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Growing Sweet Peppers – How to Grow Sweet Peppers

How to Grow Sweet Peppers – A Guide to Growing Sweet Peppers

How to Grow Sweet PeppersSweet Peppers

Capsicum is another name for both sweet, bell-shaped peppers and hot chilli peppers. In the UK, sweet peppers are normally a greenhouse crop although in a good summer it is possible to grow them outdoors or in pots.

Varieties of Pepper

  • A particular favourite sweet pepper is Gypsy F1.
  • Smaller varieties, suitable for pot growing, include Redskin, Gourmet (an RHS Award of Garden Merit holder), Mohawk, Sweet Ingrid, Roberta, Barancio, Peperone Cuneo Giallo, Mini Bell.

Pests and Problems

  • If watered irregularly, peppers can suffer with blossom end rot.
  • The main pests are aphids and red spidermites. Effective biological controls are available for both. Misting the plants with water helps to deter the spidermites.

Sowing and Growing

  • Start seeds under heat in late February–March.
  • Transfer the seedlings to 8 cm (3 inch) pots when large enough to handle, and then into 15 cm (6 inch) pots before moving them to their final home.
  • Peppers can be grown in growbags, 8-10 inch (20-25 cm) pots, or the greenhouse border.
  • The plants are cold sensitive so select a warm, sheltered area for them.
  • Staking growbag and border plants is recommended as they can reach 60 cm (3 feet) and fruit weight could damage the stalks.
  • To encourage fruit set and discourage red spidermite, mist the plants with water once the flowers appear.
  • When the flowers appear, feed with a tomato fertilizer.
  • Harvest July–October.

Harvesting, Eating and Storing

  • The fruits are ready for harvesting once they’ve reached the correct size for their variety.
  • All peppers are green when first formed. The coloured varieties change to yellow or red, or other colours, over the next few weeks on the plant.
  • Peppers will store in the fridge for about a week. They can also be blanched and frozen. Or, they dehydrate very well for use in soups and stews.

Further Information on Sweet Peppers

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