Bell pepper comes in the group of Capsicum annum and the member of nightshade family. The plant is native to Mexico, Central and South America. This is also known as sweet pepper or capsicum. Bell peppers are commonly used as vegetables but botanically belonged to fruit because it can be eaten raw as well as cooked.
The most common colors of bell peppers are red, orange, yellow and green. In addition the bell peppers are also available in purple and brown colors. Bell peppers are mostly used when adding color for salads, pizza, omelets and various dishes such as pasta. Nowadays bell peppers are widely grown in gardens.
There are many varieties of bell peppers. So you also can choose a variety and grow bell peppers in your own garden. By reading this guide, you will be able to know, How to Grow Bell Peppers at Home with Caring Tips | Guide.
What is the importance of growing bell peppers at your home?
Growing bell peppers at home provides more health benefits. Bell pepper is really nutrient filled fruit. It is rich in Vitamin C and a range of other antioxidants but low in calories. Mainly it contains water which is about 92%. Water is essential to process functions of the body. You can get fresh fruits without harming those nutrients because you know what kind of fertilizers use to grow.
The bell peppers that ripen in your home garden have more nutrients than buying bell peppers from super markets. You may be spending some money to buy these. But if you grow bell peppers at home, you can save money.
The flavor of dishes can also improve. You can pick the bell peppers at any time when you want. So bell pepper is excellent fruit to add in your home garden.
What are the steps to follow when planting bell peppers?
There are some steps that the gardeners should follow these steps when growing bell peppers. By following these correctly, you can get successful results.
1. Sowing seeds indoors
Sowing seed indoors is the first step of planting bell peppers. You can also sow seeds outdoors but climate and other conditions like soil should be suitable for it. It is relatively easy to grow indoors. Take a seedling tray or small pots and fill it from fertile soil. Then sow seeds in there.
When should start to sow seeds?
Recommend to start sowing 2 months before last spring frost date. If you wish to sow outdoors, it is best to start after passing at least 2 weeks of frost threat of spring.
Cover these trays or pots from clear plastic bags that really help to speed the germination.
Where is the best place to keep seedling trays?
Then place these in a warm place. Sunny spot is great that help to provide healthy seedlings. Placing it on a windowsill will provide adequate sunlight. If it is not possible to provide sunlight, you can use grow lights or LED lights. It is also easier if you have a place where you can easily supply water because watering is essential to provide seedlings.
You can also plant bell peppers by seedlings. Be sure to buy quality seedlings from nursery stores. However planting from seeds is relatively easy.
2. Transplanting outdoors
Usually 2 or 3 weeks take to germinate. That may be changed depending on varieties. After germination the seedlings need to move outdoors. Harden off is the great way to familiarize the plants with outdoors.
How to harden off seedlings?
Harden off can be described as keeping the seedlings outdoors for a few hours and again place it indoors. Gradually increase the time spent outside. Then the seedlings familiarize with outdoor climate and leave them outside throughout the day. If not, the seedlings may be shocking so that they may even die. Be sure to water them well.
The seedlings grow taller gradually. When the young plants reaching 5 or 6cm, place them in large containers.
It is important to drainage holes in these containers. The container should be about 10 to 12 deep. Not recommend small containers that’s why bell peppers require space to spread their roots. Fill the container with fertile soil. Compost is great. Providing well-drained and enough warm soil is helpful to thrive the plants healthy.
You can plant 2 plants in one container that is vary depending on the size of the container you selected. It is important to have a space of about 20 inches between plants.
How to care for bell peppers?
Caring tips are essential to follow in order to grow healthiest bell peppers in your garden. this will help you to get a good harvest. This will help you to get a good harvest.
Be sure to provide mulch layer on the top of soil. Old leaves, grass clippings, cow dung, straw can provide for mulch. It helps to retain moisture of the soil. In addition, weed growth is reduced or eliminated. Gardeners who live in cooler areas, provide black plastic layer over the soil as mulch but it can be caused to kill the beneficial bacteria of the soil.
Regular watering is very important to grow bell pepper plants. Bell peppers mostly prefer grow in warm weather but don’t flourish in high heat. So water well to slightly moist the soil. Keep in mind that too much or lack of watering is not good. It causes to growth of the plant. Be sure to provide adequate water that allows to produce flowers and fruits on time.
3. Providing light
Bell peppers are sun loving plants. So they need full sun to thrive healthily. Choose a place where your containers are exposed to at least 6 to 8 hours of light. Adequate light help plants to provide abundant fruits.
High temperature is harmful to the plants. Bell peppers grow best in air temperatures between 65F⁰ and 80F⁰. 75F⁰ is great.
Start feeding when appearing flowers in the plant. Providing fertilizer is essential to bell peppers.
Which fertilizer is best to use for bell peppers?
You can feed using high potash fertilizer. Tomato fertilizer also suit to bell peppers. Don’t provide too much nitrogen fertilizer because that cause to produce more foliage than flowers and fruits. So use low nitrogen fertilizer. High in potassium fertilizer help to produce flowers. Phosphorus and calcium are also very important nutrients for bell peppers.
5. Removing weeds
When removing weeds, care should be taken not to damage the roots of the plant. The plants thrive when properly cared.
6. Providing support
You can provide support for plants when they needed. Use a simplest support for bell peppers to keep the plant upright. Tie a stake to the stem and branches well.
If you haven’t enough space to grow outside, don’t worry. You can also grow inside near windowsill that help to get enough sunlight. And other conditions are similar with outdoor growing bell peppers. It is also easy to grow bell peppers in greenhouse with right conditions. When growing greenhouse, above mentioned tips are also important.
What are the common problems that affect bell peppers?
There are some problems affect the bell peppers. Some of problems are mentioned below.
- Sunscald is the problem that affect to fruits and also leaves. The appearance of the fruit is damaged and cracking can be there. That is caused by excessive sunlight.
- Aphids are serious pests who harm to the bell pepper plant. They suck the nutrients of plants and that affected areas turn dark. They weak the plant by harming leaves, flowers also fruits.
- Dropping flowers and leaves caused on high heat.
- Yellow spots on leaves in the case of fungus.
- Blossom-end rot is serious problem. The end of the fruit is getting black result from a calcium deficiency.
How to prevent from problems?
Check the bell pepper plant daily. Then you can see what situation your plant is in. Treat the plants well. Watering, lightning and feeding are essential to keep the plant healthily that allows the plant to produce abundant healthy fruits. If your plant is suffering from any disease, it is very important to find out the reason and provide suitable fertilizer.
Keep in mind to remove the diseased leaves, flowers or fruits from the plant. Follow the above mentions caring tips that will be important. If you grow bell peppers in a greenhouse, you can use biological controls to prevent from diseases.
When to harvest bell peppers?
Bell pepper plant produces about 5 to 10 fruits. Those fruits usually take 2 or 3 months to mature. That may vary due to varieties. Color change can see when ripping. Pick the fruits when they come to fruit size and color.
Use sharp knife or scissor to harvest your bell peppers but remember that not damaging the plant. Harvesting is helped to encourage more fruits. Green bell peppers are slightly bitter and red bell peppers are rich in more nutrients.
Where to Store bell peppers?
Fresh bell peppers are great to use for any meal you prefer. If you want to keep them for a while, store those in refrigerator that help to keep the taste longer. However don’t wash fruit when store in fridge that will possible to rot quickly.
If you wash them, remember to wipe them dry with a cloth and store. Raw bell peppers can be usually stored for about 2 weeks and cooked bell peppers for about 3 to 5 days in fridge.
Grow and enjoy the taste of bell peppers.
Watch how to grow bell peppers from seeds indoors | Video
What are the companion vegetables to grow with bell peppers?
There are some companion vegetables which can grow with bell peppers such as tomatoes, carrots, eggplants, cucumbers, radish, beets and squash etc.
Why are bell peppers small?
It is most common problem for gardeners. Lack of watering and lightning can be main reasons to provide small bell peppers in the plant. Don’t plant them in areas where having shade because bell peppers are really sun loving plant. You can also do a soil test to know the quality of soil in your bell pepper garden.
How long does bell peppers take to grow?
Most of bell peppers usually take 2 or 3 months to mature. The period of time can vary depending on the variety you grow in your garden. And you should care your plants well.
How to take big bell peppers?
It is very important to use fertile soil to grow bell peppers. You can mix compost with the soil. Compost is great addition that is rich in essential nutrients. And fertilizing and pruning also are useful to take big bell peppers from your plants.
What is the best variety of bell pepper to grow?
Lunchbox pepper, Ace, Mini bell blend, Olympus, Flavorburst are some best varieties of bell peppers to grow in your garden.
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