Sowing and growing seedlings
You can grow peppers in a room all year round. For summer culture, sowing is carried out in late March - early April, for autumn - in July and early August, for early spring - in late November - early December. When sowing in winter, seedlings must be supplemented with special lamps.
To obtain early and friendly shoots, the seeds are pre-soaked in solutions of Epin or Potassium Humate. Indoor peppers are sown in small (0.2 l) pots filled with 2/3 nutrient soil (the soil should be sprinkled as it grows and stretches the stem). Seeds are sealed to a depth of 1 cm, covered with nutrient mixture on top, slightly compacted. The crops are covered with plastic wrap and placed in a warm place (the optimum temperature is + 23 + 27 ° C). After emergence, the film is removed; on the 4-5th day, the temperature is reduced to + 16 + 18 ° C, moving the pots to a cooler place. In the future, the air temperature during the day in sunny weather should be + 24 + 28 ° C, at night + 18 + 20 ° C, soil temperature + 20 + 22 ° C. Seedlings should be regularly watered with warm (not lower than + 20 ° C) water, but not overmoistened! - stagnation of water in pots can lead to the death of small roots in plants.
Up to 60 days of age, pepper needs a short daylight hours, so additional lighting is not required when growing seedlings in spring.
Pepper does not tolerate a pick, so it is better to give preference to transshipment - changing the container with soil from a smaller to a larger one, in which the seedlings are transplanted with a lump of earth without disturbing the root system. For normal growth, a pot of 3-5 liters is enough for adult plants.
Indoor pepper must be fed, as it grows in a small amount of soil. Already in the phase of 1-2 pairs of real leaves, plants are spilled with a fertilizer solution (10 g of ammonium nitrate, 25-30 g of superphosphate, 15 g of potassium sulfate and half a tablet of micronutrient fertilizers per 10 liters of water). This feeding is repeated at intervals of 10-12 days 2-3 times.
2-3 weeks before planting, the seedlings are hardened: watering is limited and the air temperature is reduced during the day to + 20 + 22 ° C, at night to + 16 + 18 ° C. It is better to plant plants in the second half of the day, after spilling each bush abundantly. High-quality seedlings should have 6-12 true leaves, a strong stem, and forming flower buds.
It is very important that the plantings at this time do not fall under the influence of low (+ 10 + 13 ° C) temperatures, as this negatively affects the growth and development of plants (at an air temperature below + 13 + 15 ° C, growth slows down, and at temperatures below + 10 ° C - stops).
Plant care consists of watering, feeding and forming bushes. After planting seedlings, watering should be frequent, but not very plentiful. As the fruit ripens, the need for water increases. Irregular watering during the fruiting period leads to cracks in the fruits. It is better to water the plants in the morning under the root, and not by sprinkling. After watering, the soil is loosened, but carefully, since the root system of the pepper is shallow.
Optimum air humidity when growing peppers is 65-75%; at higher humidity, especially in case of overheating, pollen becomes unviable. Therefore, closed loggias and glazed balconies where peppers are grown, on hot days, it is necessary to ventilate and, if necessary, shade the windows, covering the plants from direct sunlight.
The optimum air temperature for plant growth is + 24 + 28 ° C on sunny days, + 20 + 22 ° C on cloudy days, + 18 + 20 ° C at night, soil temperature + 18 + 20 ° C. Low daytime air temperatures favor the appearance of short, deformed fruits.
The pepper is pollinated mainly by its pollen, but its flowers are capable of cross-pollination. Heavy pollen is better tolerated by insects than by wind.In order to improve fruit set at home, the bushes must be slightly shaken during flowering. The best ones are not to plant sweet and hot peppers next to them, since when pollinated, the pollen of bitter peppers can get on the sweet and the fruits will taste bitter.
Indoor pepper plants do not require special shaping. At the beginning of flowering, only the removal of the crown bud (the first bud located in the branch of the stem) is required. This will speed up the setting of the next buds. Bushes must be tied to a support (peg, trellis) in order to avoid breaking the stem under the weight of the pouring crop and from the wind. For better ventilation and lighting, it is necessary to remove the shoots that have matured and are directed inward of the plant.
The first time the seedlings after planting are fed in two weeks, then feeding is carried out regularly after 10-12 days, depending on the state of the plants. As top dressing, both mineral fertilizers (15-20 g of ammonium nitrate, 30-40 g of superphosphate, 25-30 g of potassium sulfate, or 50-70 g of complex fertilizer per 10 liters of water) and organic fertilizers (half a liter can of granulated bird droppings per 10 liters of water). It is better to alternate mineral and organic dressings.
During the budding period, for a better bookmarking and development of flowers, the dose of nitrogen fertilizers is increased, and during the period of fruit formation, to increase the activity of the root system, the dose of phosphorus fertilizers is increased. During the growing season, the soil must contain a sufficient amount of calcium, the lack of which leads to the top rot of the fruit. For this purpose, foliar dressing with a 0.2% solution of calcium nitrate is effective.
To protect against pests, indoor peppers are treated with the same preparations as when grown in soil. Spraying with skim milk is effective against viruses, especially in the first half of the growing season.