Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
of fertilizer around the plant (1-2 tablespoons). Take care not to spread the fertilizer directly
against the stem as the fertilizer can burn the plant and leaves. Using a small garden fork
then work the fertilizer a shallow distance into the soil, making sure than this isn't so deep
that the fertilizer will come into direct contact with the roots. Then water the plant to allow
the fertilizer to absorb in to the soil.
Alternatively a liquid feed can be given, such as a fish emulsion, a seaweed fertil-
izer or a feed high in potash, such as a liquid tomato feed. When doing so, use at half the
recommended strength, and feed your plant every other week.
Along with your feeding schedule you can also give your plants a foliar feed i.e.
feeding via the leaf system as opposed to root feeding. Plants are able to effectively absorb
minerals through their leaves. Many minerals can be difficult to supplement in the soil and
so foliar feeding is an effective way of ensuring your plant receives these. For peppers an
extremely effective foliar feed is a solution of Epsom salts. Despite their name, Epsom salts
don't contain table salt, but rather is high in magnesium and sulfur. When used as a foliar
feed it causes the pepper plants to produce healthier, greener plants and higher yields. To
make up the solution add one teaspoon of Epsom salts into a gallon of water and shake
well to mix. Epsom salts can be readily purchased from a garden center or drug store, but
ensure that this is suitable for your garden i.e. is free from fragrances etc. Add the Epsom
salt solution to a spray bottle and lightly spray the leaves and stems of your plant. The best
time to do this is early in the morning or late afternoon. You will notice your plant looking
much healthier and sprightlier after these feeds. I would recommend giving this foliar feed
every other week. If you are also using a liquid feed, then alternate the weeks i.e. week 1:
liquid feed, week 2: foliar feed; week 3: liquid feed etc.
In general, depending on what method of fertilization you choose, always fertilize
on bright, light days. Also fertilize in tandem with your watering schedule. Always fertilize
when the soil is a little dry - if the plant has been over-watered, then simply hold off fertil-
izing until things dry out.
Pruning or trimming your pepper plant is a way of controlling the size and shape of
the plant and in some instances forcing the plant to focus its energies on certain parts of the
growing plant. During the growing season I typically prune in three different ways.
The first way is to prune or pinch out the growing tip. By cutting out the growing
tip of the plant you stop the plant from growing any taller, instead forcing the plant to grow
laterally, and producing a bushier plant. These lateral branches will become stronger and so
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