Red chilies contain large amounts of vitamin C and small amounts of carotene (provitamin A). Yellow and especially green chilies (which are essentially unripe fruit) contain a considerably lower amount of both substances. In addition, peppers are a good source of most B vitamins, and vitamin B6 in particular. They are very high in potassium, magnesium, and iron. Their very high vitamin C content can also substantially increase the uptake of non-heme iron from other ingredients in a meal, such as beans and grains.
Select your chili pepper variety. Dwarf or bush peppers work best for indoor growing, since many of the large varieties may not have adequate room for their roots to develop in indoor containers.
Opt for a plastic pot over a clay container. Clays like terra cotta can actually draw moisture out of the soil, especially in the warm, bright conditions required for growing chili peppers. These peppers need a lot of moisture to grow and may dehydrate in a clay pot.
Sterilize the pot before use. Many containers, especially if previously used, contain hidden bacteria and insect eggs that can sabotage new plant life. Wash your container out with hot water and soap to eliminate most threats. Purchase potting mix. Garden soil often contains bacteria that can damage your pepper hindering growth.
Keep your chili peppers near a sunny window. A window that faces west or south may provide the best light and the most warmth. Chili peppers thrive on full sun, so place your plants as close to the window as possible to maximize sun exposure.
Invest in a fluorescent grow light. If you are unable to provide your chili peppers with enough natural light indoors, place them beneath a grow light. The lights should be positioned approximately six inches above the plants, and your peppers need the light to remain on for 14 to 16 hours each day in order to receive enough warmth and light.
Provide air circulation, but keep your peppers away from drafty areas. Open a window or turn a fan on low for a few hours each day. Ideally, the air should remain room temperature to moderately warm. Continual hot or cold drafts could hinder growth, however, so keep your peppers away from air conditioning and heating vents.
Thoroughly soak your peppers when the surface of the soil is just barely dry to the touch, give your chili peppers more water. Water the plant until excess water begins to drain out of the container’s bottom hole.
Encourage growth by giving your plants a fertilizer on a monthly basis. Use a balanced 10-10-10 or 15-15-15 fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.
The three numbers on a bag of fertilizer refer to the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that fertilizer contains. A 15-15-15 fertilizer has equal parts of all three elements, meaning that the foliage, root system, flowers, and fruit of your pepper plant all receive an equal dose of food. Nitrogen improves the foliage, potassium improves the flowering and overall strength of a plant, and phosphorus improves the roots and fruit.
Harvest your peppers one at a time. Note the standard size and color—red, orange, yellow, or green—for the variety of chili pepper you chose to plant. Once your peppers reach these specifications, use shears or scissors to snip the stem directly above the pepper.
Sweet (Bell) pepper
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Carbohydrates 4.64 g
Sugars 2.4 g
Dietary fiber 1.7 g
Fat 0.17 g
Protein 0.86 g
Vitamin A equiv. 18 μg (2%)
– beta-carotene 208 μg (2%)
– lutein and zeaxanthin 341 μg
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.057 mg (5%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.028 mg (2%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 0.48 mg (3%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.099 mg (2%)
Vitamin B6 0.224 mg (17%)
Folate (vit. B9) 10 μg (3%)
Vitamin C 80.4 mg (97%)
Vitamin E 0.37 mg (2%)
Vitamin K 7.4 μg (7%)
Calcium 10 mg (1%)
Iron 0.34 mg (3%)
Magnesium 10 mg (3%)
Manganese 0.122 mg (6%)
Phosphorus 20 mg (3%)
Potassium 175 mg (4%)
Sodium 3 mg (0%)
Zinc 0.13 mg (1%)
Fluoride 2 µg
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 166 kJ (40 kcal)
Carbohydrates 8.8 g
Sugars 5.3 g
Dietary fiber 1.5 g
Fat 0.4 g
Protein 1.9 g
Water 88 g
Vitamin A equiv. 48 μg (6%)
– beta-carotene 534 μg (5%)
Vitamin B6 0.51 mg (39%)
Vitamin C 144 mg (173%)
Iron 1 mg (8%)
Magnesium 23 mg (6%)
Potassium 322 mg (7%)
Capsaicin 0.01g – 6 g
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