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Can You Grow Bell Peppers in a Garage?
You have to just love the vibrant colors of bell peppers in salads or salsa. The fact that bell peppers are low in calories and high in nutrients is an added bonus. It would be a great idea to grow bell peppers indoors, but can you grow bell peppers in your garage?
You can grow bell peppers in the garage under grow lights. Plant the seeds in seed cells of a seed starter tray. Transplant it to a larger pot after 2 – 3 weeks. Another repotting to a 5 gallon container will be needed after 8 – 12 weeks.
How to Grow Bell Peppers in a Garage?
Get Seedling Starter Trays
You need to start by planting the Bell Pepper seeds in seed cells of seedling trays. You can order them online from Amazon. They are not too expensive and are super convenient.
Each tray has 6 to 12 seed cells that are around 1 ½ “ – 2” on each side (length, width & depth). They already have holes at the bottom and another tray to catch the drainage water. A lid is also provided.
Alternatively you can reuse some waste household items such as small plastic cups or empty egg cartons.
If using plastic cups, punch holes in one cup and place it inside another without any holes to catch the drainage water.
Buy Seed Starting Potting Mix
Buy a good quality seed starting mix such as Miracle-Gro Seed Starting Potting Mix. Open the pouch and pour the mix in a large plastic tub or bucket. Add water and knead with your hands or mix with a trowel.
Keep adding water and kneading (troweling) till all the water is completely absorbed. Make sure that the seed starting mix is moist but not wet or soggy.
Fill a little more than ¾ th of each seed cell in the seed starting kit and lightly press the potting mix with your thumb.
Planting the Bell Pepper Seeds
Plant one seed per seed cell or cup if the diameter is 2 inches or less. For a larger cup you may use two or three seeds, but space them apart.
Push down the seed with your finger so that it is buried about a ¼ “ in the potting mix. Cover up the seed with potting mix and press lightly. Sprinkle water over all the seeds planted.
Put on the lid of the seed starting tray kit. In case you are using plastic cups, cover them with cling wrap or ziploc. The idea is to contain the moisture & heat to help in the germination process.
Place the trays or the cups in a warm area of your garage. You can even use heat pads below the trays if your garage is too cold.
Seed Germination Process
Depending on the variety and the conditions in your garage, the bell pepper seeds should germinate in 3 – 8 days. Make sure to keep the potting mix moist (not soggy) at all times during this process. and germination takes place.
Once you see the first signs of germination, remove the plastic cover and place the seedling trays under grow lights. Bell pepper seedlings need a lot of light. The normal light in the garage will certainly not be enough.
In 2 – 3 weeks time, from the planting of the seeds, the bell pepper seedlings will be 2” – 3” tall and will have 2 – 3 sets of true leaves.
NOTE: The first 2 leaves (cotyledons) are not true leaves.
It is now time to transplant the bell pepper plant to a bigger pot. It needs more space, water and nutrients to grow. The pot for the first repotting should be around 3 ½ “ – 5” on each side (length, width & depth).
Fill this new container with the potting mix just as you filled the seed cells of the seed starting tray. Fill the potting mix up to 1” below the top rim of the pot. Make a hole in the center with your fingers, that will be able to accommodate the plant along with all its roots and potting mix.
Loosen the bell pepper seedling from the seed cell by gently massaging the sides of each cell. When the earth is loose, invert the tray and gently ease out the young plant. Make sure not to lose any roots or attached potting mix.
Place it in the hole that you had made in the bigger pot. Pour some more potting mix to stabilize the plant. Water the roots and place the pot under grow lights.
In 8 – 12 weeks after seed planting, the bell pepper plant will start to outgrow the pot you used for first repotting. Now it is time to give them their final pot where they can grow and be harvested.
The ideal pot size at this point in time is a 5 gallon pot. A 5 gallon plastic bucket works just fine as it is easy to move.
The process of repotting the second time is pretty much the same as the first time. After repotting make sure to fertilize and water the bell pepper plant regularly. Keep them under grow lights and wait for the plant to mature and bear fruit.
Bell Peppers Need Lots of Light
Pepper plants need 6 – 8 hours of natural sunlight to grow. As this is not usually possible in a garage the best alternative is to grow bell peppers under grow lights.
Both LED grow lights and T5 Fluorescent grow lights are pretty effective. So you can opt for any. For a comparison click on What Is the Best Lighting for a Greenhouse?
My recommendations are:
LED GROW LIGHTS
FLUORESCENT GROW LIGHTS
Providing Sufficient Nutrition
In addition to light and water the Bell Pepper plants need sufficient nutrition in the form of correctly formulated fertilizer at different stages.
A good option is to go for Fox Farm Liquid Plant Fertilizer: Big Bloom, Grow Big, Tiger Bloom (Pack of 3).
You can consider including bell peppers in your list of vegetables to grow in the garage. Of course bell peppers must be grown indoors under grow lights as they need a lot of light to grow and mature.
Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and useful.