A variety of sweet pepper widely cultivated for its edible fruit. The plump, crisp, hollow fruit of this plant, typically green, yellow, or red.
HOW TO GROW
- Select a variety of green pepper that grows well in the area you live. There are a number of different types of green pepper plants available on the market, some more tolerant of heat or cold than others, so you will need to choose a variety that fits best with your climate. Check the seed’s packaging for an indication of what regions they will do best in, or ask a gardener or sales associate for help. You can also research which varieties do well in your area online.
- Plant green pepper seeds indoors. Start the seeds approximately 7 to 10 weeks before you’re ready to plant them outside. Germination mats are a great option for planting peppers in, as they will keep the seeds warmer and damper than standard planters.
- Keep the seed pouches in a location that is consistently warm. Water them only when the soil is dry to your touch. If possible, place the seeds under a heat lamp to help the seeds achieve a constant temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) while they remain indoors, which will help them grow faster.
- Dig a trench. Aim to plant the young pepper plants approximately 7 inches (17.8 cm), and space them roughly 18 to 24 inches (45.7 to 61.0 cm) apart. The ideal location to plant will be in full sun with rich, aerated soil.
- Transplant your peppers in the trench. Try to do this 2 to 3 weeks after the last spring frost in your area. The outside temperature and soil should consistently be no less than 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). If you are buying semi-mature green pepper plants from your local nursery, this is also the ideal time put them in your garden.
- Cover the roots of the pepper plant. Use an even mixture of dirt unearthed from the trench and compost, which will provide vital nutrients to the growing plants.
- Water the green pepper plants regularly. The soil should be moist and warm at all times to encourage the plants to blossom and grow
- Cover the plants with a row cover. Do this if temperatures drop below 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) during any evenings. The row covers protect the sensitive blooms and keep the plants warm.
- Allow the peppers to grow to a minimum of 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10.2 cm) before picking. This takes approximately 50 to 70 days from the time of transplanting, depending on variety of pepper.
- Soil should be well-drained, but maintain adequate moisture either with mulch or plastic covering.
- Water one to two inches per week, but remember peppers are extremely heat sensitive. If you live in a warm or desert climate, watering everyday may be necessary.
- Fertilize after the first fruit set.
- Weed carefully around plants.
- If necessary, support plants with cages or stakes to prevent bending. Try commercially available cone-shaped wire tomato cages. They may not be ideal for tomatoes, but they are just the thing for peppers.
- For larger fruit, spray the plants with a solution of one tablespoon of Epsom salts in a gallon of water, once when it begins to bloom, and once ten days later.
- Flea Beetles
- Cucumber Mosaic Virus
- Blossom End Rot appears as a soft, sunken area which turns darker in color.
- Pollination can be reduced in temperatures below 60F and above 90F.
- Too much nitrogen will reduce fruit from setting.
- Red peppers contain almost 300 percent of your daily vitamin C intake. Besides being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is also needed for the proper absorption of iron. If you are iron deficient, try combining red peppers with your iron source for maximum absorption.
- Red bell peppers are a great source of vitamin B6 and magnesium. This vitamin and mineral combination shows a decrease in anxiety, especially related to pre-menstrual symptoms. Vitamin B6 is also a natural diuretic, so try stocking up on red bell peppers to reduce bloating and prevent against hypertension.
- Red bell peppers help support healthy night vision. Red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision. So when it comes to bell peppers, seeing red is a good thing!
- Red bell peppers are packed with antioxidants. The combined effects of vitamin A and C create a great antioxidant capacity, and with lycopene in the mix, the red bell pepper becomes a top notch superfood. Lycopene is what makes tomatoes and peppers red. Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene, which has been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers including prostate and lung.
- Burn more calories with red bell peppers. Recent research has shown that sweet red peppers can activate thermogenesis and increase metabolic rate. Red bell peppers do not contain capsaicin, which is what makes peppers hot and causes us to sweat, but they do have a mild thermogenic action that increases our metabolism without increasing our heart rate and blood pressure like the hot peppers do.