Growing Peppers is easy, but a bit of patience is required as it is a long season crop. Peppers are all part of the plant genus Capsicum.
Peppers can be broadly classified according to the pepper’s heat :
How to grow Peppers from Seed
- Peppers take a long time to grow large enough from seeds to produce mature fruit, and they require a fairly long growing season.
- The best way to get a good crop is by planting the seeds indoors 8-12 weeks before your average last frost date.
- Soak your seeds overnight in warm water to help them germinate faster.
- Sow the seeds about 1/4-inch deep in a moist sterile potting mixture.
- Mist the potting mix with water daily so it stays moist, or seal the pots in plastic bags so they don’t dry out.
- For best germination, keep the soil between 23 and 26 degrees Celsius.
- The pots won’t require light until the seeds sprout.
- Peppers typically require 14 days to germinate, but they may take as few as seven or as many as 30 days to sprout.
- After the seeds have germinated, place the pot on a light windowsill or in a heated greenhouse.
- When they are 2.5cm tall prick out seedlings, moving each into their own 10cm pot. Make sure the roots are well covered and the leaves are just above the surface of the compost. Water and place in a light spot indoors.
- While plants are still growing indoors, move into 13cm (5in) pots filled with general purpose compost when roots begin to show through the drainage holes in the base.
- When plants are about 20cm (8in) tall, or before if they start to lean, stake with a pea stick.
- Pinch out the tops of peppers when they are about 30cm (12in) tall to encourage lots of branches.
- Plants are ready to go when all danger of frost has passed.
- Either plant directly into the ground, spacing them 45cm apart or transfer them to 22cm pots to give them plenty of space to grow.
Maintaining Pepper Plants
- Sweet Peppers are generally able to grow best where the soil temperatures stay moist and cool in the summer months. The tops of the plants don’t mind getting hot but the soil must remain cooler than the top leaves and branches.
- Good support for the stems is important because as the plants become full of fruit, they can be very heavy and break their own branches.
- Shading the fruit in hotter climates is also helpful to prevent sun burn damage.
- Make sure you water regularly, especially in hot weather and feed every two weeks with a general purpose liquid fertilizer.
Mild to Hot Peppers
- The roots are best kept a bit drier than sweet peppers and will thrive even without mulching.
- Choose a location that receives ample sunlight. Medium to Hot peppers like a lot of light and warmth. While they can tolerate some degree of shade, they will do their best when they are exposed to direct sunlight and in warm locations.
- Grow your plants on the dry side. Don’t withhold water totally, but be stingy with it. Allow the plants to remain dry for several days before watering again.
- If you are growing peppers in a container, make sure the pot has plenty of holes for drainage so the soil doesn’t get too soggy.
- Fertilize after the first fruit set. A tomato fertilizer will work well for pepper plants, as will compost and manure that is well-rotted.
Information is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment offered by healthcare professionals.