Features of growing hot pepper
Bitter pepper, or chili, is known throughout the world. This spice can be grown successfully both in the garden and at home, right in the flowerpot. Features planting and care, as well as harvesting - this is what you need to know, deciding to grow this spicy seasoning yourself.
The origin and description of the culture
Originally a plant of the pepper family from tropical America. Historical findings indicate that hot pepper was present in the diet of the ancient Peruvians, inhabitants of the territory of modern Bolivia, and the first mention of it dates back to the period of 6 thousand years ago.
Then, with the advent of Columbus expeditions in these territories, this spice appeared on the tables of European residents, who called it “Indian pepper”. Today it is grown in many countries, but enjoys special respect and popularity among the inhabitants of India and Thailand. Did you know? The name of chili peppers comes from the word chilli, which in the language of the Aztecs - tribes living in the territory of modern Mexico, meant "red". Speaking about how this bush grows, we can say that it is successfully grown both in open ground and at home. The bush reaches a height of 0.6 m, can be quite branched. The lower part of the stem gradually becomes woody.
The leaves of the pepper bush are oval with a slight sharpening to the apex, petiolate. During flowering, large, white and gray-purple flowers appear on it. Fruits - berries with a small-fruited pericarp, which may have an elongated or spherical shape. The color of the fruit can be different: red, yellow, orange, green, dark olive.
The taste of pepper depends on the variety and can vary from bitter to burning fiery. All acuity is concentrated in the seeds and internal partitions of the fetus. The yield of the bush depends on the variety of pepper and the place of its growth.
Pros and cons of growing
Hot peppers have a lot of useful qualities and are successfully used both in cooking, in medicine and cosmetology.
- Its advantages include:
- contains a large amount of vitamins C, PP;
- strengthens the cardiovascular system, helps cleanse blood vessels;
- It has an antimicrobial effect, being an effective tool in the fight against colds;
- stimulates blood circulation, which prevents the occurrence of blood clots, and is used even with frostbite;
- It has a fat-burning property, helps to maintain and not gain weight;
- removes toxins from the colon;
- preserves the youth of the body, inhibiting the aging process;
- used for the prevention and prevention of cancer;
- helps to fight diseases such as atherosclerosis, rheumatism, gout, myositis, radiculitis, arthritis;
- Helps improve healthy hair
- increases the body's defenses;
- stimulates the production of endorphins - “hormones of happiness”, which help to reduce the effect of stress on the body, increase vitality and dull pain;
- improves the functioning of the stomach and digestive system;
- enhances the flow of oxygen to organs and tissues.
- However, the benefits of the product can be felt only with its correct and moderate use, otherwise this hot pepper can have a negative effect:
- burn the mucous surfaces of the stomach;
- give an excessive load on the cardiovascular system, increase the level of pressure as a result of increased blood circulation;
- significantly stimulate appetite and increase salivation;
- provoke an exacerbation of chronic diseases of the digestive tract, kidneys and liver.
Planting and growing hot peppers
Plant seeds of hot pepper in the greenhouse should be from mid-February to early March, in order to ensure full ripening of the fruit. You can make an earlier planting, but you need to take into account the need of the plant in sunlight: in this case, organize additional lighting with special lamps. This will allow the bushes to be stronger.
In the open ground, landing is done later, when the average daily temperature is in the range +15 ... + 17 ° C. At this time, hot pepper seedlings already have the first buds. Hot peppers are very fond of warmth. The ripening dates of the fruits are different for each species, on average, they are 100-120 days, therefore, in the conditions of our region, this plant is grown exclusively in seedlings, in contrast to hotter countries.
To the question whether it is possible to plant bitter and sweet peppers nearby in a greenhouse or in the open ground, one should answer as follows: the bushes of these plants should be at least 3.5 m from each other, since they can become dusty with each other, resulting in sharp pepper will lose its hotness, and sweet varieties will be filled with bitterness.
You will be interested to know about the main reasons for the lack of ovaries on peppers.
Seed selection and preparation
Since chili peppers are grown mainly in seedlings, when choosing seeds, you need to pay attention to the climatic conditions of the region where the plant is supposed to be grown.
Mid-season varieties of pepper are grown in the northern regions exclusively by the seedling method, but hybrid or early-ripening varieties in the southern regions can be planted by direct sowing in the greenhouse, and then picked and transplanted into the open ground.
Before planting the seeds, they are carefully inspected and carefully cut off low-quality and dried out.
The soil for growing hot chili peppers should be fertile. To do this, you can purchase special soil for growing peppers or create it yourself.
The composition should include:
- humus - 2 parts;
- river sand (washed) - 1 part;
- peat (non-acidic) - 2 parts.
To disinfect the soil, especially with its small volumes, at home it should be subjected to heat treatment, heating the soil in an oven, double boiler or microwave. The substrate can also be made more saturated by adding complex fertilizers to it.
Read how to grow chili peppers at home on a window sill from seeds.
Seedling boxes must have drainage holes in order to allow excess water to drain after irrigation. This will help prevent root decay or black rot from excessively moist soil.
Speaking about how to plant pepper seeds, it should be said that seedlings begin to be planted in the northern regions in February or March, and in warmer ones in January or February. After the seeds have been sanitized and have lain for some time in a wet cloth, they should hatch or open slightly in a moist and warm environment at a temperature of + 25 ° C.
If we consider the moment how many days the seedlings emerge, then it should be said that this period is quite long and takes 10–20 days, depending on the quality of the seed, soil and temperature conditions in the room.
After opening the cotyledon, it is important that a lot of light gets on the seedlings and the temperature does not drop below + 20 ° C. After the first leaves appear, the seedlings must be dived into small pots, immersed in the ground to cotyledons. When the seedlings reach the age of 60–65 days, it is transplanted into open ground or a pot for growing at home. Important! If at night the seedlings are transplanted into open ground, the night temperature drops below +12 ° C, then the planting with peppers should be covered with non-woven material, thrown onto rooted supports or arcs.
How to plant seedlings in the ground:
- Create holes with an interval of 30–40 cm with a row spacing of 60 cm. You can use the 50x50 cm pattern and drop 2 seedlings into the hole. The depth of the hole should be such that the seedlings plunge into the soil along the root neck.
- In each hole, before immersing the seedling, add 1 tbsp. l complex mineral fertilizer and mix it with the ground.
- Carefully remove the seedling from the pot with an earthen lump and transfer it to the prepared hole.
- Sprinkle the hole with the earth halfway and fill it with water. Enough 1/3 of the bucket. Wait until the water is absorbed, and fill the hole completely with earth.
- Mulch the bed with peat.
It is better to plant hot peppers on a bed in the evening or on a cloudy day.
How to grow hot chili peppers is worth telling in more detail. The pepper bush grows well at a temperature of between +20 ... + 25 ° C, in open ground, these fluctuations should not deviate significantly from + 26 ° C in the daytime and + 18 ° C at night for full plant vegetation.
It should be said that if the indicators of how the air warmed up exceed the + 30 ° C mark, the pollination of the pepper bush ceases. To solve this problem, you need to shake the bush well.
Care of the soil in which the pepper bush grows should include its earthing up, applying nutrient fertilizing on a regular basis and loosening the soil, which will help ensure proper nutrition and development of the plant. Since chili loves warm and moist substrates, mulching will be very relevant in this situation.
Watering and feeding
Chili pepper needs moisture, especially during the period when the bush blooms and bears fruit. Do not allow strong drying of the soil.
Read more about how to water and how often you need to water pepper.
Watering should be carried out regularly:
- daily in the evening or early in the morning;
- during the heatwave - twice a day.
Plant nutrition is carried out before planting, and then systematically - every 2 weeks - with complex fertilizers. The peculiarity of fertilizing is as follows: at the initial stage of the growing season, the plant needs phosphorus and magnesium, and when the peppers are already beginning to ripen, they reduce the introduction of nitrogen fertilizers. Well perceives a bush and foliar top dressing based on ash. In home growing conditions, you can use mineral fertilizers for home plants.
For example, you can use drugs such as:
- Fertin Lux;
Trimming and shaping a bush
Chili pepper bushes need to be formed, for which, when the seedlings reach a height of 30–35 cm, they begin to pinch them. The bush after such a procedure becomes more compact, gives lateral shoots and bears fruit well.
If the purpose of growing is the size of the pods of pepper, then it is necessary to cut off several flowers during flowering, which will cause an increase in the size of the fruits remaining on the bush. Experienced gardeners insist that the optimal number of peppers on the bush is 25 pods.
For the first time, a transplant takes place at the stage when the seedlings reach the age when they have several young leaves. At this point, it becomes necessary to dive plants from a common box in separate pots with a diameter of 8-10 cm and a shallow depth.
This will allow a bit to restrain the active development of the root system before transplanting into open ground and will direct more plant forces to the development of the ground part.
Also find out how cayenne pepper and chili differ.
The pick suggests:
- preliminary irrigation of the substrate in which the seedlings are located;
- careful extraction of the seedling, aimed at saving the fragile root system;
- filling the container into which the seedling is transferred by drainage, filling with suitable soil;
- planting a seedling in a separate pot for seedlings.
It should also be said that before starting the transfer of seedlings to the open ground, it is necessary to harden the plant: take it out on the balcony for several hours a day, starting from 1-2 hours and bringing the stay in the air to a full day, gradually increasing " a walk. " Upon reaching the age of one, domestic chili peppers must be transplanted annually, increasing the size of the pot and completely updating the soil.
Pest and Disease Control
Hot peppers can suffer from pests such as:
- spider mites;
- Colorado beetles;
- bare slugs.
Learn more about how to get rid of slugs on pepper, as well as how to protect pepper from slugs in a greenhouse.
Among the diseases that affect the health and development of the plant, one can note the following:
- spotting: white, black, brown;
- rot: white, gray, apical;
- bacterial cancer;
- late blight.
In the treatment of the above diseases, biologics such as Trichodermin, Fitosporin, Fundazol, etc., have proven themselves well.
When and how to harvest
If agricultural technology was carried out in accordance with the necessary requirements and all cultivation conditions were met, then the pepper crop can be harvested soon after the fruits are formed. Hot peppers are suitable for consumption immediately after the formation of the pod.
Signs that the chili is ripe are:
- pod color: fiery red, yellow, saturated orange;
- pepper leaves turn yellow, and the lower ones even dry out;
- by touching the pepper and rubbing its surface slightly, you can feel a slight burning sensation;
- when you lightly press the pod with your fingers, the fetal walls crack slightly.
As a rule, the hot pepper harvest season is in early September. Peppers can be stored at a temperature of +10 ... + 12 ° C, if it was collected unripe, and +7 ... + 9 ° C - if the fruits are fully ripe. Chili peppers are stored in whole or dried form.
Important! The pods on such a sharp “garland” should not touch, otherwise the fruits will not dry evenly and may begin to rot.
Before drying, you need to rinse the pods first in warm water, rinse off dust and dirt from them, and then rinse in cold and dry with a towel, removing excess moisture. Then it is strung entirely on the thread, fixing in a vertical position so that it passes below the stalk.
Peppers are hung on a thread in a dry and well-ventilated area. Ready-made dried pods are sent to dense fabric bags or glass containers. Whole pods need ventilation, so they cannot be packed tightly.
You can also dry the pods in the oven, dryer for vegetables or in crushed form on a newspaper on the windowsill, after which pieces of hot pepper are crushed in a coffee grinder or blender. The resulting powder is sent to a tightly closed glass container to prevent moisture from entering. A dried product can be stored for a year or more.
Hot peppers can be preserved by placing them in a jar of sunflower oil or marinade. In the first case, the spin is sterilized and can be stored in a cool place under a metal lid for 2–3 months, and in the second case, peppers in brine are sent under a nylon lid to the refrigerator. Chili peppers can be frozen by harvesting whole or chopped pods.
Hot Pepper Growing Recommendations
Those who are engaged in the cultivation of hot peppers for a long time recommend the following tips:
- Remember that pepper burning depends on its variety and growing conditions. Some instances can be so dangerous that touching them can cause a burn. Knowing this, you can work with such pods only by protecting your hands and eyes.
- After preparing dishes using hot peppers, you must thoroughly wash the work surface and kitchen equipment with detergent before starting to process other products.
- Having received a burn from chili pepper, it is necessary to rinse your hand with cold water and apply a thin layer of sunflower oil on the damaged surface.