This year I finally figured out how to get a successful bell pepper harvest in Redding! The trick was to grow them in a wide bed, instead of a row, at biointensive spacing. What this means is that in a 4’x4′ bed I grew 14 plants in a honeycomb pattern, with each plant only 12″ apart.
Besides the biointensive spacing, I also arched a piece of concrete mesh over the top. This created a low tunnel framework that allowed me to easily shade it during the hottest parts of the day, and kept it humid for good pollination.
Total harvest production was 15 pounds! 4.5 pounds of this was actually from 2 chile pepper plants, so 10.5 pounds were from 12 bell pepper plants. This is a huge increase over the past 4 years. In prior years, with 8-12 plants, I was only able to bring in around 2 pounds of peppers. This year, 12 plants produced 10.5 pounds, so that’s about a 5x increase.
We’ll see if I can replicate this success in my 2014 garden….I will definitely be doing the same spacing and bed configuration – but in a different spot.