The cultivation of peppers in cold climates is similar in many ways to the cultivation of tomatoes, but is still different. Tomatoes are more popular, forgiving and a bit easier to grow. If you succeed in growing tomatoes, peppers may be the next conquest.
We love to grow peppers. There are so many delicious recipes that call for peppers, peppers are also available on the dirty dozen list and expensive to buy organic. It makes sense to develop our own.
Choose an early pepper variety
By early we mean that the ripening days should be below the number of frost-free days in your region. We have about 100 frost free days, so the peppers we grow have to be below them to get a bit of harvest window. There are many options for early pepper varieties. Here are some that we have successfully grown in our garden:
As with all seeds, it is best to source them from local producers or in a climate similar to yours. These plants have already adapted to the weather and will grow and produce better.
Soil or hydroponic
We grow most of our peppers in the Aeroponic Tower Garden. It does not matter which system or garden you use, but Aeroponic (ie the roots are in the air and soaked in nutrient solution) makes plants grow 30% faster. This advantage moves us to breed them in aeroponics.
In terms of taste, I think the peppers grown in the soil are better. Often they are bigger, mature longer and are healthier. But at the end of the season we have less paprika and many are still green.
Peppers take up a lot of space in the greenhouse compared to the yield they produce. If we grow them hydroponically, we can grow them vertically. Another advantage.
Since the alternative to native peppers are shop-bought hydroponic peppers, we prefer to grow them ourselves. Yes, most greenhouses today also build things in water rather than in earth.
If you want to grow in soil containers are a good option. Use compost-rich soil and water regularly.
Start the peppers indoors about 8-10 weeks before planting
They want the seedling to bud but not flower. In our region, our last frost date is May 26th. Start the seeds indoors from mid to late March. If you have light or a very sunny window, the seedlings grow faster, so plant them later. In most cases it does not work to start the seedlings sooner to get ripe fruits sooner. If the seedling is overgrown, it will suffer and you will get ripe fruits later or not at all.
Read more about starting seeds indoors: Starter seeds inside,
Personally, we grow most of our peppers in aviation. As aeroponics grow rapidly, we start them 6 – 8 weeks before we can take the plants outside or into the greenhouse. The plants do not need to be transplanted, we just pull out the whole tower garden.
Read more about the planting of a hydroponic garden here: Planting of a hydroculture garden,
Choose a protected location
Pepper is a summer crop and prefers a warm, dry place. In a cold climate, a greenhouse or a south-facing hot microclimate is best for them.
A warm stain on your deck can be a great place for peppers that are grown in pots or pouches. See how to grow in culture bags,
We have achieved great success with peppers in a greenhouse and Tower Garden along a south-facing wall. It is not worth growing in an open garden in a cold climate.
Even in the raised bed in a protected location they do not grow well, as the picture from a local demonstration garden shows. The fruits have set, but are still very small at the end of the season.
Protect pepper plants
Peppers like it warm. Protect them as much as possible in the event of a cold spell. I like Plant protection ceilingIt is lightweight and can stay on for days if necessary. You can cover an entire bed or wrap a single plant around it.
You can also create a microclimate by choosing one wind barrier for the plants from recycled windows or by building a window-protected garden bed,
Aphids love paprika
We tried to grow pepper plants in our window garden room. It is nice and warm there and it seems like the perfect place. However, we have given it up because aphids love pepper plants.
In the greenhouse, pepper plants are also often attacked by aphids. We shower them a few times with a garden shed to lessen the population of aphids. Otherwise we just leave her alone. The stronger the plants become, the less the aphids damage the plants. In the course of the season, women's bags and other beneficial insects will also feed into an organic garden, keeping the aphids at bay.
Pour the pepper plants
Pepper plants do not need constant irrigation. Keep it moist but not wet. Similar to tomato plants.
Watering plants with tap water may or may not work damage beneficial bacteria in the soilbut for heat-loving plants it is certainly too cold. It is better to use stagnant water that is heated by the sun. In this way, the plants do not get into shock every time you water.
If you are growing in water instead of soil, add a water heater in the spring and also at the end of the season. If the summer nights are cool, you can also have a timer on a timer to heat only during the night.
Pruning and supporting
Pepper plants are like tomatoes of the family Solanaceae. They also occur in certain grape varieties. Personally, I only saw grape-type peppers in a commercial greenhouse. For home use, especially early peppers are usually shrub-type peppers. A bush pepper plant can better support a cage.
We do not prune our pepper plants. Some growers start the plants very early, then pruning them and forcing the branching. This is an option we did not consider necessary.
You can cut back pepper plants at the end of the season and bring in. They will hibernate and continue growing next spring.
Since the cultivation of paprika tomatoes is so similar, there is here
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