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Growing Capsicum, also Bell peppers, Sweet peppers

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
              S S T T T

(Best months for growing Capsicum in Australia - temperate regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings.

August: Sow in pots

  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 18°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 20 - 50 cm apart
  • Harvest in 10-12 weeks. Cut fruit off with sharp knife.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Egg plant (Aubergine), Nasturtiums, Basil, Parsley, Amaranth
  • 'Banana' capsicum
    'Banana' capsicum
  • A yellow capsicum
    A yellow capsicum

Small bushy plant about 40cm high The seeds are reluctant to start germinating if temperatures drop at night. These are best sown in small trays in a warm, sheltered place: a small greenhouse if possible. Then plant out when about 10 -12cm (4-5in) tall.

They are from the same family as chilli but are not hot and spicy. The seeds are bitter.

Capsicums are frost tender and need warmth to ripen the fruit to the brilliant reds and yellows of commercial ones. They can be used green but are not as sweet.

There are a number of colours available, chocolate, black, yellow, orange as well as red. They all start off green and change as they ripen.

In cool, wet weather cover with a cloche or frost fleece.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Capsicum

Can be sliced and seeded and used raw in salads.
Will freeze successfully without blanching if seeded and sliced.

Or brush with olive oil, roast at a high temperature until the skin changes colour
then put in a covered dish until cool and rub off the skin and remove seeds.

Your comments and tips

22 May 17, Maureen (Australia - temperate climate)
I have been harvesting my capsicum since early summer. They still have fruit and flowers. Should I pull up when I have picked the capsicums that are nearly ready. I want to start my winter garden and am not sure whether they just keep on being generous in their supply.
17 May 17, Lynny (Australia - temperate climate)
My capsicum bush is loaded but the fruit is very bitter. How can I sweeten them up?
17 May 17, Ken (Australia - temperate climate)
Adding Epsom Salts at the rate of 1 tbs - 2 litres of water will improve the flavour and sweetness of tomatoes so you could give that a try. They are both in the Solanacea family. All the best.
15 May 17, maurie (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
do I need to stake a capsicum plant whilst it is growing?
15 May 17, Darren (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Maurie, capsicums grow fine without staking, however I found that once they start to bear fruit, they lean down to the ground. Staking might help keep your capsicums off the ground.
15 May 17, Sean (Australia - temperate climate)
Normally capsicums make a sturdy, self supporting bush. If they are getting tall or leggy a stake would certainly help and would avoid the disappointment of a plant being blown over when it was laden with fruit.
17 May 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Yes they do fall over sometimes. I have put up a little trellis this year. I had a 4" diameter split pine rail post 7 feet long - cut it in half - put them about 15" into the soil, 5' apart - I have 4 plants in. Drilled some 1/2" holes approx. every 9" and ran some twine (Bunnings 500m $12) between the posts around the outside of the posts. The plants are now just starting to come through the bottom lot of twine. I have done the same with tomatoes - posts are 7' out of the ground - I have a 6' steel post in the middle. If I have to, when the plants come through the twine I will pull the twine together and tie to the steel post. All a bit of an experiment this year to see how it goes. Did a lot of reading about growing indeterminate tomatoes and found I couldn't buy suitable wire netting to make cages. Very expensive also. I had the split rail posts from a shade structure I had pulled down, so it worked out very cheap. Use the twine around my snow peas also.
17 May 17, Sean (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You are onto a good thing!For good air circulation and general management tomatoes are better grown in a flat plane than on a cage anyway. re using stakes, etc is sustainable and save money as well. You could probably replant the tomato/capsicum site with climbing peas or grow a quick crop like radishes or leafy greens ready to sow climbing beans in the spring. Good luck!
18 May 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
The way I did it, is how they grow them commercially here. With the stake you have to have something to tie them up with. I was buying ribbon and reusing it - but it is $5 a 25m roll. With 2-3 lots of tomatoes (?capsicums) in at a time can use a lot of ribbon and they tend to slide down the stake. I do mix it up a bit. I have had corn in, followed by, snow peas to be followed by climbing beans probably. I'm in the process of setting up 6-8 Styrofoam boxes to grow my leafy lettuce, hon tsai tai rocket baby spinach. Cheers
22 Apr 17, Helena (Australia - temperate climate)
as I cut and deseeded my red capsicum, there was 2 little balls with a green stem, would that be plantable?
Showing 1 - 10 of 343 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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