Common name: Pepper
Bell pepper is a vegetable belonging to the Solanaceae family. It is characterized by its conical or cubic shape, crunchy flesh and mild to slightly pungent flavor. There are different varieties of peppers, ranging from green to red to yellow and orange.
Peppers prefer warm, sunny climates. They require a temperature of at least 20°C during the day and do not tolerate frosts. A well-drained soil, rich in organic matter, with a pH between 6 and 7, is ideal for their growth.
Peppers can be sown indoors, about 8-10 weeks before the planned outdoor transplant date. The seeds should be placed at a depth of about 1 cm in buckets or pots. When the risk of frost has passed, the plants can be transplanted into the garden, spacing them about 40 to 60 cm apart.
Peppers require regular watering, making sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Mulching around plants can help conserve moisture and prevent weed growth. It is also recommended to fertilize peppers every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer.
Peppers can be harvested when they have reached their adult size and their color is well developed. Harvesting is usually done 60 to 90 days after transplanting. It is better to cut the peppers with a sharp knife than to pull them out to avoid damaging the plants.
Diseases and pests:
Peppers are prone to certain diseases like mildew, fruit rot and verticillium wilt. Common pests include aphids, whiteflies and spider mites. It is important to monitor pepper plants carefully and apply preventive measures, such as crop rotation and the use of organic products if necessary.
Peppers can be propagated by seed, using seeds collected from ripe fruits. Seeds should be dried and stored in a cool, dry place before sowing.
To encourage good growth of peppers, it is recommended to stake the plants to support them as they grow. Regularly remove weeds around the plants to avoid nutrient and water competition. If you want sweeter peppers, harvest them while they are still green. For more pronounced flavors, allow them to mature until they achieve their full color.
Pepper cultivation can be rewarding for home gardeners. With the right growing conditions, proper planting, regular maintenance, and careful monitoring for diseases and pests, you can harvest delicious, colorful peppers. Feel free to experiment with different varieties to diversify flavors and colors in your garden. Enjoy these versatile vegetables in your meals, whether raw, grilled, stuffed or added to sauces. Have fun and happy harvesting!