Plan to set out home grown or purchased transplants after the last spring frost date. Start plants indoors in flats or pots 8 to 10 weeks before the average last frost date. Set hot pepper plants 12 to 15 inches apart, larger bell types 15 to 18 inches apart. Provide windbreaks to minimize transplant shock.
Sunlight: Grows best in a site that receives full sun.
Soil: Your hot peppers need to have a seed-starting soil mixture that supports their nutrition and hydration needs so that pepper seeds turn into seedlings.
Water: The soil needs to have a moist texture to a 6-inch depth. Enthusiastic watering may backfire and cause waterlogged soil. Using a container with multiple drainage holes and well-drained soil combats any form of being waterlogged. This open ecosystem allows excess water to escape from the container while nourishing the pepper plant. Over-watering, the lack of drainage holes and compacted soil contribute to root rot, which causes slow die-back of the entire plant.
Temprature: 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit
Fertilizer: Peppers are light feeders. If you work 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil prior to transplanting, that s probably sufficient. You can also side-dress the plants with a light sprinkling of 5-10-10 when blossoming starts, just to give them a boost if needed.
Harvesting: Most peppers, except for a few varieties like Sweet Banana, are green when young. Though bell peppers come in many colours, such as red, yellow, and purple, you can eat any of them in the green stage. However, they are sweeter if you let them ripen until the colour is fully developed. Harvest by cutting through the stem of each fruit with a knife or with pruners. You can have an almost-continuous harvest from your pepper plants by cutting often, as this encourages the plant to keep blossoming, especially in the beginning of the summer.
- Provide deep watering weekly for pepper plants.
- Support bushy, heavy-yielding plants with 2-foot-high cages, or stake them.
- Apply heavy organic mulches when summer heat begins to peak.
- Temperatures over 90 degrees F can cause buds and blossoms to drop; the condition is more serious if humidity is low also.
- Chilli pepper contains an impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties.
- Chillies contain health benefiting an alkaloid compound in them, capsaicin, which gives strong spicy pungent character.
- Early laboratory studies on experimental mammals suggest that capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties.
- It also found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals.
- Fresh chilli peppers, red and green, are rich source of vitamin-C.
- 100 g fresh chillies provide about 143.
- 7 µg or about 240% of RDA.
- Vitamin C is a potent water-soluble antioxidant.
- It is required for the collagen synthesis in the body.
- Collagen is the main structural protein in the body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones.
- Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body protect from scurvy; develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
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