There are two kinds of peppers as far as cooking is concerned : sweet pepper, with a sweet taste, and chilli or hot pepper, with a pungent taste. Botanically speaking, it is actually the same plant ...
Indeed, the majority of the cultivars of these two vegetables are derived from the same original wild plant, Capsicum annuum, with a genetic contribution of C. frutescens or C. chinense, especially in the case of hot pepper. Peppers and peppers may have large fruits or berries, round, elongated, conical, cubic or completely misshapen fruits, and both come in a wide range of colors.
This frost-sensitive perennial has a similar culture to that of the bell pepper (and by extension, the tomato), except that planting it is more of a delicate process due to the fact that it needs warmer temperatures to thrive. Growing the chili pepper calls for plenty of sun and fresh soil that is rich in humus and well-drained. Container gardening is possible, especially with smaller varieties.
The real difference between sweet and hot peppers lies in the taste, as they contain capsaicin, an element so hot that it burns not only the tongue, but even the fingers - it is advisable to wear gloves when harvesting very hot peppers! The effect of capsaicin is measured by the so-called "Scoville" scale: the peppers normally range between 0 and 100 SHU (which stands for Scoville heat unit), but Habanero type peppers may reach up to 300 000 SHU ... Today, it is the pepper 'Carolina Reaper' which holds the world record for the strongest pepper: up to 2.2 million SHU. Eating a whole fruit can send you right to the hospital.
Frost-sensitive perennial plants with white flowering, rounded stems, and oval leaves from the Solanaceae family (the leaf brings to mind that of a potato, but the growth is more upright). The leaves are smaller than those of a pepper.
Sow my chili peppers
Start your seeding under a heated shelter or inside starting in February or March under a greenhouse or window. Sow a small pot with a fine mixture of soil and potting soil or in compost for sowing by placing 2-3 seeds in each container. Water in a manner that keep the surface slightly damp (not soaked) the first weeks. Advice: in theory, the seeds sprout at 28°C. Thus, you can place clear plastic covers over your seedlings to create a greenhouse effect.
Sowing outside is only possible in warm climates - when temperatures exceed 25 ° C, sow directly in the sun, in fine soil mixed with sifted compost. Place several seeds in each hole, and cover very little. Water gently, you will have to keep the soil moist the first weeks. The seeds rise to 28 ° C in theory; so you can put clear plastic covers on your seedlings to create a mini greenhouse effect!
Thin out my chili peppers
When the seeds have sprouted and have some leaves, thin them out so that this is only one per small pot.
Dibble my chili peppers
Plant under cold frame in April or May according to the temperature (it must be more than 20°C), placing the plants 50 cm apart in direct sunlight in well drained fresh fertile soil.
If you don't have a cold frame, wait until May-June and plant in the ground in the same type of soil.
Plant my chili peppers
In May-June according to the temperature (it must be more than 20°C), placing the plants 50 cm apart in direct sunlight in well drained fresh fertile soil. Water well and mulch the plant with some comfrey leaves. To pot, choose a container that is at least 5L and plant in a mixture of rich potting soil and earth.
Mulch my chili peppers
Mulch between the plants one to two weeks after the final planting with a natural mulch which holds in moisture. Ideally, leaf and yard waste works perfectly — grass cuttings, cut branches, and dead leaves! This will limit soil evaporation and thus the need for watering and weeding.
Prune my chili peppers
The fruiting trim is not at all essential, but if you want a smaller number of bigger fruit, don't keep more than 15 per plant.
Shelter my chili peppers
If you want to keep your pepper during winter, you should shelter it in a room between 13 and 16 ° C. If it is in open soil, plant it in a pot of at least 5 liters.
Place it in the light.
Put outside my chili peppers
You can take your Chili Peppers out indoors when temperatures approach 13 ° C regularly. Place it warm, in the light.
Water my chili peppers
Water preferably in the morning to avoid cooling the plants at the end of the day. Your chili peppers are fine with generous watering once a week if they are well mulched.
After sprouting, water every other day for a few weeks with a light shower in order to have a slightly moist soil.
Reap my chili peppers
The harvest occurs from July to October with peppers that are still green at first.
Fertilize my chili peppers
Fertilization, like we usually advise, is used as a preventive measure at the beginning or end of winter in order for the microorganisms to have time to mineralize the organic waste you distribute. For peppers and chili peppers, we generally advise an additional fertilization during the growing season (such as nettle manure, not fresh manure). In any case, the pepper loves lye, thus you can indulge it by composting banana peels or by adding wood ashes.