How to Grow Capsicums, Hot Chillies and Sweet Chillies
Capsicums, chillies and sweet chillies are all from the nightshade Solanaceae family and all require similar growing conditions. There are so many different varieties– red capsicums, black capsicums, jalapeno peppers, etc. It is a great idea to grow multiple varieties to be able to try each kind. Each kind of capsicum has a flavour unique to another kind.
Steps on How to Grow Capsicums in your Garden
1. Capsicum or chilli seeds tend to take a long time to germinate, up to three weeks, so plant them indoors in containers. They can be a bit tricky from seed so many gardeners just opt to buy seedlings.
2. Depending on the type of pepper that you intend to grow, the plant will mature in a period of 70 to 90 days.
3. Much like all night shade plants, capsicums will need a lot of sunlight so choose a good spot to plant them on.
4. Prepare the soil with compost, but not mushroom compost as it is too alkaline, and fertiliser when transplanting seedlings.
5. Keep a space of at least 18 inches (45cms) between seedlings and at least 24 inches (60cms) between rows.
How to Water
1. As for watering, capsicums/chillies need moist soil but not overly wet. When seedlings use a watering can to regulate the amount of water poured in to your peppers.
2. Once established, water deeply up to every second day in hot weather.
3. As the plants grow, add mulch and switch to fertiliser with phosphorus and potassium for better yield. Chillies are heavy feeders so keep up the fertiliser.
When to Harvest Them?
As for harvesting, there is no defined criterion. You can harvest the fruits any time you want.
Spider mites and aphids are common problems for capsicums. Organic pesticides can help with any pest problems. Ladybugs, on the other hand, can help get rid of aphids. Fruit fly will also cause problems in the sweet varieties which is hard to control. If this happens, you might just need to pick them green before the flies set in.
So that’s how you can easily plant, grow, harvest and care for your hot chillies, sweet chillies and capsicums. If you have some expert tips and advice that I failed to mention here, feel free to comment and share your thoughts in our comments box below.
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