Growing Hot Peppers from Seed: My Soil Mix for growing hot and superhot peppers
I have been using this very basic mixture now for many seasons for growing peppers. My land had terrible soil, its pure yellow clay that ranges from rock hard to a sticky glue like substance all within about 40 feet. For various reasons, I have not even tried to till the ground where my main pepper patch is, and have not had the time or resources to build raised beds but plan to in the future. My solution for now is to dig a small hole about 8 - 12" in diameter with post hole diggers and about 15 to 18 inches deep. I then fill it with this mix and they have done very well for me with this technique. No need to change as they have been great and this is cheap and pretty simple and provides me some good exercise.
Here's the ingredients:
2/3 of a 2.2 cu foot bail of peat moss, so around 1.5 cu feet.
2 - .75 cu ft bags of top soil
2 - .75 cu ft bags of composted manure
about 2 cups of pelletized limestone
about 2 to 4 cups of pelletized gypsum .
Pretty simple, I just mix all of these up and fill the holes. This could also be used in containers, but I would definitely add perlite in that case and possibly a little more ratio of peat moss to lighten it up a bit more. The gypsum along with the limestone also add calcium which is essential to help keep blossom end rot away.
Here is what the mix looks like when its done.
When I plant the peppers I add a few basic items for some feed. I add a tablespoon or 2 of an organic granular fertilizer formulated for tomatoes as they are similar in needs. I normally use Jobe's brand or Tomato Tone. I also add about a tablespoon of bonemeal and another tablespoon or 2 of gypsum. This is all I do. Sometimes I do some supplemental feeding with a similar waterbased fertilizer after a few months, but some seasons I have not had a chance to even do that. After planting the plants I do add a generous sprinkle of superhot pepper powder that I make from the previous season. We have a large population of racoons in the area and its quite common for them to dig up plants in the first few weeks after planting them. This pepper powder helps limit that some. I suspect they are smelling the organic fertilizers and thinking there is something buried there.
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