Whether the mild sweet peppers, the pointed and mostly hot peppers or the definitely very hot chilies: They all have very similar requirements in terms of cultivation and care, so that our tips can be transferred even if we are now talking about the bell pepper.
Location & soil
If you are growing young plants yourself, then you should use low-nutrient potting soil. This is the only way for the small plants to develop strong roots. After pricking out, you should examine the roots of the young plants. If they are still too weak, leave them in soil that is poor in nutrients. After that, however, they can also tolerate rich soil. It is important that the seedlings get a lot of light. The pepper plants also like a sunny and warm location outdoors. The plants also need sufficient water.
Sowing & planting
Since the bell peppers take a long time to develop, growing them early is important. Sow them in a bowl and place it light and relatively warm in your apartment. If you don’t have a greenhouse or conservatory, a south-facing window is the best choice. When the first leaves develop on the seedlings in addition to the cotyledons, you can prick them out into individual pots. Before planting out, put the young plants outside during the day to harden them.
Seed depth: 1 cm
Plant spacing: 40-50 cm, between the rows at least 60 cm
Good neighbors: cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes
Bad neighbors: peas, fennel, beetroot
Prefer: end of February
Plant out in the bed: mid-May
No-till sowing: not recommended as it requires a lot of heat
Germination time: between 5 days and 2 weeks
Cultivation period / harvest time: August – October
Tip for newbies
Support the plants outside with a small scaffold, otherwise branches can easily break in the wind.
Tip for experienced gardeners
The first bud that forms on the lowest branch of the main shoot is the so-called terminal bud and can be broken out. This usually leads to a higher yield.
If you snap off the bud that forms first in the first branch at the end of the central shoot of the plant with your fingers, the peppers will pick up more fruit. So sacrifice the so-called terminal bud or royal flower as soon as it flowers. As the season progresses, you may need to support the plants so that they don’t break off due to the wind or the weight of their fruit.
At the beginning, fertilize the pepper plants every 14 days, between mid-June and August 3-4 more times with an organic fertilizer. Water daily in summer as the pepper plant needs a lot of water.
Carefully break off the fruit when the desired ripeness is desired, as branches can easily break off. By the way: All green fruits will ripen to a certain color like yellow or red. Green peppers are still unripe, but they are not poisonous.
In the greenhouse, you can harvest the first green peppers from mid-July. You can harvest the first colored fruits from the end of July. In outdoor cultivation, the harvest does not begin until 3-4 weeks later.
While peppers can be stored outside the refrigerator for a few days, you can dry chillies and hot peppers so that they are much more durable (and hotter).
Diseases & pests
In addition to aphids, snails can be interested in the plants. More problematic than pests and diseases, however, can be the fragile plant structure of heavy peppers.
Nutrients, Processing & Recipes
Paprika is rich in potassium, magnesium, zinc and calcium. In addition, the bell pepper is a real vitamin bomb. It contains a lot of vitamins A and B and especially a lot of vitamin C. Red peppers contain the most vitamin C. This makes peppers one of the foods with the highest vitamin C content. In addition, they contain flavanoids, which have an antioxidant effect and act as free radical scavengers in the body. The carotenes contained in peppers have a cell-protective effect.
Paprika recipe – delicious summer vegetables
Place the peppers whole on the grill. Brush with a little olive oil. Grill the peppers until the skin turns slightly black and blisters. A light herbal dip goes well with it!
You can flavor oil yourself. Take good quality olive oil and fill it in a clean (!) Bottle. Add 5-10 dried chili peppers depending on your taste. Let the oil stand for at least 2 weeks and your homemade chili oil is ready. Also nice to give away!
Cook 150 grams of basmati rice. Wash 5-6 peppers, cut off the lid and remove the casing. Chop an onion and a clove of garlic and fry in a little oil until translucent. Dice 400 grams of tofu and add. Season to taste with salt, pepper and paprika. Mix the rice with the tofu mixture, add to the peppers and place in a greased baking dish. For the sauce, sauté a can of chopped tomatoes, 2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste, a little salt and pepper and pour over the filled peppers. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C for 45-50 minutes. Relish!