Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
Pepper plants love the sun. To grow great peppers you want to pick a spot in your
garden that gets a good deal of sunlight, at least 8 hours a day. If the plants get less than
this amount, they can grow weak. The ideal spot is also one that will provide some de-
gree of shelter from the wind. Pepper plants when growing are sensitive to temperature -
both air temperature and soil temperature. Peppers in general love the heat, especially at
the early stages of growth, however there is a temperature range in which they perform the
best. This range is approximately between 54 o F/12 o C and 95 o F/35 o C. Should temperatures
drop below 54 o F/12 o C, especially at night, the plant can grow more slowly, or its flowers
may drop off (the flower you may recall is the precursor to the pepper itself). Similarly high
temperatures can also negatively affect the plants, in terms of reduced yield and outright
production of a crop. Should daytime temperatures rise above 95 o F/35 o C or nighttime tem-
peratures stay above 80 o F/26 o C, this may cause flowers to drop off the plant, or it may pre-
vent viable pollen from being produced (which in turn will prevent fertilization and pepper
production). If you live in an area of high temperatures, don't be put off. You can still grow
great peppers with many options open to you. You can look at planting heat-tolerant vari-
eties which can withstand higher temperatures better. Alternatively you can use a cloche
or cover to provide shade and reduce the temperature during the extreme midday sunlight.
Such a cover is typically a frame with a cloth covering. These are available at your local
garden store or can be readily purchased cheaply online. In such climates it is important to
keep your growing plant happy; this will be dealt with in Chapter 6. It is important to pick
a growing spot in your garden which will allow your plant to receive at least 7-8 hours of
direct sunlight, but one that does not cause the plant to get scorched. If you live in such
an area with high summer temperatures, think about areas in your garden which may re-
ceive the less harsh morning sun, but get some shade during the afternoon, or areas in your
garden that are north- or west-facing and so receive less intense sunlight. On the flip side
you may live in a temperature with much more modest temperatures. Again, do not fear
- you will still be able to grow perfect peppers. Cold-tolerant varieties of peppers can be
grown, or you can use a greenhouse/poly tunnel to increase the local growing temperature.
Peppers do not tolerate frost and will be killed by it. Therefore make sure you
plant/transplant your pepper plants after all chance of frost has passed. Peppers grow
well in warm soil, therefore ensure the soil has reached a temperature of at least
60-65 o F/15-18 o C.To ensure your seedlings are going in to warm soil, you can do two
things. Firstly 3-4 weeks prior to planting, dig up your planting patch and work the top soil
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