Peppers are one of the most versatile vegetables you can have in your garden. However, they’re not always easy to grow, especially if you live in a temperate to cold area.
Peppers are one of the most versatile vegetables you can have in your garden. However, they’re not always easy to grow, especially if you live in a temperate to cold area. For this reason, some people look for gardening tips on growing peppers. If you’re a gardening enthusiast, and you would like to know more on how to grow these vegetables, read on.
What type of pepper are you planning to grow?
There are two very basic types of peppers: ones that are sweet and ones that are hot. Both have very specific uses in the culinary world. While hot peppers are used in most Mexican and Indian spicy dishes, sweet peppers are found in pasta and other Italian and Spanish dishes. This usually depends on where the pepper was originally grown. With innovations in gardening techniques and importing of goods, though, both sweet and hot peppers are grown all over the world. While the ways one should care for their pepper plants vary, depending on the species, there are general rules when it comes to growing peppers.
General gardening tips
1. Give your plants or seeds a lot of space to grow. Peppers generally like space, so when you attempt to grow them, it’s best if you leave 12 to 15inches of space all around the pepper plant apart from other plants. You should also make sure that that space is free from grass and weeds, because the growth of these can decrease the amount of nutrients that the pepper plant will get. When you give your pepper plant a lot of space to grow, you can be sure that it will bear more fruits upon maturity.
2. Planting by seed or by plant. If you live in a tropical country which is mostly hot all-year-round, you can plant peppers by seed without any trouble. Peppers love the hot climate and would flourish without much effort on your part if you’re lucky enough to live in an area that doesn’t experience any frost. Temperate to cold regions, however, that experience four seasons in a year are more challenging places to grow pepper from. It’s not unusual for farmers to put up green houses just to plan their pepper seeds on a pot to get a head start during the colder, winter seasons. They then transplant the pepper plants on land once the warmer seasons start. If you live in these temperate areas, it’s best for you to start planting about a month before summer starts. For pepper species like the habenero, which can take up to four months to mature, this method is recommended.
3. Buying pepper plants. If you’re not particularly good with planting seeds, you can also purchase pepper plants that have already grown as saplings and are just about ready to grow. These can simply be planted on your backyard once the summer seasons start. You can find them in local greenhouses, home and garden stores, and other locations if you’re looking for the rarer pepper species. Sees, on the other hand, can even be bought from home hardware stores or groceries. You can find them in packs alongside seeds for garden flowers like sunflowers and chrysanthemums. All you have to do is to ask the shop owner. Peppers are very popular “house plants” because they’re hardy enough plants for beginners to grow.
4. Caring for your pepper plant. Of course, aside from growing your pepper plant, you should also care for it to make sure that it bears high quality fruit. After all, this is a plant that won’t just be used as a décor in your garden. These are, quite literally, more than just pretty plants, although the colors of the fruits can be pretty vibrant once they’re in full bloom. There are uses even for the leaves of some pepper plants. The leaved of spicy pepper plants are sometimes used as ingredients for soup as well, but you should research about the edibility of the species you’re growing before you experiment on any dish.
To make sure that your pepper plants grow to their fullest, you have to make sure that they get enough nutrients from the soil they’re planted on. As we’ve said earlier, peppers need to be in a warm, humid environment during their growing seasons. Give them a lot of space away from other plants so that they can grow beautifully. Proper spacing will also make isolation easier for you in cases of diseases. Remember, diseases in plants can easily spread if they are grown too near each other.
Mulching is an excellent way for you to fertilize the soil. Pepper plants especially benefit from soil which has been mulched on. You can mulch even when the pepper plant has already been planted. This will “renew” the nutrients in the soils so you won’t have to transplant your fully grown pepper plant onto a new patch.
5. Keeping weeds out of the way. You will need to weed the area where your pepper species is planted on. Because of the high levels of nutrients found on your soil, this spot will always attract a lot of weeds. Be prepared to pick out weeds at least every week. Check on your pepper plant for but infestation as well. While it’s normal for one or two holes to appear on the leaves, it’s a bad sign if bugs are already taking over your plant. Think of organic ways for you to stop this infestation, and as much as possible, avoid using chemical pesticides. Remember, you will be harvesting these peppers in a few months. You wouldn’t want harsh chemicals seeping into something you will eat later on.
Growing peppers in your garden may seem troublesome for some. However, seeing that red, orange, yellow, or green pepper grow from your very own backyard can be a very rewarding experience. Some people even sell their peppers when they’ve harvested a lot from the back yard. You’ll be surprised at the variety of dishes you can find online that make use of this spice. Truly, it’s a very useful plant to keep in your garden.