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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

08 Jan 08, daniel (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
sally,i have approx 30-40 chilli plants which most are fruiting really well,but i have recently added 12 mexican chilli plants to my garden and they seem to having the same problem as yours.they are planted in containers and i always use the same fertilizers and potting mix as i know it works well on my existing plants.the new plants have almost become plastic like and the new growth at the top of the plant has become stunted-plant still is green and healthy looking though? i live in brisbane and we recently got a lot of rain followed by pretty extreme sunny hot days. also,can anyone advise me on knowing when your chillis are ready for picking,as all the seeds i used for my plants are from red chillis and i seem to have a lot of green fruit that has been on the plants for a few weeks going on a month.i would hat to waste them as i have had a few drop off which i have cut up and put in a jar of good olive oil-a awesome italian oil trick i got from a mates mother from italy-she provided me with my sedds.
14 Jan 08, margherita (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
We live in subtropical Queensland, and have great difficulty in preventing capisum from falling prey to caterpillars. any suggestions?
15 Jan 08, liam pilsworth (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
why wont my capsicums grow big like the ones in the shop do you have any ideas?
04 Jul 08, chris (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
my caps, are all getting a tiny pin hole in them, and there is silk inside. would fine mesh restrict the sunlight
03 Aug 08, Rebecca (Australia - temperate climate)
My capcicums seem to be finished, all the leaves have wilted although they still have friut not fully grown...My question is. Do they have a life expenditure...Have mine just finished or do they need me to do somethoing...I have others that are still growing and looking healthy. They are different veriety..Please help....I hate to see them wilting..
03 Aug 08, Rebecca (Australia - temperate climate)
My capcicums seem to be finished, all the leaves have wilted although they still have friut not fully grown...My question is. Do they have a life expenditure...Have mine just finished or do they need me to do somethoing...I have others that are still growing and looking healthy. They are different veriety..Please help....I hate to see them wilting..
06 Aug 08, laura (Australia - tropical climate)
We live on acreage in Far North QLD.Had the idea of growing caps and chillis but were informed it is too wet and we don't have enough sun.Is this true or is there a way around this?
07 Aug 08, Mary Ann Derequito (Australia - tropical climate)
I have grown capsicums as big as footballs using crocodile manure as a fertilizer. They bear from August to January. I have a special soil mix which I am prepared to share with anyone who is interested.
26 Aug 08, diane (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in melbourne msth west area and was wondering if i would be able to grow capsicums here ??
16 Apr 11, Katelyn (Australia - tropical climate)
This will be the 7th year of Capsicum farming on the same property although this year we’ve had some trouble with weather conditions. We had approximately 21 inches of rain recently which has stunted the growth of the plants and fruit. Although my question refers to why some of the plants have recovered better than others when they are in the same soil exposed to the same conditions, water and chemicals. Yet the difference from one row to the next, a mere three feet apart is very clear that some have more resistance than others, what can cause this and how can I improve the overall recovery?
Showing 1 - 10 of 361 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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