We live in Alberta! We know what conditions we’re up against when we head into gardening season.
Edmonton, Alberta, is located in zone 3a, which is characterized by cold winters and a short growing season. Despite these challenges, it is possible to grow peppers in this zone with the right techniques and care.
Our Salisbury Garden Experts have shared some tips for growing peppers in the Edmonton, Alberta zone that will help you, hopefully, achieve a successful harvest.
Step 1: Choosing the Right Pepper Varieties
Peppers that are suited to cooler climates are best for the Edmonton, Alberta zone. Some varieties that are known to do well in this zone include:
- Bell peppers: These are sweet, mild peppers that come in a variety of colors, including green, red, yellow, and orange.
*Did you know: bell pepper colours all come from the same plant species, but they are at different stages of ripeness.
Green bell peppers are simply unripe, while red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are more mature and have been allowed to ripen longer on the vine. The color of a bell pepper can affect its taste and nutritional content, with the red, yellow, and orange varieties generally being sweeter and more nutritious than their green counterparts.
- Anaheim peppers: These are mild to medium-hot peppers that are often used in Mexican cuisine.
- Poblano peppers: These are mild to medium-hot peppers that are commonly used in Mexican cuisine.
Step 2: Preparing the Soil
Peppers prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Before planting, prepare the soil by adding compost or using an organic, vegetable and herb soil mix from Salisbury. This will help improve the soil’s structure and fertility. Additionally, consider adding a layer of mulch around the plants to help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.
Step 3: Planting Peppers
Peppers can be grown from seed or transplants. If starting from seed, start them indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost date. Transplants can be planted outdoors after the last frost date, which is typically around May 21st in the Edmonton, Alberta area.
Tip: Peppers prefer warm soil, so wait until the soil temperature is at least 15°C before planting.
Step 4: Watering and Fertilizing Peppers
Peppers need regular watering, especially during dry periods. Water deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather conditions. Peppers also benefit from regular fertilization. Use a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks, or as directed on the package. However, be cautious not to over-fertilize, as this can cause the plants to produce too much foliage.
Step 5: Pest and Disease Control
Peppers can be susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases. Some common pests that affect peppers include aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. To control pests, use insecticidal soap or neem oil. Diseases that can affect peppers include bacterial spot and powdery mildew. To prevent diseases, avoid overhead watering and overcrowding plants.
Growing peppers in the Edmonton, Alberta zone may seem challenging, but by following these tips and techniques, you can increase your chances of enjoying a successful harvest of delicious peppers.
Remember to choose the right pepper varieties, prepare the soil, water and fertilize regularly, and take steps to control pests and diseases. With a little effort and care, you can enjoy a bountiful pepper harvest in your garden.
Our current list of peppers at Salisbury at Enjoy & Salisbury Greenhouse is:
Jalapeno, Basket of Fire, Better Belle, King of the North, Sweet Banana, and Golden California Wonder.
Please note our stock and variety is always changing, so if you have your heart set on a pepper – give us a call prior to driving out.