The Idiots Guide: How To Grow Peppers - Capsicums From Seed in The Home

How to grow peppers / capsicums at home.

Growing capsicums or peppers is easier than changing a diaper. Help with growing peppers is not required after a few simply lessons are learnt. The harvested crop is very, very self rewarding, can save money, and does give lots of pleasure.

Growing peppers is one of the best things to come from greenhouses at home. Although it is best to grow peppers in a greenhouse, they can be grown on internal window sills and even in external window boxes.

Peppers require limited tending to which makes them a good project for children or as a first delve into self sufficiency.



Seeds

Pepper seeds are available in virtually every garden centre in the world. The packets are usually defined by color, although most packets contain are a mixture of colors.

Occasionally there are different types of pepper seeds in the packet, such as Spanish peppers. These peppers grow just the same as the usual capsicum and are also very tasty.

If you notice alternative types of peppers growing, do not dig them up and throw them away. Grow them and then cook them.

These are so easy to they can be grown in the kitchen or even a bedroom, so long as they have natural sunlight and plenty of water.


Sowing Dates

The sowing dates for seeds of peppers is usually once winter is coming to an end and Spring is beginning. The capsicums, also known as sweet peppers, love the heat and grow well in warmer climates. A greenhouse is perfect for growing these.

If the temperature is over 100 degrees F (38 C ) then shade from direct sunlight should be provided to prevent the pepper plant from dying.

Remember: The plant needs to spread its roots, so deep buckets or in the ground is best. Shallow pots will result in a harvest of miniature capsicums and a smaller harvest.



Planting Seeds

Seeds can be planted in any kind of seed tray, a baking tray or even an old frying pan. Use a good soil or even better, get a bag of compost. Do not opt for the cheapest compost, a mid price range would be better.

Ensure any large pieces of twig are removed and place about 2 inches of compost onto the tray. Place once capsicum seed in each segregated seed tray, or one seed every 2 inches or so in a normal tray.

The space will allow the roots to take hold in the soil and makes it easier for thinning once they become seedlings. Once the seed has been placed on top of the compost, cover with another layer of soil approximately 1 cm deep.

Do not compact the soil down. Lightly water till all the soil is damp, but not wet.m Leave trays on window ledges in the home or in the greenhouse.


Waiting Time

Do not rush down the next morning hoping to see that the seeds have sprouted and left you with a green stalk protruding from the compost. They are peppers and not magic beans.

The seeds may take up to 21 days to become seedlings dependent upon the temperature and the amount of water you give them. Although most should be through within 2 weeks. The soil must be kept moist at all times, but not wet.

Leave the seed trays in as much direct sunlight as possible. The warmth will help induce rapid growth. Occasionally, turn the seed tray around so as the seedling will not continually bend to one side towards the sun.

Once the seedlings have grown about 1 - 2 inches, it is time to replant them in the place where they will always be. This is going to be the most fragile part of the plants life.



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Transplanting

Transplanting any type of seedling is the moment where the plant can be damaged and killed off. The roots are so delicate that they should be treated like a newborn baby.

Before putting the capsicum seedling into a plant pot of the ground, ensure that the soil is loose. The ground should be dug over to an approximate depth of 2 feet.

Digging the soil over is hard work, so get the kids to do it. Tell them you have buried their Christmas presents underneath the ground and watch them dig for hours.

If you have planted the peppers in thin plastic individual seed trays, simply push on the bottom of the tray to release the soil. The seedling should come out with the soil moulded to the shape of the tray.

Use your fingers to create a small dent in the soil, enough to fit in the seedling. Place the seedling GENTLY into the hole and mound up some soil around the stalk. Lightly compact the top of the soil to ensure that the plant stays upright. Each plant should be about 30 cm apart.

Putting a support stick in now would help. This plant obviously become top heavy and will need support. The supporting stick should be at least two feet tall with 8 inches in the ground.

As the seedling grows, loosely tie it to the stick with anything that you can find, even an old shoelace would do.



Harvesting

Watching your plants grow is okay. Seeing a small pepper growing is good. Watching the peppers grow quickly is amazing. Each plant will produce between 6 -12 peppers, sometimes more.

All peppers will initially be green but will become their prospective colors after a short while.

It is best to harvest your crop as and when needed. That way you will have the freshest vegetables in the area. These plants are heavy bearers of fruit and produce so much at once.


Additional Information

The growing peppers can be picked as late as the beginning of winter, but after that they will begin to perish. The plants are annual plants and will also produce a crop the next year. But year on year the crop will become significantly less.

Help with growing peppers at home may also include adding calcium to the soil, these plants thrive on the stuff.

In areas where the summer is short, it may be advisable to buy pepper seedlings rather than seeds. This will give you another three weeks of growth prior to jack frost destroying your crops.



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Comments 1 comment

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 2 years ago

Great hub! I love growing peppers and you give some good tips. Considering the price at the stores these days, it's well worth the room in my container garden! Plus you can't beat the taste of fresh peppers. I have about a month left before planting time, we are lucky enough to get 2 growing seasons where I live (I plant in the summer for fall/winter, and in February for spring/summer harvests. Thanks for the tips!

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