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How to Grow Peppers Outdoors

I wanted to grow peppers outdoors in my cottage garden this year. Here are my results!

Grow peppers outdoors, a crate filled with peppers.

I harvested plenty of peppers from my cottage garden now in September. This article is about how to succeed when you grow peppers outdoors in your own garden!


I know that having to prepare and freeze large batches of peppers is kind of a luxury problem. We usually get a lot of them every year, but I rarely get to harvest so many of them outdoors. These peppers come from my little cottage garden on Oak Hill where they have been growing slowly but surely all summer. Now it's time to harvest the biggest batch! Keep reading to learn how to grow peppers outdoors.


More about peppers: Tomato shaped peppers


Grow peppers outdoors, a bed with a braided edge.

This is what my bed looked like in early summer. The compost has started to shrink a little and there's a drip irrigation system on the bed too.


Where I grew them

I created this little growing space in April. It's made up of a braided frame that I filled with straw, horse manure, wool and grass clippings. This is where I put the pepper seedlings that I started indoors in January. They developed flowers during spring.

A lot of people have been scratching their heads when they see what's growing in this bed. It looks like peppers of course, but can you really grow them outside just like that in zone 3? And on top of that, in a windswept garden on top of a rocky hill?

Well, yes!

If you live in a colder climate, you might not be able to grow just any kind of peppers outdoors though. You have to pick the right variety. Most pepper varieties take quite a long time to grow and develop ripe fruits. The varieties I get locally have usually been tried out here in Sweden, so I know that it should work at least in a polytunnel. But outdoors in these conditions? I wasn't sure!


Read more: How to ripen peppers indoors


Grow peppers outdoors, close-up of a green pepper.

It takes a while to grow peppers outdoors. The peppers themselves are produced shorty after the plants flower (as long as the flowers are pollinated, that is), but then they grow slowly. They stay green for a long time and then go red (or another color) later.


If you want to grow peppers outdoors, then I recommend using a variety that develops quickly to start with. That way, you don't need a very long and warm season to succeed with your peppers. Try to find more information about which varieties might suit you and your conditions from a local seed company.

I'm growing the varieties Lipstick and King of the North. Both of these varieties can be grown outdoors. Lipstick produces pointy peppers and King of the North looks more like a regular bell pepper from the supermarket. It might not be as round though, since the outdoor conditions can change the shape.


More about growing in September: Fall in my Swedish kitchen garden


Spring was quite cold this year, but I'm happy to say that the peppers developed really nicely anyway. I was able to start harvesting the first peppers in late July, and then I got a few ones in August. Most of them came now in September though! I'm trying to ripen the last peppers indoors. It works really well in most cases. But not all of them ripen of course.


En röd paprika med spetsig ände hålls i en hand.

The Lipstick variety produces lovely red and pointy peppers.


En back röd paprika bredvid gröna plantor.

I'm so happy about this year's peppers! I'm going to make oven-baked stuffed peppers soon. It's so incredibly good!


Grow Peppers Outdoors

  • pick a sunny spot
  • make sure that the soil is well-fertilized
  • don't let the plants dry out
  • mulch to add more nutrients and moist to your bed
  • insects take care of the pollination


Do you want to grow peppers outdoors too? This is my first time doing it and I feel like the results are too good not to try it again. The best thing we can do to succed is to prepare the soil with mulch already now! Good luck!
/Sara Bäckmo

30. September 2020