Many beginner gardeners think that growing peppers isn’t possible in cooler climates. Though it’s more difficult to grow peppers outdoors (you most probably will have to cover them at night or during cold spells of weather) it is possible to grow peppers in a greenhouse, tunnel or conservatory.
Growing Peppers – Sowing Seeds
Fill a multi-cell seed tray with multi-purpose compost, firm the compost down and water. Place an individual pepper seed in each multi-cell, lightly cover the seeds with compost. Label the seed trays so that you know what you have sowed.
Place the seed trays either in a propagator or alternatively place it inside a clear plastic bag on a windowsill. Keep an eye on the compost, don’t let it dry out too much but you don’t want it over-watered either because otherwise the seeds might rot. Once the seeds start coming up (14 to 21 days) move the trays out of the propagator or windowsill. Keep out of strong direct sunlight.
When the pepper plants start producing a second set of leaves you can transplant it to a bigger pot around 3” which are filled with multi-purpose compost.
Growing Peppers – Planting Out
One the pepper plants are about 5” tall you need to plant them on. Either you can plant them in a greenhouse, tunnel or into a large pot which you can place in a warm corner of the garden. If you are planting in a greenhouse or tunnel you can plant them either straight into the soil or into a grow-bag (which you can buy from you garden centre or supermarkets sometimes stock them as well).
Water the pepper plants regularly and don’t let the soil dry out, this is very important when you are growing peppers in pots, as the pots can dry out very quickly.
Once the peppers starts flowering, you can feed them some liquid feed either tomato or seaweed feed will do the job nicely. Feeding the pepper plants will encourage the fruit to develop and also to keep producing more peppers over the summer months.
Growing Peppers – Pest & Diseases
Aphids – Greenfly can be a real problem on pepper plants. Spray with soapy water or go to the garden centre for some spray.
Blossom End Rot – Brown patches on the bottom of the pepper. This is caused by incorrect watering of the plants, too dry or too wet.
Red Spider Mite – these can be found on the underside of the leaves. Also the leaves will go pale or has bronzing of the leaves. Spray with liquid derris.
I hope this year you’ll be encouraged to start growing peppers in your garden.