Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
Care and Maintenance
Giving your pepper plants a sufficient quantity of water is a key determinant of how
successful your harvest will be. In general, it is important to give your pepper plants a good
even supply of water to reduce the risk of stressing your plants or over-flooding them and
increasing the risk of disease, such as blossom end rot.
After transplanting, it is important for the first few days to water generously to min-
imize stressing of the plant. When watering, it is very important to water the soil at the base
of the plant, rather than watering from a height. Should you water from a height, the pepper
leaves can become wet, which can encourage disease and can cause airborne fungal spores
to settle on the leaf causing infection.
It is important to keep a daily watch on your plants and the weather. In general the
plant is sufficiently watered if the soil is damp to the touch when you stick a finger approx-
imately one inch in to the soil. A general rule of thumb is to keep the soil evenly moist,
however you can allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. While you will soon
establish a watering routine which allows for this (and of course people living in warmer
climates will have to water more frequently than those in cooler climes), take care during
periods of warm weather as extra waterings (even daily) may be required. By watching out
for wilting leaves you will soon realize if your plants need a little extra. If you miss a wa-
tering, try not to immediately over-compensate by giving an extra-large portion of water.
This can lead to sogginess in the soil and can cause disease. While peppers tend to like
drier rather than wetter conditions, do not take this to extremes by allowing the ground to
dry out too much - if so, this can lead to the plants becoming stressed and wilting or they
may lose their blossoms and fruit.
Peppers love high humidity. If you don't live in an area of high humidity, or are
growing your plants indoors, you can help create a humid environment for your plants in
two ways. Firstly, you can plant companion plants around your peppers. These should be
ground covering plants and so will help the soil stay moist. Alternatively you can mist your
plants with a water spray. If you mist your plants, be careful that this is a light misting.
You don't want to spray them so heavily that water is falling from the leaves onto the soil
below, nor do you want to spray so heavily that the leaves do not have a chance to dry off
and become prone to various fungal diseases. To mist, simply use some water and a regu-
lar spraying bottle. Spray lightly early in the morning to allow ample time for the water to
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