Space the pepper seeds 45 cm apart. Space the rows at a distance of 45 cm. Plant at a depth of 0.5 to 1 cm. Plant the vegetable seeds in a nice spot in full sun. After sowing, water the seeds adequately. The vegetable seeds come in a bag containing approximately 0.25 grams. This is enough to sow 4 square metres.
|Latin name:||Capsicum annuum 'Piquillo '|
|Guarantee:||1 year growth and flowering guarantee|
|Leafs all year:||No|
|Harvesting:||July - October|
Sweet pepper seeds need no prior treatment but steeping them in lukewarm water overnight will encourage germination.
How to Sow
Sweet peppers love heat and can be sown indoors from the beginning of March in the greenhouse or mini greenhouse with small pots... or just a simple seed tray. The mini greenhouse, pots or tray is really the simplest way. Most ideal if you arrange some soil warming. Use a pot filled with fine potting compost and plant only 1 seed per pot. Cover to a max. of 0.5 cm, then sprinkle with water and stand in a sunny windowsill. Depending on temperature, germination will occur within 10 days. Gradually reduce humidity by opening the vents on the mini greenhouse, or pricking holes in the plastic film held in place over the seed tray by bamboo skewers. Acclimatise the seedlings once they reach 10 cm - remove the lid or plastic for one hour longer each day for 5 days. Then you can pot them up into larger pots.
When there is no longer the risk of frost and night temps are above 12°C, your sweet pepper plants can be planted outdoors but it is advisable to harden them off first to acclimatise them. To do this stand your seedlings in a shady spot for one hour longer every day for a week, they will then be ready to pot up - 3 plants to a large pot. Then either stand the pots in full sun or plant them in the garden in a sunny and sheltered spot. The pepper plants can be planted in a row at 35 cm apart from each other. When the first flower and lateral shoots appear remove them to stimulate the formation of fruit quality. The sweet peppers that are grown outdoors need all their energy into growing upper branches and forming flowers. These plants generally pollinate themselves but (bumble) bees will help too. The fruits will easily form. Sweet pepper plants thrive with the use of pot plant and flower fertiliser. Those grown in the greenhouse will grow taller and need firm support - a cane will do, or some garden twine or wire attached vertically. Water well in periods of dry periods and keep the beds weed free to encourage good plant growth.
Once your peppers are forming on the plant, you will see a kind of dark sheen come over the green peppers. This is the start of the colouring and ripening process. You could also harvest them now to encourage new fruit to set and grow. Just cut off with a sharp knife. If you allow them to hang on the plant during good summer weather, the sweet peppers will turn red (or whatever other colour you have). By harvesting the first green peppers you will increase the yield. Expect 3-5 large fruits from outdoor plants. Those grown in the greenhouse can produce as much as 2 or 3 times more.
In warm climates sweet peppers can be sown outdoors, but in areas with less sunshine they should really be sown under glass. If they are to be grown outside choose the warmest and most sheltered spot on your patio or decking. Sweet peppers are biologically from the same family as Capsicum - they are both different breeds of the same parent species.