If you are interested in growing those vegetables that require less maintenance and little investment then bell pepper is a good option. Bell pepper is very famous as a spicy vegetable for many dishes. It has clear skin which protects the flesh. The hollow fruit has a cluster of seeds in its center.
Bell peppers are perennial plants, you can plant them by seeds or by transplanting them. When the seeds germinate and grow 2 to 3 true leaves, then you can pot them in a large container.
In this article, we are going to discuss how to grow bell peppers from scraps. You will find answers to every question which comes to your mind regarding this topic.
WHEN TO PLANT PEPPERS?
It is a warm-season crop so if you want to sow the seeds earlier, then you should start them indoors. The best time for growing from seeds is 8 to 10 weeks before last spring frost. You can ask your local nursery about the frost date of your area.
The growing season of bell peppers can be 60 to 90 days. Due to the long growing season, you should start them indoors, it is the best decision.
If you are planning to transplant nursery-bought plants then the best time is to plant them outdoors when the last frost has passed. Keep in mind peppers are very sensitive to cool temperatures.
You should look for those varieties that ripen to their full color quickly. Here we are going to give you some options which you can grow in your vegetable garden.
The color of this variety is yellow and it takes 100 days for maturing. Your long wait will result in the sunshine and yellow fruits. The size of the fruit can be 4 inches.
You can harvest this variety after 75 days when the color of peppers turns from green to red. The flesh of big red is thick and sweet.
The color of this variety is vibrant orange and can grow vigorously. The size of the fruit can be 3-½ to 4 inches. You can harvest coral bells within 78-88 days.
The taste of this variety will be very delicious if you pick the fruit when the color of the pepper is green. You can also leave the fruit on the plant to ripen to a sweet red color pepper.
The maximum size of the fruit can be 4 to 4 ½ inches. The four lobes of the fruit of this variety make it perfect stuffed pepper. The maturity time of California wonder is 75 days.
The maturity time of purple beauty is 70 days. The color of this variety is deep purple and has thick-walled flesh. The size of the fruit is 3 to 4 inches.
The color of chocolate beauty is a deep brown color and has sweet flesh. You can pick the fruit within 67 to 70 days.
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HOW CAN WE GROW BELL PEPPERS FROM SCRAPS?
It is possible to grow bell peppers from scraps but for good quality bell peppers, the scraps should be cultivated from open-pollinated or heirloom pepper seeds. Here are steps from growing bell peppers from scraps.
1- SELECT OVERRIPE FRUIT
You can easily get scraps from leftovers. The bell peppers should be mature and over-ripe which scraps you are using for growing. The reason for taking overripe fruit is that it has natural seeds for better results.
2- TAKE OUT THE SEEDS
Remove the seeds from the scraps and spread them over a clean tray. You can also use a paper towel for this purpose.
3- PLACE THE SEEDS UNDER THE SUN FOR TWO DAYS
Now place this tray or paper towel under the sun. Let the seeds dry for 2 days. Do not keep the seeds in the sun for too long because the seeds will lose viability. The other way of drying the seeds is under the shade or the fan.
4- PREPARE THE POTTING MIX IN THE POT FOR SOWING SEEDS
Fill the pot with a high-quality potting mix. Spread the seeds on the soil. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of potting mix. Make sure not to bury the seeds too deep. Now gently press the potting mix with the help of your hands.
5- WATER THE SEEDS
Now your seeds need water to adjust to the new environment. Avoid overwatering, make your soil moist, not soggy. You can use your finger for checking the soil.
6- KEEP THE POT IN PARTIAL SHADE
Keep the pot in partial shade. After 5 to 6 days your seeds start germinating. After 10 days you can see your seedlings are tall enough. But within one month they are ready for transplanting.
If you want to transplant the seedlings in the garden then you have to wait for the last frost. Harden off is necessary otherwise your plants will not make it at all so you should not take any risk.
Hardening off means the process of getting plants acclimated to a new location. If you prepare the seedlings indoors and then transplant them outdoors then they will not tolerate the direct sunlight in the garden.
To avoid such a situation you can slowly introduce plants to outdoor weather. First, keep them outside in the morning and bring them back inside later each day. Repeat this process until you are confident that they can adjust to a new environment.
The temperature of the soil must be around 65 Fahrenheit before transplanting the seedlings. Transplanting is not an easy process for any plant, it can stress a plant.
TIPS FOR GROWING BELL PEPPERS
Sandy or loamy soil is recommended because bell peppers like to grow in well-drained soil. The pH of the soil must be between 6.0 to 6.8. Hair we are going to give you some tips which will help you in growing bell peppers at home.
Weeds are unwanted plants that can steal nutrients from the soil and your bell pepper plants have to compete for water and nutrients. Mulch helps to reduce weeds from the soil and smother weeds which are the reason for destroying delicate roots. Mulch also helps to keep the soil warm.
Deep watering, about one to two inches is needed for your bell pepper plants. Bell peppers like to grow in warm weather but intense heat is not good for them.
If you are living in a high hot climate then the bell peppers plants need more water. Dryness as well as overwatering, are not good for bell peppers.
If the soil is dry then it causes bitter tasting on the other hand overwatering can suffocate the roots. Keep an eye on the soil so you can water the plants on time.
Sunlight is very important for edible plants so choose the best site for your bell pepper plants where they get full sunlight and ripen properly. But if you are living in a hot climate then you should be careful in selecting the area. You can use cloth for shading purposes.
USE THE RIGHT FERTILIZER
The right fertilizer for your pepper plants is which has a low amount of nitrogen. As a result, you will get high production of fruit.
Staking will help plants to get away from pests and reduce sunscald. Your plants will keep upright and protected if they get support. Harvesting becomes easier and your plants get proper air circulation.
CHECK FOR PESTS
Pests are very harmful to your plants. The common pests which are a lover of bell peppers are aphids and flea beetles. You can use insecticides to fight these little monsters. Monitor your plants to keep the insects’ invasion under control.
HOW TO HARVEST PEPPERS?
Bell peppers are the greatest source of vitamin C. You can harvest bell peppers when they reach the desired size or color. Keep in mind, the longer the peppers will stay on the plant they will give you a sweeter taste.
- The harvesting time of bell peppers depends upon the variety which you are growing in your garden. Generally, most varieties take 60 to 90 days for harvesting.
- When the bell peppers are green they are bitter but if you leave them on the vine then they will turn yellow, then orange and finally you will get red pepper. The taste of red paper is the sweetest pepper.
- You need a sharp knife or scissors to cut the fruit from the vine.
- Don’t use your hand for separating the fruit from the plant, it will damage the plant.
- You should leave at least one inch of a stem behind.
HOW TO STORE PEPPERS?
After harvesting, you can keep the bell peppers in the refrigerator for 10 days. Make sure to keep the peppers in a plastic bag before placing them in the refrigerator.
You can also dry the bell peppers for future use. For performing this task you need a conventional oven. Follow the following simple steps for drying the bell peppers.
- The first step is to wash, core, and seed the peppers. In this way, all the dirt will wipe away.
- The second step is to cut the bell peppers into one-half-inch strips.
- Now steam the strips for about 10 minutes after that spread the strips on a baking sheet.
- Set the oven at the lowest possible temperature and dry the bell peppers in the oven.
- When the bell peppers are cool then put them in the bag storage containers.