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PEPPERS


  How To Grow Peppers


PLANT TYPE: Annual
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Capsicum annuum
LIGHT: Full Sun
SOIL TYPE: Well-drained, loose soil with moderate organic matter
pH RANGE: 6.0 - 6.8
MOISTURE/WATERING: Average
MATURITY IN DAYS: 100 - 120 from seed
KNOWN PESTS: Aphids
KNOWN DISEASES: Leaf spot, blossom end rot



OVERVIEW:

Peppers are one of the most versatile vegetables in the garden and will grow in many areas, including northern Canada. Sow pepper seeds indoors or in hot beds in very early spring for good germination, and then keep the seedlings warm. Transplant peppers after all risk of frost is past. Mulching well help to keep the ground moist and produce quality peppers.

Harvest when peppers have a high gloss as green bells or wait for maturity when they are red and sweet. Peppers have very high levels of Vitamin C and also contain Vitamin A. Great raw or in a variety of cooked dishes, salads and salsa.


PROPAGATION / SOWING OF PEPPERS:

Peppers require a long, warm growing season. Pepper seed should be started indoors in March or 8 weeks prior to transplanting. To start pepper seed indoors, sow 2-3 seeds ¼” deep, into 1x1” cells and provide constant moisture and a soil temperature of 26-29°C (80-85°F). After germination (1-2 weeks), thin pepper seedlings to one per cell. Once seedlings develop 2-3 true leaves, transplant into larger containers, 2x2” or 3x3”. At transplanting time, set pepper transplants 18” apart in rows 30” apart.


COMPANION PLANTING FOR PEPPERS:

Peppers do well with carrots, onions, parsnip, peas and basil.


CARE & GROWING OF PEPPERS:

Peppers prefer sheltered, full sun area with a soil pH of 6.0-6.8. Peppers are moderate feeders and require plenty of compost and well rotted manure mixed into the soil prior to planting. Fertilize sparingly until pepper plants start to set fruit. Too much nitrogen causes an excess of foliage and dropping of flower buds. Provide even moisture, particularly during flowering and fruit set on pepper plants. Use black plastic or paper mulch to attract heat, hold water and prevent weeds.


HARVESTING PEPPERS:

Begin harvest when peppers reach a useable size. Cut peppers rather than pull from branch.


PEPPER PROBLEMS:

Blossoms will drop when temperature falls below 60°F (15°C) or goes above 80°F (27°C). Blossom End Rot Pepper fruits blacken and decay at the blossom end due to a calcium deficiency. Poor Fruit Set usually due to cold weather. Excessive nitrogen fertilizer during early growth may also delay fruit set.












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Peppers generally have a long growing season. Therefore, after the soil has thoroughly warmed in the spring, set out 6-8 week old transplants to get a head start toward harvest.






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