Easy to grow peppers is the last of this ‘Easy to grow’ series … really. I won’t bore you with any more Easy to grow post. 🙂 Thank you for taking time to visit my little blog.
Peppers are a warm season crop. Red and green peppers are good sources of vitamin C, some vitamin A, and small amounts of several minerals. Red peppers have more vitamin A than green peppers.
Peppers are good consumed raw or cooked. Eat them as a snack, use them to decorate food, add them to salads and casseroles. You can also stuff peppers with seasoned bread crumbs and or meat and bake them. Of course you may want to pickle some of your pepper crop.
Peppers grow in all types of soils but do best in heavier, well drained soils. Plant them in areas that receive at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.
Work your soil 8 to 10 inches deep and rake it several times to break up the large clods. Work the soil only when it is dry enough not to stick to garden tools. Incorporate large amounts of organic matter into the soil, especially if you are planting in heavy clay soil. You can use compost, peat moss, rotted hay, or other organic matter.
Only a few pepper plants will feed most families, it maybe best to buy pepper plants rather than grow them from seed. Buy healthy plants that are 4 to 6 inches tall. About three to four hot pepper plants and eight to ten sweet pepper plants usually are enough for a family of four.
If you plant from seed, soil germination temperature for pepper is 70 F to 95 F. Pepper will not germinate when the soil temperature is below 55 F.
Tip Sweet peppers may germinate well when soil temperature reaches 70 or 75 degrees F, however the hotter your pepper variety the higher the soil temperature must be for good seed germination. Hot peppers may not germinate below 80 or 85 degrees F soil temperature.
Days to emergence: 7 to 10 with a soil temperatures around 85 F.
Peppers can be temperamental when it comes to setting fruit if temperatures are too hot or too cool. Daytime temperatures above 95 F or nighttime temperatures below 60 F or above 75 F can reduce fruit set.
Too much nitrogen fertilizer may promote lush vegetative growth but fewer fruits. Peppers usually responds well to phosphorus fertilizer. Look for something NPK 5-10-5.
At planting time add 2 to 3 pounds of fertilizer such as NPK 10-10-10 per 100 square feet of garden area. Spread the fertilizer evenly over the garden. Work it into the soil.
If you will plant single plants, place about 2 level tablespoons of fertilizer on the soil in the planting area. Mix it well with the soil.
Water the plants enough to keep them from wilting. Slow, deep watering helps the root system grow strong. Do not let pepper plants wilt because this will reduce yield and quality of the fruit.
After the first fruit begins to enlarge, place about 2 tablespoons of fertilizer, something like NPK 5-10-5, around each plant about 6 inches from the stem. Water the plant after adding the fertilizer. This will increase the yield and the quality of the peppers.
Peppers can be harvested at any size. If you pick the peppers as they mature, the yields will be greater. The first peppers should be ready 8 to 10 weeks after transplanting.
Pick bell peppers when they become shiny, firm, and dark green. If left on the plant, most peppers will turn red and are still good to eat.
Harvest most hot peppers when they turn red or yellow, depending on the variety. Jalapeños are mature when they reach good size and develop a deep, dark green sheen.
Note Hot types will be much milder when harvested small, young and tender. They will become hotter if left on the plant and began to mature.
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