How to Plant a Chile-Pepper Garden

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on April 16, 2016

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This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook helps a homeowner build and plant a raised-bed chile-pepper garden. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

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Shopping List for How to Plant a Chile-Pepper Garden:
– Redwood 2x10s and 2x4s, for raised-bed frame
– 3-inch deck screws
– Sandy loam and compost, mixed to create planting soil
– Drip-irrigation system, to water planting bed
– Alfalfa hay mulch, for covering the bare soil
– Pine-bark mulch, to cover the ground around the outside of the raised bed

Tools List for How to Plant a Chile-Pepper Garden:
– Garden rake
– Shovel
– Cordless drill
– Wheelbarrow
– Three-tine cultivator, to dig planting holes

Steps for How to Plant a Chile-Pepper Garden:
1. Remove the gravel to expose an area of ground that's at least 4 feet larger than the proposed raised bed.
2. Build the raised-bed planter using redwood 2x10s.
3. Fasten the frame together with 3-inch deck screws.
4. Install vertical 2×4 supports to the inside of the bottom frame. Space the supports 2 feet apart, then add a second 2×10 frame to create an 18 1/2-inch-tall raised bed.
5. Fill the bed to within 3 inches of the top with a mixture of sandy loam and compost.
6. Rake the soil smooth, then install a drip-irrigation system. Space the drip-tape strips about 12 inches apart, and extend them the entire length of the raised bed.
7. Use a cultivator to dig a hole for each chili plant deep enough to bury the entire root ball.
8. Space the plants 12 inches apart, and build up a mound of soil around the base of each plant.
9. Also plant tomatoes and basil in the raised bed.
10. Immediately after planting the last plant turn on the water to the drip irrigation system.
11. Spread 2 inches of alfalfa hay mulch over the bare soil between the plants.
12. Cover the ground around the outside of the raised bed with 3 inches of pine-bark mulch.

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