Peppers and chillis are expensive when bought in the shops so growing
your own is an economical exercise which also brings great pleasure.
They are tropical plants and therefore appreciate warm moist
Although they can be grown outside in some parts of the UK
they always mature quicker and produce a better crop when grown in the
Slightly exotic they may be, but with a greenhouse they are an easy
crop to grow.
HOW TO GROW GREENHOUSE PEPPERS - SOW SEED
In order to get a head start and to minimise heating requirements sow
the seed indoors in
Simply fill a 7.5cm / 3in pot with
standard moist multipurpose potting compost and place two seeds on the
top. Cover lightly with about ¾ cm / ¼in of
the compost and water the top lightly. Place the pots somewhere which
has an even temperature of about 19°C / 66°F and cover to exclude light
and keep in the moisture. Don't let the temperature drop much below this
but a few degrees higher is fine.
The seedlings will emerge in 15 to 20 days and as soon as they do move
them into the greenhouse. If both seeds have germinated then remove the
weakest of the two seedlings.
They need to be kept to a temperature of at least 12°C / 54°F if they
are to continue growing. If you cant maintain this heat initially in
your greenhouse then the plants can be placed on a warm windowsill with
lots of indirect light. If doing this, place them on the inside of the
room when drawing curtains at night. This will avoid large temperature
fluctuations. Move them to your greenhouse as soon as you can maintain a
minimum temperature of 12°C / 54°F.
HOW TO GROW GREENHOUSE PEPPERS - POTTING UP
When the plants reach a height of 5 -8cm / 2 - 3in they should be
transferred to larger 20 - 23cm / 8 - 9in pots. Fill in with normal
potting compost and water well. The potted up plants should be set at
the same depth in the soil as they were in the smaller pots.
Peppers and chillis can also be grown in grow bags, just like tomatoes.
Simply transfer them from the small pots into the grow bags.
Some peppers and chillis can grow up to 1.5m / 5ft (consult the seed
packet) in which case they will require some support. This is best put
in place at the time of potting up. Use a bamboo cane or two per plant
and tie it into the canes with string as the plants grow.
HOW TO GROW GREENHOUSE PEPPERS - PLANT CARE
The compost should be kept moist bit not water-logged. When the pepper /
chilli plants are potted up (see section above) then feed with a weak
liquid general purpose fertiliser once a week.
When the fruits start to form, feed with a liquid tomato fertiliser once
a week for the rest of the season.
Peppers and chillis can withstand high temperatures reasonably well but
it is likely that you will have other plants in the greenhouse which
will require the windows to be opened when the inside temperature
reaches 22°C / 72°F. This will be fine for peppers and chillis.
To encourage the fruits to develop fully in the growing season, thin the
fruits out so there are only around 8 per plant. The time to harvest the
fruit depends on your preferences. The fruits will go from green through
to bright red, harvest them when they are fully grown and at the colour
you prefer. Harvesting them when they are green will encourage the
remaining fruits to ripen quicker. Cut the fruits off with a knife
rather than pulling them off which may damage the plant.
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