Bell Pepper Growing
Bell pepper growing is one of the most popular vegetables that people love to grow in their garden because they come in various flavors, from sweet to spicy.
Peppers are a reasonably simple plant to cultivate and harvest. They are frequently gathered in their immature green state for use in salsas, salads, stuffing, roasting, and as a flavor enhancer in a variety of prepared meals. At maturity, most peppers mature slowly to red or various hues. They have a lot of potential for increasing value by drying or processing them.
It’s simple to grow bell peppers in a container. The first step is to either purchase the plant from a nursery or start from seed. Bell peppers are a warm-weather vegetable. In most gardens, peppers are classified as annual crops.
Stick to garden locations where tomatoes, eggplants, other peppers, or potatoes haven’t grown in at least three years when planting bell peppers. These plants are susceptible to the same illnesses, and many of them may survive in the soil. If any illnesses are present, change the soil in pots or containers every year.
How to Plant Bell Peppers From Seeds
So let’s see how to plant the peppers properly.
When to plant bell peppers
Start seeds 8-10 weeks before the last frost date indoors. In seed starting soil, plant 1/4” deep. Maintain a moist and warm environment for the seeds until they emerge in 10-21 days.
Here is an article about growing winter vegetables in a window box
Where to plant bell peppers
Place under grow lights or in a bright sunny window. Harden off for one week outside in a sheltered environment before planting. After all risk of frost has passed, plant 18″ apart in rows 2-3′ apart.
Bell peppers watering
Water: Make sure to water on a regular basis. Peppers require 1-2” of water every week, but be careful not to overwater them. Allow your peppers to dry out for a day or two if they have yellow wilted leaves.
Bell peppers soil
Soil: Because peppers have short root systems, loose soil will aid in the propagation of their roots. 5.8-6.5 pH Sunlight is abundant.
How do you fertilize bell peppers?
Fertilize: To keep soil nutrients in check, use a well-balanced all-purpose fertilizer. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Here is an article about the best organic fertilizer plants that you probably have at home right now
Bell Pepper Harvest
Harvest: Peppers can be harvested at any time, but they are at their most tasty and healthy when fully mature. Cut the pepper from the plant using a sharp knife or shears, leaving a tiny bit of the stem behind. Bell peppers that aren’t going to be utilized right away can be chopped up and frozen.
Bell Pepper Plant Care
Bell pepper plants require 1 to 2 inches of water weekly, but because they are not heat-tolerant, you should water them daily if you live in a hot climate. You’ll be alright as long as the soil can drain the excess water.
Weeds are harmful to plants because they compete for soil nutrients. Make a point of pulling up any weeds that grow around and in between your plants. Do so with caution, as you risk damaging the bell pepper roots.
Once you notice the first bell peppers sprouting, re-fertilize the soil with fertilizer or compost, and pay close attention to your watering schedule. Their water requirements are set to skyrocket.
Pest and Diseases Commonly Found in Bell Pepper
There are several diseases found in bell pepper.
Anthracnose is a fungal infection that creates patches on the stem, leaves, and fruit of bell peppers. The color of these patches will be black, purple, yellow, or brown. The area darkens and sinks; after a while, it transforms into a pink gelatinous mass, and the plant eventually rots. Mulch and planting in well-drained soil can help to control this.
Blossom-end rot is an issue caused by a lack of nutrients. It results in dark and black markings on the fruit’s blossom end.
It can be controlled by removing the fruits that have already been impacted. Fertilize the soil a week before planting and again when the fruits begin to grow to ensure that the plants receive adequate nutrition.
Fusarium Wilt is a fungus that causes yellowing of the foliage and wilting of the upper leaves, eventually killing the entire plant. Tissue may turn a reddish-brown color, and the plant as a whole may perish over time. When there is a lot of moisture in the soil and a lot of humidity, Fusarium wilt appears.
Gray Leaf Spot
The gray leaf spot doesn’t appear to be that awful. Small red-brown patches appear on your leaves at first, but as the disease grows and worsens, the lesions expand. Because of the high number of lesions that will cover your plant, the leaves will turn yellow and fall off.
Gray leaf spot is a fungus that demands you to clean up all of your garden’s produce detritus.
Pepper plants are a favorite of aphids. They’re tiny insects that cling to the undersides of leaves and feed on the sap of the plant. Aphids leave behind honeydew, a sticky, sugary liquid that attracts ants and raises the danger of sooty mold growth.
Aphids control methods
Mix a few teaspoons of pure liquid soap in a small bucket of water to make a DIY aphid spray. (Avoid using degreasers or moisturizers in your household cleaners.) Apply immediately on aphids and afflicted areas of the plant with a spray bottle, being sure to wet the undersides of leaves because eggs and larvae like to hide.
Aphids and other soft-bodied insects die as the soap destroys their protective outer coat. It does not affect birds or hardy beneficial insects such as lacewings, ladybugs, or pollinating bees. Ready-to-use insecticidal soaps are also available online or at a local nursery.
Aphids and other insects, such as mealy bugs, cabbage worms, beetles, leafminers, ants, and several species of caterpillars, are repelled by the organic chemicals in neem oil. It may, however, repel helpful insects, so use caution if they are present. Spray the afflicted areas after diluting the oil in water according to the package directions or using a ready-to-use neem oil spray. Neem oil is also effective against certain forms of fungus.
Using essential oils, make your own spray concoction. In a tiny spray bottle, combine 4 to 5 drops of each of the following herbs: peppermint, clove, rosemary, and thyme. Adult aphids, as well as aphid larvae and eggs, are targeted by spraying on damaged plants.
You may have beet armyworms if you notice oddly shaped holes in your foliage. Young larvae have the ability to skeletonize leaves and place egg clusters on their surfaces.
Beet armyworm control
Handpicking is the first step in beet armyworm management in the home garden. To kill the caterpillars, place them in a jar with soapy water, bag them, and dispose of the bodies.
Most conventional pesticides available to home gardeners are ineffective against these caterpillars. However, neem oil treatments can help. The eggs are vulnerable to treatment with petroleum oils because they are coated with a cottony or fibrous substance.
When applying pesticides, read and follow the label directions carefully. When treating beet armyworms on vegetable plants, pay close attention to the interval between treatment and harvest. Keep any pesticides in their original containers and out of children’s reach.
These tiny insects eat the foliage of your plants, causing damage to the immature fruit pods. The larvae of the pepper weevil are small cream-white grubs with brown heads, while the adults resemble small black beetles.
Pepper weevil control
Pepper weevils may be controlled by proper field sanitation and crop rotation, both of which are essential in controlling this pest. To assess whether or not to treat, use pheromone-baited sticky traps.
Inspect pepper transplants for infestation and remove nightshade plants from the pepper field and its borders.
Remove culled or fallen fruit from the field during fruit growth and harvest.
Remove and destroy fruit from the field and nearby surroundings as soon as possible after harvest. Pepper plant waste should be shredded and discarded. If pepper weevil is a concern, switch to a different crop the next season. Because pepper weevils exclusively feed on solanaceous plants, avoid rotating to crops like tomato and eggplant and keep solanaceous weeds under control.
On organically certified crops, cultural controls and pyrethrin sprays are permissible.
Bell Pepper Growing Summary
Bell peppers are a popular vegetable because they come in a wide range of flavors, from sweet to spicy.
Growing them is quite simple, and if you take care of them properly, you will enjoy one of the most popular vegetables in the kitchen!
I wish you success!
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