Without a doubt! Without pepper cages or stakes, you may be putting your peppers in jeopardy. Pepper plants need support, especially when they are holding lots of fruit. Although pepper plants are strong, they are susceptible to blowing over in high winds and thunderstorms. If the fruit sits on the ground, it will be more likely to develop diseases and rot quickly.
Click here for more information about pepper plant diseases.
There are two main ways to support your pepper plants - pepper cages or stakes...
Cages come in a variety of styles and are just shorter versions of tomato cages. The cages should be well secured to the ground to avoid being blown over. The cages need to be 12-18 inches in diameter and 3 feet tall. They should be installed when the plants reach 8-12 inches in height. Cages are available at your local garden shop or hardware store. When installing cages, be sure not to damage the root system of your plants when securing the cages to the ground.
Pepper stakes are also a good option to support your pepper plants. They can be made of metal or wood. Stakes should be driven into the ground 3-4 inches to the side of the plant. One stake is used per plant. The plant is secured to the stake using an elastic type material that will flex as the plant grows. Old nylons or thin bungee cords work nicely. If you use rope or wire ties, they will probably choke off or sever the stem as the plant grows. Add additional ties for every foot in height the plant grows. If you use wood stakes, make sure they are 1 inch in diameter and 4 feet long. Avoid using chemically treated wood. Drive the stake one foot into the ground to ensure it won't blow over. If you choose to use metal stakes, concrete rebar works well. Again, drive the stakes one foot into the ground to be sure they will support the weight of the plant and won't blow over in high winds.
Using pepper cages or stakes will allow your pepper plants to produce high quality and high quantities of fruit. Without the support of cages or stakes, you may be risking your entire pepper crop.
Click here to learn about watering pepper plants
Click here for information about harvesting peppers
Click here to learn about fertilizing your pepper plants
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