Hot peppers have been used by different cultures for many centuries and are not only a great addition to recipes, but have health benefits as well.
Growing Peppers at Home
In this article I will share my experiences with peppers and growing them in a small home garden.
About the Peppers
Types of peppers
I have chosen to grow several types of peppers in my garden. I chose the Giant Marconi pepper, the Green Bell pepper and the Jalapeño pepper for this garden season. All three are very tasty and have healthful benefits and are fairly easy to grow.
The Giant Marconi pepper grows to about 6 to 8 inches long and takes about 72 days to mature. It can be picked when it is green or left on the plant to mature further to a red color. These peppers have a sweet and smoky flavor and make great grilling peppers. They can be stuffed like a bell pepper or used as the base for Chili Relleno.
The Green Bell Pepper is a well known pepper that grows to a size of about 4 to 5 inches and is more square shaped. The Bell Pepper actually can be of many varieties and the green is only one of those, it grows in many colors like yellow, red, brown and black. This pepper also matures in about 72 days and has a very mild slightly bitter flavor.
The Jalapeno Pepper is one of the best known of the "Hot Peppers" and typically grows to 3 to 4 inches long. It too can be harvested when green but can be left on the plant until it turns a bright red.
About Peppers in General
The Chili Pepper
preparing the soil
I started out by choosing a location in the yard that gets gull sun for most of the day. Peppers require full sun and will thrive is such a location. I used a rototiller to loosen up the soil which had not been used for anything for many years. The soil was very hard and clay like so after I tilled the area I added topsoil and a general mix of plant food and spaded this in thoroughly.
After the soil was spaded and blended well, I watered it lightly to make it soft and just a little damp. This makes it easier to make the holes for the individual plants and to compact the soil slightly to support the plant.
The next step was to make a hole for the plant about the same size as the paper pot that the plant was purchased in. The plant is placed in the hole with the top of the paper pot level with the surface and then the soil patted gently around it to fill in all the hole and support the new plant.
This process was repeated for each plant with a spacing of about 14 -18 inches between them. The rows are about 18 - 20 inches wide which gives the plants room to grow and spread out a bit. The Marconi peppers will grow to about 30 inches tall and will need either a stick type support or a small trellis such as used for tomatoes. As the fruit grows on the plant, it will need to be supported as the weight of the peppers can be enough to break the plant's branches.
Raising the Plants
The garden's growth
I water the plants thoroughly each morning before the sun gets hot and each evening after the sun is off of the plants directly. It has only been a week now since I planted the peppers, but I can see a noticeable growth already. The weather here in this area is hot early this year and should make for a great crop of sweet and hot peppers!
Be sure to check back often, I will add articles as the garden grows, and talk about the other fruits that I am growing this season.