Single Packet of 100 Seeds
The sweet banana pepper is a favorite of gardener's because of its reputation as easy to grow and plentiful in its yield. With planting season just around the corner, you're probably trying to narrow down what veggies you'd like to grow in your garden this year. If you've never tried growing the sweet banana pepper, now is the perfect time.
A common misconception about peppers in general is that they're hot. While this is true of some, including the hot banana pepper, the sweet banana pepper is perfect for those with a heat-sensitive palette. Its flavor is mild, subtly sweet and tangy. Delicious as an additive to chili, spaghetti sauce, and stir-fries, they're also enjoyable sliced up and eaten raw, pickled, or in a sandwich. An added bonus to their mild flavor that makes them so easy to use in a variety of foods are the health benefits they provide. Not only are they low in calories and rich in fiber, they contain a full range of vitamins and minerals that protect against a number of ailments, including arthritis and cancer causing free radicals.
Long and slender with the waxy shell typical of most peppers, sweet banana peppers are usually yellow; however, it's possible for them to turn orange, red, or greed depending on their stage of ripeness. Typically, the peppers grow to about 6 inches long. They also don't contain too many seeds which makes them very easy to prepare.
As a plant, it is rather compact, growing only about 24 to 30 inches tall. It produces little white, star-shaped flowers prior to the peppers. Because of its compact and easy to maintain size, not only is it simple to care for in a garden, it makes the perfect veggie to grow in a container. For those who love growing their own produce but can't for lack of space, sweet banana peppers work wonderfully in containers on a deck or patio.
Common pests for the sweet banana pepper are aphids, slugs, beetles and caterpillars. Aphids can be sprayed off the plants with water. For heavy infestations, insecticidal soap is recommended. The other pests, like the slugs, beetles and caterpillars, can be removed by hand. To avoid causing disease, water the plants from the bottom as opposed to the top so the soil is what's getting wet, not the plants.
Once you get your sweet banana peppers going, you can expect to enjoy your first harvest after about 65 days. Remove the peppers as you need them with clippers, leaving a little stem on them. Just make sure they are getting the heat and the water they need, and your plants will yield peppers the entire growing season.
Sowing The Seed
Peppers are best started indoors, in a controlled environment, 6 to 8 weeks prior to the last frost. To prevent root shock, sow your seeds in peat pots, at a depth of 1/4” under topsoil. Transplant when the weather is warm and the plants are about 1 foot tall. Stakes can be used to support your young plants, to ensure proper growth. Check below for additional info on spacing & growth habits.
Pepper plants will thrive in the heat of summer, so they should receive full sunlight for the majority of the day, with temperatures of at least 75F or more. A soil that is rich in organic matter is best, with a pH level of at least 6.2 and 7.0. Also make sure that your sowing medium is well drained, or your plants can wilt due to being waterlogged. Water your pepper seeds daily to provide them with ample amounts of moisture until germination has occurred.
Germination & Growth
Pepper seeds typically take anywhere between 14 to 28 days to germinate. After your seedlings start to grow, they will mature to an estimated height of roughly 24 to 30 inches tall. On average, Pepper plants can be spaced 18 to 24 inches apart from one another, in rows spaced 18 inches apart. These plants do very well when grown directly in the garden, or in large pots and containers as well.