How to Grow Bell Peppers? Bell peppers are a warm-weather crop that is popular for both raw and cooked consumption. Capsaicin, the key component in hot peppers that gives them their heat, is absent in crunchy, sweet bell pepper plants.
What are Bell Peppers?
The smooth outer peel of bell peppers protects the fresh, crisp flesh inside. The fruit is hollow, with several seeds clustered in the middle and clinging to the white membrane that runs down the walls. The bell pepper (Capsicum annuum), a member of the Capsicum genus that also includes the chilli pepper species, is larger, rounder, crunchier, and milder than its little, spicy relatives.
How to Grow Bell Peppers?
1. Plant to Grow Bell Peppers
Bell peppers have a long growing season and are frequently planted from seed inside (around two months before the last spring frost date, depending on your hardiness zone). How to Plant Peppers Successfully:
Start Seeds Indoors First: If your climate isn’t conducive to growing peppers, start your seeds indoors first. Fill a planting tray halfway with soil and put your bell pepper seeds a quarter-inch deep. Water, provide sunlight, and keep the seedlings warm—if required, lay the seeds near a heating pad. Maintain temperatures of at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit for your seeds.
Harden Off Your Plant: Your bell pepper seedlings should have sprouted and been ready for transplanting outside after one to three weeks of germination. However, bell peppers are especially susceptible to transplant shock and will need to acclimatise to their new surroundings. Around 10 days before planting, gradually introduce your seedlings to outdoor circumstances for short periods of time per day, gradually increasing the amount of time they spend outside. This will help them adapt better and minimise wilting or stunted growth, resulting in healthier plants.
Transplant Outdoors: Your bell peppers are prepared for transplanting when the soil temperature in your garden reaches at least 65°F (nighttime lows should be at least 60°F). Keep your seedlings 18 to 24 inches apart, and bury them in well-draining soil far enough to completely cover their root balls while yet allowing the leaves to rest on the top layer.
2. Bell Pepper Plant Care Tips
Bell peppers prefer a rich, more sandy or loamy soil that keeps the earth warm and well-drained. Additionally, bell peppers prefer a soil pH range of 6.0 to 6.8. To ensure that your bell pepper plants receive the correct care:
Mulch Well: Black plastic mulch can aid in solar absorption and maintain the temperature of your soil. Bell peppers benefit from grass clippings as well since they can help cover weeds that could harm their vulnerable root system.
Water Carefully: Bell peppers require one to two inches of water every week. Although bell peppers prefer warm weather, they will not thrive in extreme heat, therefore gardeners in hotter climes should water twice a day if necessary. Bitter-tasting peppers are caused by dry circumstances, but overwatering can suffocate the roots or produce blossom end rot, which occurs when the calcium in the soil is depleted. Keep a close eye on your watering and try to keep it as balanced as possible.
Provide Sun: Bell peppers require full sun to develop and ripen correctly, so put them in a sunny area in your vegetable garden—unless you live in a climate prone to extreme heat and intense sunlight, in which case shade fabric or neighbouring plants can be utilised to regulate temperatures.
Use The Right Fertilizer: Fertilize with a low-nitrogen mix to help your bell peppers develop without slowing fruit output.
Stake: While not required, staking your bell peppers can help keep them off the ground, away from pests, and decrease sunscald, which can occur if the pepper is exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period of time in hot weather. Bell pepper leaves typically provide some shade for the fruit, and propping can assist keep them upright and sheltered.
Check For Pests: Garden pests that enjoy bell peppers include aphids and flea beetles. To keep pests at bay, use organic insecticides and tend to your plants on a regular basis.
Companion Plant: Bell peppers grow in the presence of corn, cucumbers, and carrots, but not in the presence of cabbage family plants or fennel.
Depending on the type of pepper you choose, it can take bell peppers 60 to 90 days to ripen. The youngest and most bitter peppers are green ones, but if you leave one on the vine it will turn yellow, then orange, and finally ripen into a red pepper, which is the sweetest variety. Using your hands to remove the fruit from the plant can harm the plant, so use a sharp knife or pair of scissors instead, leaving approximately an inch of the stem behind.
How Long Does It Take For Bell Peppers to Grow?
Bell peppers require 60 to 90 days to mature from seed to maturity. At this moment, white blooms will appear on the vine, indicating that the fruits are beginning to grow. They swiftly grow in size, and when they reach 4 to 5 inches in length, it is time to harvest them.
How to Make Bell Peppers Grow Bigger?
1. Climate Conditions
Check the temps in your location to see if your bell peppers are sprouting little fruits. It’s recommended to keep the temperature between 70 and 80°F during the day and 60 and 70°F at night. These prerequisites may be difficult to satisfy in some areas, but Krostrade.com may help.
Indoor growth of bell peppers in a greenhouse makes temperature control easier for the farmer. If your locale experiences extreme weather, you can keep your bell peppers indoors. If the temperature rises beyond 80°F, the peppers will be deformed and undersized because the blooms will be damaged.
Another climatic circumstance that slows plant growth and results in tiny peppers is transplanting in the wrong climate. If you transplanted the pepper seedlings when the earth was not yet warm, they would suffer from shock. If the temperature is too low, the crop can take up to 20 days to mature.
2. Water to Make Bell Peppers Grow Bigger
If you’re wondering why your peppers are still small despite the appropriate conditions, it’s possible that you’re not providing them with enough water. A lack of water can harm pepper flowering, which also impacts the fruit. As a result, plan to provide an inch of water to your crops once a week.
Growing bell peppers in a greenhouse will make it easier to keep them hydrated. Instead of showering the leaves with sprinklers, use a drip hose to hydrate the roots. It is also critical to remember the soil type, as some drain faster than others.
According to Cornell University, transplanting plants too soon can weaken them. As a result, the quality of the fruits suffers as well. Growing bell peppers inside can help them grow larger. After that, select plants with three to five sets of true leaves since they will produce huge peppers.
Plants can be placed outside three weeks after the last frost. Covering the rows with caution because overheating might alter the growth of the peppers. Fruits might also be damaged if the temperature is too high on either end during transplantation.
Another method for producing large peppers is to provide fertiliser to the region before transplanting and to fertilise each plant after transplantation. You can also use a mulch to keep moisture in and weeds out. Finally, keep in mind that the plants require 24 inches of space between them to support growth and large peppers.
Also Read: How to Grow Peppers from Seeds?