Sweet Bell Peppers; Seeds and Things: Plant of the Week
I would say its safe to say that besides tomatoes sweet peppers run a close race as a garden favorite. There’s nothing better than fresh stuffed bell peppers or chicken and bell pepper fajitas. And one of the great things about bell peppers is there mild sweet taste, and wide range of cooking use. Now a lot of people don’t know it, but green peppers are actually immature peppers that are picked before ripening. If the peppers were allowed to ripen most would turn red or orange depending on variety.
And so our choice for this week is, you guessed it! Sweet Bell Pepper
Now there are many different varieties to choose from, but California Wonder is probably one of the most popular varieties. It is important to find the right variety for your location. If you live in Maine for instance you will want an early variety or if you have a longer growing season then you could pick a late season or main season type. Peppers can be grown in containers, raised beds, or in nicely tilled soil, just make sure they get plenty of good sunlight around 6 to 8 hours. They will produce in poor soil, but offer them a good well balanced soil for better yields. Plant them in well drained soil with some organic matter, you can use compost but beware you could have some issues with disease. Test your soil to make sure the PH is right for peppers they like a range from 5.5-6.8. They also need calcium, peppers like tomatoes low on calcium could end up with blossom end rot. So add either oyster shell flour or egg shells; just till it in with your soil.
Keep a close check on water, peppers are actually natives to the Tropics where there is abundant rain and humidity. How much water you give them depends on many factors so make sure they have what they need to thrive. A good weekly watering is best, but it really depends on where you live. You may have to water them less or more. You don’t want to over water them though because over watering can lead to loss of important nutrients. So it is important to check your plants daily; you could also use drip irrigation which works great for peppers. Here is a planting chart below,
Seed Planting Depth: 1/4″
Germination Temperature: 75-85
Days to Germination: 7-10
Row Spacing: 24″
Plant Spacing: 12-18″
100′ Row Yield: 40 lb
Harvest time: 73 days *depending on variety
There you have it our veggie of the week! Happy Gardening!
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