Do you know that pepper is one of the easiest spice to grow? If you are looking for how to grow pepper at home, you are in the right place, as you will learn the complete step by step guide and instruction to start pepper farming at home.
To grow pepper at home, get a fertile garden and make holes of about an inch deep in the soil. Get pepper seeds and sow in those holes on an average of 3 or 4 per hole and cover with sand.
Pepper is one of the most soughted spice in the whole world, as it is used in almost all the recipes you could think of, except few such as pap or tea etc.
This spice has many colors, such as red, green, Gray etc and also in various sizes.
It is a very hot spice which help foods to bring out more of it’s taste and also makes the food to be hot in the mouth when eaten, although some varieties are not hot.
Pepper can definitely not be eaten raw because it is very hot in the mouth.
This spice has been around in the whole world for quite a long time and has been eaten across all the tribes, nations, this made pepper a very good source of export and import commodity.
You did be surprise that countries do budget millions of Dollars just to import pepper, and so this makes it a very profitable gardening or agro niche to venture into.
Apart from the commercial intent, you as a gardener could easily grow your own pepper in your garden or farm and get enough pepper for domestic use from there, there by cutting off the expenses of buying at the stores or markets.
If you are still in this article, then that means you are very interested and ready to start growing your own pepper.
Let’s dive into the complete guide.
TYPES OF PEPPER TO GROW AT HOME
There are many different types of pepper, they differ by many things such as their level of heat and also their level of flavor.
When making a choice in the particular type or types to grow at home, you should consider looking into their level of heat, flavor and also their color which is also important, then select the type that is more applicable to you.
In this article, we will discuss some of the best peppers to grow at home and we will explain the 3 qualities which are important to look for in any pepper which are color, hotness and flavor.
Some of the types are:
Anaheim Pepper: Anaheim Pepper is a green and delicious type of pepper, it’s hotness is about 500 to 2,500.
It is very flavorful when cooked with and could be used to prepare many types of dishes. It got it’s name from a Carlifornia city.
Poblano: This is a large and mild pepper which is green when unripe and red when ripe.
It has less hotness when unripe and more heat when ripe. it is said to originate from Mexico and could be used on various kinds of meal.
Jalapeno: Jalapeno is mainly used in pizza, salsas etc and it has about 2,500 to 5,000 heat units.
Serrano: This type of Pepper has a heat unit of 6,000 up to 23,000, making it one of the hottest pepper.
Although it is very flavorful and delicious, but. very hot.
Chile de Arbol: This type of pepper is very hot and has a Heat Unit of 15,000-30,000.
Bell Pepper: This type of pepper is very delicious and spicy and it comes in many colors such as red, green etc and Surprisingly, it does not have any atom.of hotness because it doesn’t contain capsaicin which gives pepper their burning quality.
This type of pepper in many times is used for coloring and not for hotness because it has non!.
Tabasco: It is very juicy and bright red when riping. It has a heat unit of about 30k, up to 50k and it’s used in many dished.
It got it’s name from a Mexican city where it is mainly grown.
PREPARATION OF GARDEN FOR PEPPER FARMING
Before this spice crop could be grown, land must be available and also it should be prepared or gotten ready to be planted with pepper.
To prepare the land for pepper farming, tools such as cutlass, rake, wheelbarrow, shovel or tractor should be used to clear the land and plow it.
The preparation of the land also involves cutting or pruning the trees in the farm/garden where you want to plant the pepper.
When the land is fully cleared of bush and trees, then the next step is to make sure the soil is fertile enough before thinking of planting the pepper.
The question is, how?. To make sure the soil have enough fertility to grow the pepper crops properly, I do recommend the use of organic manure.
Get organic manures such as compost or animal dungs such as cow, pig, chicken, goat dungs etc and spray them on the empty garden land or farm and allow it to stay there till rain break them down and absorb them into the soil. This could take about a week or 2.
After the soil has absorbed the manures, then plow the soil, according to the number of pepper you want to grow.
The holes should be an inch or half inch deep, depending on how hard the soil is, and give them a space or gap of about 15 to 20 inches.
HOW TO PLANT PEPPER AT HOME
When the land is ready, the next thing to do is to get the pepper seeds and plant.
To plant pepper, get pepper seeds, dry them a little bit under the sun, make holes of an inch deep in the garden or farm soil and sow them in 3 or 4 rows per hole.
There are 2 methods of planting pepper, they are:
Planting pepper Indoors
Planting pepper Indoors is one of the strategies of growing pepper in many places.
people who are at the cold regions of the world normally use this strategy mostly to plant pepper.
This is because many Varieties of pepper does not tolerate frost at all, and so will die or under perform in terms of yields and growth when exposed to frost.
In almost all the cases, the purpose of planting this vegetable spice indoors is to later transplant to the garden or farm when the weather is very suitable for it to grow outdoors.
To plant pepper Indoors, you need to have seeds tray or pot in which to plant the pepper seeds.
Fill the pot or seeds tray with fertile loamy soil, use your fingers to make small holes of about half an inch or an inch in the soil and sow the pepper seeds on a row of 2 or 4, cover with soil and water them a bit.
The pot or seeds tray should be placed on the corner of the house where the sun will get to it.
Pepper requires a temperature of about 65 to 80°F. They will start germinating and sprouting out in about a week later.
When they sprout and start growing in the pot or tray, you need to water them day by day untill they are matured enough to be transplanted to the garden or farm.
Give them at least 2 or 3 weeks to mature a little bit indoors, so that they will be fit to be transplanted and also when the weather is more suitable , then transplant them to the garden.
To transplant, first make holes of about 2 to 4 inches in the garden, depending on how tall they have grown and also the number you want to transplant.
Get them out from the pot or tray with their roots intact and transplant them to the holes in a row of 2 or 1 per hole and cover the holes with soil, then apply water on them.
Note – The transplanting process should be done early in the morning or late in the evening when the weather is very calm and the sun heat is calm.
Planting Pepper Direct in the garden or Outdoors
This is the most popular method of planting pepper and it’s very common among those in regions with normal weather temperature.
It involves getting the pepper seeds, going direct to the garden and place them direct into the soil and cover with soil, then wait for them to germinate and sprout out, then start taking care of them till they start yielding their vegetable fruits.
As I explained earlier, Pepper plants require a temperature of about 65 to 80°F to thrive, so the temperature should be weighed before transplanting or sowing pepper seeds in the garden.
In many locations, especially in Africa, pepper are grown in every season or month ( year round), and in some places, they grow when the weather is not too cold ( frosty) etc.
CARE OF PEPPER PLANT
After planting pepper successfully, the work does not end there, as this plant requires enough care to thrive and produce good quality yields.
To take care of pepper plants, they should be provided with water, fertilizer, mulch, Stake and curtailed of weeds, diseases and pests.
These are the process involved in taking care of pepper plants, don’t worry, I will explain them one after the other.
Watering: One of the major things required by this plant is water.
Watering of this plant is so important that when they become dehydrated, they will either under perform or even die, so pepper plants require water to survive.
The watering process starts immediately the seeds has been sown in the soil.
Once the seeds has been sown, wether in a pot or tray indoors or outdoors in the home Garden, they should be watered immediately and continue to do so once in a day and with a measurement of about one cooking spoonful of water per seed.
When the seedlings sprout and start growing, the water measurement should increase to about half glass cup of water per plant every day or every 2 days, depending on the weather condition.
When they are fully grown, at least one full cup of water is okay per plant on an average of a day or 2 days, again depending on the weather condition.
Pepper is one of those plants that detest too much water, or waterlogged land.
So when applying water to them, you should be very careful, in order not to over water them, which may do more harm than good.
Watering tools such as watering cane, water sprinkler could be used to water the plants, but use your senses to determine the amount you apply, in order not to over water and waterlogge the soil.
Watering of pepper plants in the garden is only necessary when there is not much rainfall, but if there is, there is absolutely no need to apply water on the plants, as the rain will take care of them.
Also for those in the rainforest regions of the world, like I mentioned, too much water could waterlogge the soil, and pepper plant does not like it, so the amount of water being stored in the garden soil should be controlled.
To control it, a water drainage system should be constructed!.
Tools such as shovel or spade should be used to make water drainage gutters from the garden to any where, and when it rains, water that might have stored in the garden will now be passing out from those drainage system, thereby reducing the amount of water that might have been stored in the soil.
Also to Control waterlogging, when growing pepper Indoors in a tray or pot, they should have small openings at their bottom, which will help excess water to pass out, thereby helping the soil to drain more quicker.
Fertilizer/Manure: Fertilizer is another important thing required by pepper plants to survive.
The overall sense of applying fertilizer is to make the soil fertile and suitable for pepper farming, because pepper is a kind of plant that does not do well in a non fertile land.
The application of fertilizer on this plant should start even before the pepper seeds are sown.
When the garden is totally cleared and is ready to be sown with pepper seeds, first, a manure should be applied on the empty garden and be allowed to absorb into the soil before sowing the seeds or transplanting pepper seedlings to it.
This in overall gives the plants a very nice boost, and they will stay healthy till they mature and also give good quality yields.
In about 2 or 3 months time, another set of manure should be applied again. This last manure will now help in producing good quality yields.
Apart from organic manures such as animal waste ( dungs) or compost, there are many inorganic fertilizers that could be used and also get good yields from the plants such as N.P.K 15 15 15, Follow the instruction on any of the fertilizers you buy and also try as much as possible to purchase Fertilizers that has some percentage of nitrogen because it is highly needed by pepper plants.
Exposure to Sunlight: Siting or exposing pepper plants to sunlight is very necessary because they need alot of sunlight in order to survive and also produce good yields.
Try as much as possible to site your pepper garden at a place that have access to reasonable amount of Sunlight.
That’s why i do recommend cutting down or pruning trees that are closer to the garden or inside the garden which might overshadow the pepper plants and prevent the sun from reaching them. This is very harmful and should be prevent!.
Also when growing pepper Indoors, although the room temperature might be very suitable for it, but they still need to have access to good amount of sunlight, and so should be brought out to where the sun could get to them everyday, if possible.
This plant need access to Sunlight at least on an average of 4 to 8 hours everyday day.
Mulch: The application of mulch is another way to take care of this plant, in the sense of cooling down the soil temperature and also protecting the water, soil nutrients and also the roots of the plants.
This is very necessary in times of too much rain or heavy rainfall and also in very hot weather conditions.
To apply mulch, anything could be used such as containers, nylons or even leaves. I do recommend leaves.
Use any of these to cover the bottom/roots of the plants.
Stake: Pepper is a kind of plant that sometimes requires staking.
This although depends on the variety, this is due to the fact that some varieties have stem that are not very strong and could bend at any slightest wind etc, and so they need staking to stand firm and strong.
To stake, get short sticks as tall as the plant you want to support, stand the stick firmly in the ground closer to the plant and use soft rope or torn clothes to tie the plant to the stick.
Weeding: Weed is one of the disturbing factors in pepper plants and need to be controlled!.
Weed is one of the things that do breed diseases and harbor pests which normally affect this plant heavily.
Apart from breeding diseaseas and pests, weed also compete with the plants in terms of sucking off the water and nutrients in the soil which the plants need to survive on the long run, and also it does outgrown the plants, overshadow and block them from sunlight which is very harmful to the plants.
So you see?, weed is very harmful to this plant and should be controlled as soon as they sprout.
In order to control weed in pepper garden, the use of chemicals such as herbicide or tools such as weeding hoe and wheelbarrow is required.
In order to Control weed in pepper garden with chemicals ( herbicide) buy and spray it on the weeds when they sprout out and they will die in a short while.
If you are using tools, use a weeding hoe to uproot them one after the other, pack them in a wheelbarrow and dispose them off!.
Although the process of manual weeding is very slow and taskful, but it’s worth it and it’s very organic.
Crop Rotation: Crop rotation is also important in pepper cultivation, especially in the home garden due to the fact that growing one particular plant in a particular place tends to diminish the level of soil fertility and breed some diseases and pests.
So therefore, In order to save the soil nutrient and curtail the activities of pests and diseases to some level, crop rotation has to be applied!.
On an average, a time space of 1 or 2 years should be given to a particular garden after growing this crop once or twice in it.
PESTS AND DISEASES OF PEPPER PLANT
Pepper plant is not free from Diseases and pests, more especially diseases.
there are many types of diseases that do attack this plant at almost every stage of it’s life, some of them are:
Pepper Leaf Spot: Pepper leaf spot is a bacterial that is very common in pepper plants through out the whole world and it’s found in any type of environment, both rainy and warm environment and it could spread very easily through touch and other common ways.
the sign of this bacteria is yellow and green spot on the leaves which will later turn to brown spots.
It does cause leaf decay and drop.
To Control this bacteria, once you notice any sign of it, be fast and prune that part off because it is very easy to spread.
Apply Fertilizer which will help the plants build enough immunity to withstand this disease.
Another method to control it is to avoid watering the leaves which might spread it more quickly and also practice a good gardening hygiene by using clean tools on them.
Mosaic Virus: This is a very deadly virus that once any pepper plant is infected by it will normally die!. Although there are some type of pepper that are immune to it, tobacco mosaic, but the cucumber mosaic is the most deadly.
This virus can spread in many ways such as touch or contact with infected plants, insects and even human hands and animals, and sometimes, it is in born in the seeds and soil.
The signs are green and yellow mottled leaves, stunt growth and low yields.
This disease is very deadly because there is no cure for it now, unless some precautions such as pruning off the affected parts of the plants or removing the affected plants entirely, practicing good gardening hygiene and using of clean tools on the plants.
Weeds could bring about this infection, so remove them as soon as possible.
Phytophthora Blight: This type of pepper disease is mainly spread by soil borne pathogen.
This disease is of 2 types which are late and early blight, they are almost the same.
It’s signs are wilting of leaves and brown leaf spot. Also it does bring about black stems at the base of the infected plant, causing root rot and fruit rot.
This disease is cause most times by waterlogging, and so to Control it, the level of water being applied to the soil should be reduced and also the plants should be planted on farm beds.
Also a good drainage system should be made in the garden as a way to Control the amount of water being stored in the soil.
Sometimes this disease is brought about by infected composts, so make sure you check the type of compost you apply or the type of mulch you apply also.
Talking of pests, also some pests do attack it too such as caterpillar which feed on it’s leaves and also rat which feed on the seeds etc.
HARVEST OF PEPPER PLANTS
If everything goes right as planned, they will start yielding and maturing at Least within 90 to 150 days from the day they were planted, depending on the type of pepper and variety involved.
To harvest pepper plants is very simple, you just need a sharp knife or a sharp garden scissors, wear a hand glove.
Cut the peppers at least with about an inch of their stem with the knife.
They could be harvested at any stage, even before they ripe, for the fact they have grown pepper fruits, depending on your recipe.
Note – pepper is very hot and when exposed to skin will cause hotness and reactions, so be careful when harvesting.
STORAGE OF PEPPER
After harvesting, we all know that the next thing is Storage. This is an important aspect of gardening or farming, as you might need to store before selling or consuming.
To store pepper, they need to be dried under the sun and stored or they need to be stored in a refrigerator.
In either method, both are very nice, the only difference is that the refrigerating method keeps the pepper fresh while the drying method keeps it dried.
Both methods of Storage could last for a long time, while the dry method tends to last far more long.
Pepper farming is very simple when properly taken care of. Anybody could grow pepper at home and have a nice harvest.
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