Bell peppers, native to Central and North America, have always been a popular homegrown vegetables. There are various types of bell peppers; though they come in different shapes, sizes and colors (green, yellow and red), they share one same thing: rich in vitamin C. They can be used as ingredient in many dishes.
Growing bell peppers in a garden is really easy. Here are some simple tips you can use:
First, sow the seeds indoor eight weeks before the last frost. Put them in pots at least 2 inches in diameter.
Prepare the soil in your garden by putting plenty of compost and manure. Bell peppers just love a well-balanced soil. Do not plant the seedlings outside before the last frost. Bell peppers do not like too cold climate. Instead, they enjoy warmth. Thus, before you plant them outside, make sure that the soil temperature reaches at least 65OF. If it is still quite cool, it is okay to delay the planting for several days.
Leave gaps between seedlings at 18 to 24 inches each, and between rows at 24 to 36 inches each. This gap measurement varies according to the bell pepper variety.
Bell peppers love sunshine, but not too much for few varieties. Plant them in spots of your garden that receive at least 8 hours of direct sunshine.
Keep the soil well-drained, water your bell peppers well every day. Water them more in the hot, dry summer months. Otherwise you will obtain bell peppers with a bitter taste.
Cover the peppers with mulch to keep weeds out and to retain moisture. Use organic insecticides if ever needed.
Avoid putting too much nitrogen fertilizers into the soil since it will cause your bell peppers produce less fruits and more leaves. Keep the soil moist, never too sodden.
When it is time to harvest your bell peppers, cut the ripe ones about 1 centimeter just above the lids. Leave alone the remaining part of the plants, they will continue grow. The more you harvest, the more they bear fruits. So pick them as soon as possible!
If you find some unripe ones when the first frost is due, cut them, and then bring them inside to allow them continue the maturity process. Most bell peppers are green when they are not ripe yet. Mature ones may be orange, red, yellow, green or purple, depending on the variety.