Peppers do not compete well with weeds. More than 150 types of weeds harbor insect-transmitted viruses that can harm peppers. Weeds often grow faster than peppers and can cut off sunlight, while stealing nutrients and moisture from the soil. They are also unsightly and produce seeds that will sprout in the garden the following year.
If the garden is mulched properly, weeds will not be a big problem, but vigilance is always necessary in a pepper garden. Some species of weeds grow right next to the pepper stem and will be difficult to see under the canopy of leaves. Some weeds, such as Bermuda grass and bindweed, can invade the garden from other parts of the yard, cross over the top of the mulch, and sometimes establish themselves next to pepper plants.
Gardeners should take pride in their pepper patch and remove weeds by hand, because hoes and shovels can damage leaves, stems, and the roots of peppers grown on ridges. Herbicides need not ever be used in the home garden, although some commercial growers need them.
This post was excerpted from our Maximizing Your Pepper Pod Yield over at fieryfoodscentral.com. You’ll find a wealth of information on pepper gardening there to get the most out of your garden.
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