This article was written with Dustytoes in mind, after she told me that she had had trouble with growing bell peppers.
Bell peppers,sometimes known as sweet peppers, are the round red, green or yellow peppers that you see, rather than the slimmer chilli peppers.As they are native to areas that are warm, sunny and wet they need to have sustained warmth and light and a steady supply of water, thus in my own area I can grow them and have done so, but they need the warm conditions provided by a greenhouse [glasshouse.] I do not have a heated greenhouse, for there is currently no electricity supply on my allotment, so my experience is that it is possible to grow peppers in an unheated structure, but whatever you do avoid frost, which will kill them. The technique that I used with bell peppers was to buy them in as seedlings from a plant nursery after the cold British Spring had changed into early Summer, but on nights when the temperature was low I ensured that the greenhouse door was closed and that there was a greenhouse heater burning. That worked and I got a crop of peppers.
To grow them you need to maintain a regular temperature of 29c at least during the day, ideally higher, and a temperature of at least 13c degrees at night, and they will benefit from day time temperatures higher than this if they are kept watered.This leads me to another key point, that their soil needs to be kept moist all the time, but not soaked, so if you cannot commit to maintaining water supply, your crop will fail. They are plants that also need strong sunshine, so grow them in bright conditions, but keep them sheltered from winds, for wind can take heat from the plant and weaken it.
But you need to choose your spot. I use a greenhouse, as the North West of England is unsuitable for outdoor pepper cultivation, but those of you who dwell in climes warmer and sunnier than mine can grow them outdoors, but if you are moving them from sheltered conditions to an outdoor spot, be sure to harden them off first. This means that you place them in pots of a suitable size and move them outdoors during the day, but replace them at night. If you cannot do this for about ten days it is safer to keep them indoors.
Peppers are ideal as potted patio plants, and the advantage of this is that the stone of the patio retains heat in the day and releases it at night; and this advantage can also be gained by growing against a wall, south-facing in the Northern hemisphere and north facing in the southern one.One growers' trick is to warm the soil for two weeks before planting by covering it with cold frames, and this will give the pepper plant an advantageous start.
You need to ensure that the soil is well-fertilized, so keep it properly manured. At the first fruit set, apply a high potash fertilizer, as potassium is important for fruit development. Peppers also seem to benefit from a bit of sulfur in the soil, so some growers insert two or three matchsticks into the planting home when the pepper is being inserted. Pick when ready.