Do you love peppers, but growing them yourself has so far produced hardly any fruit? If you take these tips to heart, your plants will thrive splendidly and certainly give you a rich bell pepper harvest.
With their vitamin C content, they are little energy packs and, thanks to numerous colors and shapes, a versatile vegetable in the kitchen: peppers. But whether you grow mild sweet peppers or hot peppers and chili, the plants do not always grow satisfactorily and reward the care required with a full harvest basket. However, you can help that along a bit. Here are three professional tips for growing peppers.
Trick 1: Sow peppers early.
To ensure that the crunchy fruits ripen in time for the season, it is important to start sowing peppers early. If you wait too long with the sowing, you commit one of the most common mistakes in the cultivation of peppers and risk a weak harvest. This is because the vegetable has quite a long growing season overall. So reach for the seed bag still in the first quarter of the year, between mid-February and mid-March. Sow the seeds in a mini-greenhouse filled with high-quality sowing soil or in a seed tray, which you then cover with a transparent hood or foil.
Since peppers are an extremely light-hungry and heat-requiring vegetable, you need to keep a few points in mind for successful germination: The seed container must be very bright and warm, ideally at a temperature of 25 °C / 77 ° F. If the conditions are right, this can be a place by a south-facing window in the house. Better still is a heated greenhouse or winter garden. If the location is too cold, the pepper seeds will simply not germinate. In addition, fungi can sprout in the substrate. If the light is too low, the seedlings become yellow. So they shoot up quickly, but are rather weak and develop poorly.
Trick 2: Remove the “king flower”.
If you want to reap a bountiful harvest, you should always remove the terminal / first bud from large-fruited pepper varieties. This simple trick ensures, among other things, that abundant fruits form on the plant. If this trick is omitted, the vegetative growth of the peppers suffers and the yields over the entire season are lower. The terminal bud is often referred to as the “king flower” and sprouts at the end of the main shoot, more specifically in the bifurcation between the main shoot and the first side shoot. The best thing to do is to grab the flower with your index finger and thumb and remove it. Alternatively, you can simply cut it off.
Trick 3: Re-pollinate pepper blossoms by hand.
You have cared for your peppers and despite many blossoms you could count the fruits on one hand? Then you should help out in the future and re-pollinate the peppers by hand. Especially when cultivating in a greenhouse, the pollinating insects are often missing. And the wind doesn’t always have a chance to blow the pollen out of one flower and carry it to the next. Sometimes it is enough to shake the plant gently. But as soon as the humidity is too high, the pollen sticks to the stamens. So it is worthwhile to help with a brush or cotton swab to stimulate the fruiting of plants. To do this, gently dab the utensil into one of the flowers to pick up the pollen. Then swipe it over the pistil of another flower to fertilize it.