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Can I grow chili pepper plants directly in my lawn?

[SIZE=13pt]For the past several years I have had good luck with growing chili peppers in a 4’ x 8’ raised bed garden.  My yard has very poor clay soil so the raised bed garden, filled with good soil, compost and amendments, was a good solution to this problem.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=13pt]Next year however, I’d like to grow more chili pepper plants than will fit in my 4’ x 8’ raised bed garden.  And, I do not want to build another raised bed garden.  I initially thought about expanding my growing capacity by growing in containers (e.g., 5 gallon buckets).  But, I am now considering growing directly in the ground in my back yard lawn.  My back yard is a grassy lawn.[/SIZE]
 
[SIZE=13pt]Is there any reason why the following method wouldn't work?[/SIZE]
 
[SIZE=13pt]Instead of using an above ground container, I’d dig a 12” wide by 12” deep hole in my lawn, but would not till up all the surrounding soil (i.e., I would leave the surrounding grass in place).  I would fill the dug hole with a mixture of compost, regular soil and fertilizer, and plant the chili plant in it.  Then, I’d cut the top off a 5 gallon bucket and insert it in the top of the hole in order to serve as a weed/grass barrier around the periphery of the hole, so that I could run a weed eater trimmer right up next to the bucket and not disturb the plant.[/SIZE]
 
[SIZE=13pt]For reference on the idea, attached is a picture of some hops plants which the grower seems to have used the same basic method that I am contemplating using for growing chili pepper plants.[/SIZE]
 
[SIZE=13pt]I’d be grateful to get the thoughts of some of THP community on this idea.  Do you think this method would work?  Would there be any major foreseeable problems with this way of growing chili plants?[/SIZE]
 
[SIZE=13pt]Thank you![/SIZE]
 
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ako1974 said:
I don't see a problem with it. Do you use fertilizer or pesticides/herbicides/fungicides on your lawn?
 
Thanks for the feedback.  No, I don't use fertilizer or pesticides/herbicides/fungicides on my back yard lawn.
 
I did something in my clay back yard and in the early spring with all the rain it flooded every hole and a lot of the dirt ended up floating up and over out of the hole. I suppose it'd be fine with less heavy rain
 
Yeah, here in Virginia where I live we have had a tremendous amount of rain this year.  I has been ridiculously bad.  It isn't over yet either.  We have another 1.5 to 2 inches in the forecast soon.  I had peppers in buckets with holes drilled in the bottom and I still saw water running over the tops.  
I think the trenches in clay soil will be a bathtub if heavy rains settle in.
 
 
If you dont mind sacrificing a small circle of your lawn you should just look into fabric pots.
Your plant will be happier...you can fill it with good high quality medium and ferts. Rain wont be nearly as big an issue than if you planted on clay.

Chiles, in clay, in PA...doesnt sound like a good idea to me
 
I did it with tremendous results starting with clay in backyard but it took a lot of love and nice organic goodies and organic matter to "design" or rather re-engineer the soil into something better. Kelp meal, castings, compost, ph (gypsun), wood chips and some bark fines, fertilizer, and some tilling to mix it all in you may get lucky like me and turn the clay into a rich environment teaming with microorganisms and microflora (I also did AACT, aerated compost teas to boost it up). I would nix the 5 gal buckets though. Also forget weedeating around the plants, too risky and you'll be upset ya did that. Mulch with something like straw or chips no weed or Grass at all..

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My knowledge of this states bedrock and soil geology ends around the Allegheny Front. I would send a soil sample to PSU if I were you. That is good practice when starting and even continuing an inground plot. You can probably get one at the Chester County extension office.

If it were my property,I would till a section to the size I need,get a proper test done ,and then start amending right now. Even without knowing your soils history,tilling in leaves(plenty around now),compost and manure will give you decent results next season. Knowing the pH is going to help you deal with your clay. The aeration part of it is common sense.

I made some fairly drastic changes to my bed this fall. We really only get 2 or 3 weeks a year where it isn't raining or snowing and it seems like that isn't going to change anytime soon. Good luck with the project whichever route you take.
 
When planting in the yard without using a pot, it may minimize the necessity to maintain the surrounding area if you
A) use landscaping cloth or other barrier.
B) remove grass and roots to a surface perimeter wider than the 12" planting hole
C) and mulch to keep grass and weeds from encroaching.

EDIT: I just read the part about the bucket and also Yamracer's suggestion to just mulch. Method B (see above) also improves the efficiency of water usage by creating a wide-mouth basin, you increase the amount of rainfall the plant naturally gets, also reducing your supplemental watering needs. This is dependent on your local weather or watering habits. The bucket may be better if you want to avoid excess rain. A first year plant can grow to large proportions, extending its drip line beyond 12" diameter.
 
Tybo said:
Yeah, here in Virginia where I live we have had a tremendous amount of rain this year.  I has been ridiculously bad.  It isn't over yet either.  We have another 1.5 to 2 inches in the forecast soon.  I had peppers in buckets with holes drilled in the bottom and I still saw water running over the tops.  
I think the trenches in clay soil will be a bathtub if heavy rains settle in.
 
Now I did convert the holes to rows after a few of the flooding incidents (most of my plants were still in solo cups),and the rows rarely ever flooded as bad as just straight holes. I used the rows all of this season and nothing drowned. (I added some sticks/branches/compost at the bottom of the rows and filled with the clay mixed with manure and some potting soil)
 
Well, I talked out over with your mother, and we have decided that YES! You have permission to grow peppers directly in your lawn.
 
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