and crawl along the soil
surface, eating stems of pepper seedlings. When they encounter the paper cuff or toilet roll
holder, they will be unable to access the stem and so are unable to damage the plant.
For high-yielding varieties, it is prudent to stake the plant to give extra support to
the plant when it becomes laden with fruit. Such staking (or tomato cages can also be used)
should be done at this time. Several canes should be used per plant. If left until later, there
is a real risk that such staking can damage and destroy the plants root system. As the plant
grows, tie the plant to the stake or cage loosely. Don't use any material for tying which may
bite or dig into the stem, which can cause the plant to fail. An excellent material to use is
old pantyhose cut in to strips - this provides the necessary strength and give required.
Depending on your climate, you may wish to have the ground covered in a manner
of different ways. If in a cooler climate, and you wish to heat the temperature of the soil, a
black plastic or fabric covering can be used. This acts to heat up the soil below and prevents
weed growth. To use this, cover the planting area with your cover of choice and then create
planting holes as required. Alternatively you should consider using mulch (clean straw etc.)
to help cool the soil and prevent excessive moisture loss from the soil. Either form of cover
will also help in preventing disease, by having a clean local environment and preventing
the fruit from touching the soil and hastening rotting of the fruit.
Similarly you may wish to place covers above your plants in warm climate areas.
While peppers enjoy sunlight and heat, they are sensitive to extremes. Therefore to lessen
the effect of sun and temperature a mobile cover or cloche can be used to protect against
Companion planting is the process of planting different crops together for the pur-
pose of increasing crop productivity. The companion plant can act in a number of differ-
ent ways to help the partner plant e.g. providing a decoy to bugs, thereby preventing dis-
ease; attracting beneficial insects; or providing shelter and shade. Peppers can benefit from
a number of companion plants, so these should be considered when planting your pepper
Beneficial companion plants for peppers include: