Tips for Transplanting Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are warm weather plants that need a solid 8 hours of sunlight to produce fruit in the garden. Wait until the last chance of frost before trying to move this type of vegetable from indoor pots to your garden. If you transplant too early, you may need to cover your plants with fabric to keep them from freezing during a late frost.
Get the Garden Ready
You want to transplant your bell pepper plants quickly, so take steps to prepare. Fertilize and water the soil, and loosen the garden topsoil to a depth of 12 inches before transplanting the bell peppers.
Transplant When It’s Cool Outside
Choose a cloudy day, or wait until evening when things cool down. This will lessen the chance of the bell peppers going into shock from too much heat exposure and lack of water. Transplanting vegetables during the heat of the day can cause the plants to wilt and die.
When you plot out your garden, remember to leave enough space between the bell peppers and other vegetable plants to allow for the growth that will occur during the warm months. Overcrowding makes your plants more susceptible to disease and causes them to produce less fruit.
Avoid Disturbing the Root Ball
Transplanting vegetables always disturbs the roots to some degree. If you are transplanting bell peppers from a pot, you may loosen up the soil around the roots some, but otherwise, try to avoid disturbing the root ball as much as possible. If the root ball is disturbed, the plant may go into shock and become less likely to produce fruit.
Gentle is the Key
Hold the plant very gently when removing it from the pot. Avoid bending or breaking off the stems, flowers or any budding fruit. Dig the hole for the roots and soil first, so that when you remove the bell peppers from the pots you can place the plant directly into the soil.
Cover the roots with fresh garden soil, and add water so the soil is moist. You may also want to place some fresh fertilizer around the plant to discourage weeds from growing. Be careful not to give the roots too much nitrogen—this will make your plant grow bushy and leafy, but it won’t produce too many bell peppers.