Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
It is also important to keep a close watch on your seedlings during this hardening
off process. If they are showing signs of wilting or appear stressed, water and protect from
the elements as appropriate. After 1-3 weeks of gradually lengthening the time spent out-
doors, you should leave your plant outdoors overnight for the first time. When doing so,
ensure the nighttime temperature will not drop below 55 o F/12 o C. Once your seedlings have
acclimatized, it is time to transplant them outdoors.
Always make sure that you plant your seedlings outdoors after all threat of frost
has passed and soil temperature is sufficiently high. Probably the most common mistake
gardeners will do, is being too eager when it comes to planting and so will plant when con-
ditions are too cold. A little bit of patience will go a long way to ensuring a successful pep-
per harvest. If you are planning on planting outside but feel the weather conditions aren't
quite warm enough, but at the same time are worried that your seedling is outgrowing its
pot, then take a tray and place 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) of moist potting soil. Gently cut off the
bottom of the pot your seedling is currently growing in, taking care not to nick the roots,
and settle the pot approximately 1 inch into the soil. This allows for some extra space for
your seedling to grow while being able to keep it indoors until the optimal planting time.
It is best to plant your peppers on a cloudy day with cooler temperatures (though
still warm enough for your peppers) and ideally with little wind. A week prior to planting
you should work in a little fertilizer into the growing location. Plant your peppers at least
18-24 inches apart and having neighboring rows 18 inches apart from one another. Hav-
ing this spacing allows the plants to have enough space to grow (including root outgrowth)
while allowing good air flow between the plants to aid in disease control. If you are grow-
ing different varieties, especially for example if you are growing both hot and sweet pep-
pers together (and wish to save the seeds), ensure that you have sufficient space between
them to prevent any possible cross-fertilization. 18-24 inches apart should be sufficient,
however check seed packets or labelling for guidance.
Firmly but gently, grasp the seedling by the base of the stem and lift the entire pot
contents out of the pot (dirt included). Unlike tomatoes where deep planting encourages
root formation, peppers do not require such deep planting. They can be planted to just be-
low the bottom leaves, as this will anchor the plant better in the ground and create a stur-
dier adult plant. If growing in warm climates, this extra deep planting will allow the roots
access to the slightly cooler deeper soil. If your soil type is heavy and prone to water reten-
tion, then a shallower planting may be of more benefit, to avoid the risk of roots becoming
water logged and diseased. Therefore dig a hole of sufficient depth to contain the seedling
Search WWH ::

Custom Search