Growing Pepper from Seeds
Growing peppers from seeds is easier than most people might imagine.
What you need to remember is that it is a warm country plant, and so an only be grown outside in frost-free areas.
While it is possible to grow them in your garden in USDA zones 9 and under, the chances are that the growing season is not long enough for the peppers to ripen before the frosts arrive again in autumn.
However, if you have a greenhouse or conservatory, you can grow greenhouses all year round, as many plants can survive from one year to the next so long as the temperatures don't fall too low - anything about freezing point is OK in winter.
Treat peppers as you would do tomatoes. if you normally have to grow tomatoes on a sunny windowsill or in the greenhouse, then your peppers will be the same.
Pepper Seed varieties at Amazon
Growing Peppers from Seed
Plant a few pepper seeds in some moist compost in a flower pot. [Do NOT attempt to grow peppers from household peppercorns - they have been treated and cannot grow]
Keep slightly moist and leave on a sunny windowsill until they have germinated, and the new plantlet is through.
When growing peppers it is best to wait until the seedlings have formed their second set of leaves, then transplant into individual pots.
Grow them on until they are quite sturdy and healthy looking, then transplant them directly into the soil if you live in a warm country, or into a big pot in the greenhouse in a less warm country.
Protect from frost.
Some plants are bigger than others, but generally expect them to reach 2' - 3' in height.
After they flower the little peppers will form and refer to seed packet instructions about when to harvest them.
Peppers can be washed, chopped and frozen after picking, so don't feel you have to use them all at once.
Let's look first at the chili peppers.
Chili peppers have long been used in South American, Indian and Asian countries for food flavouring. They contain a substance called capsaicin which gives your mouth the feeling of burning and individual tolerance levels needs to be built up slowly.
Pepper spray, used by many police forces, is made from capsaicin that comes from chili peppers. Casaicin is the chemical name for the hot substance in chili peppers.
There is actually nothing better than a chili pepper to spice up food and bring out the flavours.
Chili peppers can be used fresh, dried, powdered or flaked, added to food during cooking or afterwards, as well as it being an essential ingredient of many sauces of the oriental variety.
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Red Hot Chili Pepper
What is a red hot chili pepper? Green chili peppers can be even hotter than red ones, because green peppers are simply under-ripe red peppers. The hottest known chili pepper is called Naga Jolokia and extreme care must be taken when using it. Just one seed can cause intense pain that can last for half an hour!
Medicinal Uses for Chili Peppers
Chili peppers are also widely reported to aid digestion, relieve sore throats, assist the circulation and help prevent heart attacks, and in a new study, they are finding that capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers, can dramatically slow the growth rate of cancerous prostate cells. It helps the pain of arthritis.
Chili peppers are also said to be a hangover cure! Must try that one sometime!
It was Christopher Columbus who first discovered capsicums (sweet peppers) in the New World, and who named them peppers. He brought them back to the Mediterranean shores where the plant grew and flourished and is an important part of Italian and Spanish diets today.
Used in cooking or raw the world over, sweet peppers are increasing in their popularity due to their versatility as well as the fantastic flavour. They are used in soups, stews, casseroles, curries, salads and sauces.
Also, they can be frozen. Just de-seed them and cut them up as if you are about to use them, then shove them in a polybag or plastic container and put them in the freezer where they will keep for months at a time.
Health Benefits of Peppers
Sweet peppers are especially good for eating due to their high content of vitamin A (especially the red peppers), vitamin C and vitamin K. They also contain iron and are high in fibre.