Everyone knows that pepper is a thermophilic culture. But in our time, excellent harvests of the southern "sissy" can be obtained in the north, even without a specially equipped greenhouse, but simply under arches or in a greenhouse. The whole secret is in the varieties.
Growing pepper seedlings
The optimal age of seedlings for early peppers is 60 days, so it is easy to calculate the sowing time taking into account the time of planting seedlings in the ground. If this is the second half of May (planting under cover), then sowing should not be done earlier than mid-March, etc. Seedlings overgrown on the windowsill take root worse and can slow down their growth for a long time; in this case, there is no need to talk about an early harvest.
It is better to place seeds at once, 1-2 pieces in small pots, in order to do without picking. Pepper does not tolerate damage to the root system, which is inevitable when diving, therefore, over time, it is better to carefully transfer the grown seedlings from small pots to large ones, trying not to injure the roots. For this, the earth is slightly dried so that the contents of the pot are easily separated from the walls. You can also sow seeds in disposable peat pots. During transplantation, they are simply gently broken apart, freeing an earthen lump with roots.
Seeds sprout in a warm room about 7-10 days after sowing. It is important not to let the seedlings overgrow and stretch out. Therefore, immediately after the first shoots appear, the pots should be placed in the brightest and, if possible, cool place in the house. It is good if it is a glazed loggia or a winter garden.
It is necessary to start feeding the seedlings after the appearance of the first true leaf with a solution of a complex water-soluble fertilizer containing a set of microelements (1 tablespoon per 10 liters of water), replacing them with watering. Such regular weak feeding does not violate the osmotic pressure in tender seedlings, and at the same time, the plants receive all the necessary nutrients in a timely manner. At the first stages, seedlings can be additionally fed with a solution of calcium nitrate (1 tablespoon per 10 liters of water) to strengthen the stem.
As you grow, the pots of peppers need to be arranged so that the plants do not shade each other and develop evenly.
"Mature" seedlings should have 8-9 true leaves of deep green color and single buds. The crown bud located at the site of the first branching of the lateral shoots must be immediately removed by pinching. If this is not done, then the growth of the remaining shoots will slow down, which will not allow the main harvest to form in time.
Planting pepper in the ground
You can plant seedlings in a permanent place as soon as weather conditions allow (usually from mid-May to mid-June). But the cultivation of early peppers on warm ridges under film shelters makes it possible not to depend so much on the vagaries of the weather and significantly extend their fruiting period.The planting density of peppers in the garden depends on the plant habit. Low-growing (30-50 cm) varieties with compact dense bushes are planted up to 10 plants per 1 square meter of area. They can also be used for compacted plantings (planting two plants in one hole or planting them to another crop - tomato, cucumber). In this case, the number of seedlings is increased to 15 plants per square meter. Planting density of medium-sized (50-70 cm) varieties - 5-8 plants per sq. M. Plants of tall (70-100 cm and higher) varieties with powerful spreading bushes should not be planted more than 3 pieces per square meter.
It is not recommended to grow sweet and hot peppers together in a greenhouse. During pollination, when hot pepper pollen hits the flowers of the sweet pepper, the fruits of the sweet pepper acquire a burning taste.
In greenhouses and under arches in open ground, pepper is formed into three stems.All shoots are removed from the main trunk (stem), and after the first branching of the stem, for better ventilation and illumination, shoots that have borne fruit and are directed inside the plant are removed. Plants must be tied up so that they do not break under the weight of the harvest. Each shoot is tied up separately and attached to the trellis; as the shoots grow, they are twisted around the twine. Low-growing peppers are simply tied to pegs. Varieties Eroshka, Funtik, Czardas and cabin boy do not require shaping.
It is better to harvest pepper without waiting for the reddening of the fruits on the bush. Beginners to blush (turn yellow), as well as brownish peppers, will ripen in a few days in room conditions and acquire a color characteristic of the variety. Early harvest will accelerate the ripening of greens and the setting of new fruits on the plant, which, ultimately, will make it possible to get the maximum yield.