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GROWING GREEN PEPPER

Green pepper

GROWING green peppers can be an ideal option for any would-be gardener. With a little hard work and care, you can nurture pepper plants into producing vibrant and hearty green vegetables that will rival any you can find in the grocery store or farmer's market. Because the plants require care to flourish, knowing how to grow green peppers properly is vital to your success as a pepper gardener.

PLANTING 1.Select a variety of green pepper that grows well in the area you live. There are a number of different types of green pepper plants available on the market, some more tolerant of heat or cold than others, so you will need to choose a variety that fits best with your climate. Check the seed's packaging for an indication of what regions they will do best in, or ask a gardener or sales associate for help.

2. Plant green pepper seeds in a seed bed. Start the seeds approximately 7 to 10 weeks before you're ready to transplant them.

3.Keep the seed pouches in a location that is consistently warm. Water them only when the soil is dry to your touch.

4.Dig a trench. Aim to plant the young pepper plants approximately 7 inches (17.8 cm), and space them roughly 18 to 24 inches (45.7 to 61.0 cm) apart. The ideal location to plant will be in full sun with rich, aerated soil.

5.Cover the roots of the pepper plant. Use an even mixture of dirt unearthed from the trench and compost, which will provide vital nutrients to the growing plants.

6. Water the green pepper plants regularly. The soil should be moist and warm at all times to encourage the plants to blossom and grow.

7.Allow the peppers to grow to a minimum of 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10.2 cm) before picking. This takes approximately 50 to 70 days from the time of transplanting, depending on variety of pepper.

HARVESTING Fruits may be harvested at any size desired. Green bell varieties, however, are usually picked when they are fully grown and mature - 3 to 4 inches long, firm and green. When the fruits are mature, they break easily from the plant. Less damage is done to the plants, however, if the fruits are cut rather than pulled off.

The new, colored bell pepper fruits may be left on the plant to develop full flavor and ripen fully to red, yellow, orange or brown; or they may be harvested green and immature. Some (including "white," light yellow, lilac and purple) are colors that develop in the immature fruit and that should be harvested before actually ripening, when they turn red. Common Problems People who use tobacco should wash their hands with soap and water before handling pepper plants to prevent spread of tobacco mosaic disease. Grow resistant varieties if possible. Watch for accumulation of aphids on the underside of the leaves, especially near growing branch tips.

When a large aphid population is present, sticky "honeydew" appears on the lower leaves and fruit. If this situation occurs, apply a suggested insecticide. Bacterial diseases may be transported on purchased transplants, so look over potential purchases carefully for any leaf spotting or stem cankers. DON’T’S a.Avoid using chemical fertilizers while growing peppers. The nitrogen inside most chemical additives is too harsh, and it will cause the plant stems to grow large but not produce any peppers. b.If the leaves of your green pepper plant are wilting, the plants are likely too hot. Try increasing the amount of cool water you are providing, shading the plants in the hottest parts of the day, or removing any plastic tarp or mulch from the soil around the plants. Ends..

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