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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 P P              

(Best months for growing Capsicum in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • 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 64°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 20 inches 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
  • 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

28 Aug 19, Blake Stanvic (Australia - temperate climate)
What colour is my capsicum meant to be, it is pink. I don't know if thats normal.
29 Aug 19, DLS (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Hi, what variety is it? Was there a picture on the seed or plant you bought?
12 Jun 19, Corry (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
new to vege growing. Have noted on several vege instructions "P" for sowing seed and "S" for plant undercover in seed trays. Could someone explain the difference to me please?
13 Jun 19, Liz at Gardenate (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Some seeds, e.g. capsicum, need more warmth or protection to germinate, so we suggest that they are started in seed trays or pots in a sheltered spot i.e cool greenhouse, covered patio or similar. Once established the seedlings can be planted out. Other seeds like broad beans can be sown direct, in the place where they will grow.
26 May 19, Bec (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, My capsicum plant did nothing over summer and early autumn. Now it is heading into winter it is covered with capsicum. How can I get the fruit to maturity? Thanks
10 May 19, David (Australia - temperate climate)
Finally had to pull out faithful old capsicum plant, getting very ratty and covered in knots , but still producing small fruit.
16 Jan 19, Shirley (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have two very healthy looking plants but they only have one large capsicum on each plant even though there were more flowers...should I have picked the fruit when small to encourage more to grow? They were planted in fresh tub mix.
17 Jan 19, Mike Logan (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Look up website biobees about pollination of capsicums. No don't pick fruit off.
22 Dec 18, David Maunder (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Do they need fertilising and if so what do you use
02 Jan 19, Mem (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Yes they do,I use wally's strawberry fertilizer and a general liquid feed every 2 weeks.Its also a good idea to make sure they get enough calcium as this can effect the fruit.They will produce fruit without feeding but it is generally small and you get much less.
Showing 1 - 10 of 456 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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