Green pepper is also known as “Sweet Pepper,” “Capsicum,” and “Bell Pepper.” It is the fruit of the plant belongs to the species Capsicum annuum. Green peppers have an incredible bell shape. The fruit of the plant is produced in different colors, including green, red, yellow, orange, purple, and white. Botanically, the fruit is classified as berries. The everyday use of the fruit is as a vegetable or side dish.
Considering the texture of the fruit, it is fleshy and tender. Green pepper has a sweet taste. The peppers are low in calories but very rich in vitamin C. The peppers consist of almost 92 percent of the water with fractions of fats, proteins, and fibers. For a healthy diet, this vegetable proves to be an excellent addition.
How to plant Green Pepper
Green pepper is the crop of the warm season. The soil must be moist, and the range of temperature must be 21-29 degrees centigrade (70-84 degrees Fahrenheit). Start the process of planting by keeping the seeds indoor for almost 8-10 weeks. A long season (60 to 90 days) is required. So, it is favorable to get them started indoors. Pick a sunny side and without any shade as this plant needs full sun for its fruit to grow the largest and healthiest.
There must be no shade by trees and other vegetables. Introduce a fertilizer on the planting site almost a week ago. The soil must be loamy with good drainage quality. Make sure that the soil warms quickly to plant green pepper. At least 70 degrees Fahrenheit is required for seed germination, so it is suggested to place the seeds indoors for the fastest and better results. If needed, a heating pad can be used under the seed tray by the gardener. The depth of the grains must be about ¼ inch.
Before transplanting the plants outdoors, start to harden off them. Transplant the seedlings outdoors at the nighttime with a temperature drop to at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The seedlings must be planted deeper to avoid any damage.
- Make sure to keep the soil moisture intact by using mulch or plastic covering.
- The soil must be well-drained.
- The peppers are heat sensitive, so water the plant properly and adequately.
- After the settlement of the first fruit, fertilize the plant.
- Remove the weed carefully.
- A cage or stake can be used to avoid any bending of the fruit.
Harvesting should be done when the peppers become large and the desired color. For the least damage, use a sharp knife and scissor. For the sweeter taste and the greatest in Vitamin C content, allow the peppers to stay longer on the plants.
After harvesting, we can store the bell peppers in a refrigerator for almost ten days. We can dry the bell peppers by using a conventional oven. For this purpose, cut them into one-half-inch strips. Steam them for about ten minutes. During this process, keep stirring them and change the position of the tray. Let them cool. After this, store them in a bag or storage container.
Peppers are easy to grow, but a problem can arise like many other crops. Pests and diseases can attack the plants and damage them.
Pests and Diseases
The Following are the few pets/diseases which can attack the plant of green pepper:
- Blossom-end rot
- Mosaic Virus
- Tomato Hornworms
- Root-knot Nematodes
Anthracnose It is a fungus. After the attack, the yellow/brown/purple spots appear on the leaves with dark spots on the stem, and eventually, plants rot. There must be proper drainage and no over watering. Mulch can be use. Destroy the affected plant.
Aphids Aphids are insects. They cause the black mold and distortion of flowers and fruits. A large appearance of ants is seen on plants. For prevention, put banana or orange peels around plants. Spray water on the insects to knock them off. Add companion plants to distract the insects.
Blossom-end Rot Nutrition deficiency causes this condition. Lack of calcium uptake is the main issue. The fruits may become large and rotted. Dark spots are seen on the fruits.
To prevent this condition, water the plant regularly with good a drainage system.
Cut off the affected plant.
Maintain the acidic pH of soil and nutrient level.
Use mulch and avoid damaging the roots.
Mosaic Virus As shown by the name, it is a virus that affects the pepper plant and causes the ringed spot on the fruits. Yellow/orange patterns are visible. Aphis can be the source of spread.
To avoid, choose the virus-free seed and resistant varieties. Remove the infected part of the plant. Use mulch and keep the garden free of weeds.
Tomato Hornworms These are the insects that cause chewed leaves. Rapid defoliation occurs. The scratches and incisions appear on fruits. In prevention, remove the hornworms by hand after checking the undersides of leaves. Add the companion plants to attract them.
Root-knot Nematodes These are the insects that cause the wilting and yellowing of plants. The roots of plants become “knotted.”
To avoid them, destroy the affected areas of plants, especially roots. Disinfect the gardening tools and add compost. The gardener should practice the Crop rotation.
Uses and Benefits
Green peppers are the rich source of vitamins and antioxidants, especially vitamin C. There are several benefits in the domain of health.
- Eye health can be improved by regular use.
- Green peppers have anti-inflammatory properties that are useful in relieving pain and swellings.
- Green peppers can lower down the risk of cardiovascular problems.
- Green peppers maintain the colon health and curb down the risk of colon cancer.
- Green pepper improves the immunity of the human body and helps to regulate the various functions of the body effectively.
- Green peppers are excellent for hair growth and hair health as it is a good source of natural silicon.
- Green peppers are beneficial against many infections due to its anti-bacterial properties.
- Green peppers are good in reducing scars and dark spots from the skin. It fights against acne and aging factors.
- Green peppers are amazingly helpful in the prevention of anemia.
- As a good source of nutrition, green peppers reduce the risks of cataract and macular degeneration.
Green pepper has many medical and health benefits. It is almost effortless to plant and grow. Considering its immense positive effect on human life, the demand for pepper is very high in the market. People can cook it, and different recipes are pop up.