Sunday, April 25, 2010

How to Grow Bell Peppers

Peppers have always been a popular vegetable to grow in the garden. A sweet green pepper is a pepper that is not yet ripe. Let it grow, and it will turn red. Not only the texture will change, but the flavor will change as well. Growing bell peppers is easy with these simple steps.

Step 1
Plant seeds eight weeks before the last frost indoor using a pot that is at least 2 inches or slightly larger.

Step 2
Prepare the garden by adding plenty of compost, manure and a general fertilizer.

Step 3
Transplant young seedlings outdoors after the last chance of frost. If the weather is still cool, delay transplanting for a few days. Wait until the soil is 70 to 85 degrees before setting the seedlings out.

Step 4
Space the seedlings 18 to 24 inches apart and in rows 24 to 36 inches apart. Spacing may vary by variety.

Step 5

Water the plants regularly, especially in the hot, dry summer months. Pepper plants like moist soil. If you do not water enough, the bell peppers will acquire a bitter taste.

Step 6
Surround the peppers with mulch to keep weeds from growing and to retain moisture.

Step 7

Dust for spider mites and aphids with an organic insecticide as needed.

Step 8
Harvest the bell pepper at any point after they reach an edible size. Most bell pepper peppers are green when immature and can be harvested at that time. Mature bell peppers can be red, orange, yellow, green or purple depending on the variety.

Step 9
Continue to harvest bell peppers by clipping them off the plant, but don't pull them off. Bell peppers will continue to grow until the first frost.

Tips & Warnings

When planting bell peppers from seeds, germination takes six to eight days.
After the first peppers begin to grow, place about 2 tbs. of fertilizer around each plant approximately six inches from the stem then water. This well increase yield and quality of the peppers.
Bell peppers will last up to three weeks if stored at 45 to 55 degrees and with relatively high humidity.
If too much nitrogen is added, you will have a great looking bushy green plant with few peppers.

(Compiled by Harsh Saxena)

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