For some, learning how to grow peppers is not a priority. But in our home where we eat fresh peppers almost every night we made sure that we had lots of different varieties of peppers – from sweet to hot – in our home vegetable garden.
How to grow peppers – planting Like I said above, we love chilli and peppers, so every space or pot that was available held a few pepper plants. There are two main types of peppers – bell or sweet peppers and hot or chilli peppers. We like both! Peppers have great Vitamin C content as well as Vitamin A. Chilli peppers can be addictive (ummm – do you think we have a problem?) because of the seratonins they cause the body to produce!
Peppers are warm season vegetables and have a short sowing season in most regions, but in sub tropical regions you can grow year round. I start my peppers in seed trays in late autum and keep them indoors in our home made seedling starter box. When the soil temperatures increase you can plant them 40cm apart in an area prepared with lots of well rotted organic matter and compost.
Long term care
When the plants begins to flower give them a high potassium feed. We make a banana “smoothie” and dilute it with water and pour this around the roots. As the roots are shallow you should not let the soil around the roots dry out. In windy areas you may need to stake the plants as it can become quite brittle and snap. At the end of their season you can cut them right back to two new shoots and see if they grow again the following season. some say that these are best grown from seed each season.
The cool thing about peppers is that the more you pick the more they flower. So pick the peppers as they get big enough to use. These pepper plants, if cared for correctly will continue to yield for a long time and the flowers will only stop when serious cold weather sets in. There you have it – a simple and easy way how to grow peppers.
When to plant: Plant out seedlings in early summer.
How many plants: 10 plants in succession.
How long to harvest: 11 weeks
Successive planting: Two plantings 4 weeks apart.
STUFFED PEPPER RECIPE
While we love our chilli peppers with chilli, our sweet peppers are generally eaten raw in salas. Every now and again I use large sweet peppers to make this divine stuffed pepper recipe.1 large pepper per person,
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 pkt pinenuts
140g cooked brown basmati rice
1 punnet mushrooms
1 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
Salt, pepper, olive oil.
Fry the garlic and onion in the oil. Add the mushrooms and pinenuts. Add seasonings and herbs. Mix together.
Cut off the top of the pepper on the stalk side and remove the core. Keep the top.
Rinse the pepper and dry, then stuff with the rice mixture. Replace the top. Bake for 30 minutes in your oven. Serve with a salad.