Pepper plants on raised beds spaced the usually recommended 16 to 24
inches apart undergo intense root competition even before their
leaves form a canopy. With or without unlimited irrigation, the
plants will get much larger and bear more heavily with elbow room.
_Sowing date:_ Set out transplants at the usual time. Double dig a
few square feet of soil beneath each seedling, and make sure
fertilizer gets incorporated all the way down to 2 feet deep.
_Spacing:_ Three feet apart in rows 3 to 4 feet apart.
_Irrigation:_ Without any irrigation only the most vigorous,
small-fruited varieties will set anything. For an abundant harvest,
fertigate every three or four weeks. For the biggest pepper plants
you ever grew, fertigate every two weeks.
_Varieties:_ The small-fruited types, both hot and sweet, have much
more aggressive root systems and generally adapt better to our
region's cool weather. I've had best results with Cayenne Long Slim,
Gypsie, Surefire, Hot Portugal, the "cherries" both sweet and hot,
Italian Sweet, and Petite Sirah.

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