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Bell Peppers

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Peppers are a tender, warm-season crop. Here’s how to grow them in your garden!

Peppers resist most garden pests and offer something for everyone: spicy, sweet, or hot; and a range of colourings, shapes, and sizes. For this page, we will focus on growing sweet buzzer peppers.

Planting

When to Plant Peppers Start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before your last spring frost date. Bell peppers are in need of reasonably long growing season( 60 to 90 days ), so it’s best to get them started indoors. Prefer and Preparing a Planting Site Pepper plants require full sun to produce the largest and healthiest fruit, so pick a site that won’t get shaded out by trees or other garden plants. Soil should be well-draining and rich in organic materials. A soil consistency somewhere between sandy and loamy will ensure that the soil drains well and warms quickly. Clay pH should be on the acidic side — 5.5 to 6.5, ideally. A week before transplanting peppers into the garden, introduce fertilizer or aged compost into your garden clay. Avoid planting peppers in places where you’ve recently grown other members of the nightshade family–such as tomatoes, potatoes, or eggplants–as this can expose peppers to disease.

Green bell peppers

How to Plant Peppers We recommend starting seeds indoors rather than in the garden. The clay temperature must be at least 70 degF for seed germination, so keep them in a warm area for the best and fastest results. Use a hot pad under the seed tray, if necessary. Plant seeds about 1/4 -inch deep.

Transplanting Young Plants into the Garden

Begin to harden off plants about 10 days before transplanting outdoors. Once nighttime temperatures reach at least 60 deg F( 16 deg C ), transplant seedlings outdoors, spacing them 18 to 24 inches apart. Plant the grafts no deeper than they were already; otherwise, the stems may become susceptible to rot. Soil temperature should be at least 65 degF, as peppers will not survive transplanting at temps any colder. Northern gardeners can warm up the clay by covering it with black plastic.

Care

How to Grow Peppers Soil should be well drained, but be sure to maintain adequate moisture either with mulch or plastic covering. Water one to two inches per week, but remember that peppers are extremely heat sensitive. If you live in a warm or desert climate, watering everyday may be necessary. Fertilize after the first fruit situate. Weed carefully around plants. If necessary, supporting plants with enclosures or stakes to prevent bending. Try commercially available cone-shaped wire tomato cages. They may not be ideal for tomatoes, but they are just the thing for peppers. Or, build your own garden supports.

Pests/ Cancers

Aphids Flea Beetles Cucumber Mosaic Virus Blossom-End Rot appears as a soft, sunken area which turns darker in color. Pollination can be reduced in temperatures below 60 degF( 16 degC) and above 90 degF( 32 deg C ). Too much nitrogen will reduce fruit from setting.

Spacing for Peppers

Harvest/ Storage

How to Harvest Peppers Harvest as soon as peppers reach desired size. The longer buzzer peppers stays on the plant, the more sweet they become and the greater their Vitamin C content. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut peppers clean off the plant for the least damage. How to Store Peppers Peppers is also available refrigerated in plastic bags for up to 10 days after harvesting. Buzzer peppers can be dried, and we would recommend a conventional oven for the task. Wash, core, and seed the peppers. Cut into one-half-inch strips. Steam for about ten minutes, then spread on a baking sheet. Dry in the oven at 140 deg F( or the lowest possible temperature) until brittle, stirring occasionally and switching tray postures. When the peppers are cool, set them in bags or storage receptacles.

Recommended Varieties

Look for assortments that ripen to their full coloring speedily; fully ripen peppers are the most nutritious–and tastier, too!

Green to Red:’ Lady Bell’,’ Gypsy’,’ Bell Boy’,’ Lipstick’ Yellow:’ Golden California Wonder’

Read more: almanac.com

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