Seedlings of pepper according to the rules
Pepper is a heat-loving crop, loves a lot of light. Considering that the fruit ripening period for different varieties is from 100 to 150 days from the moment the sprouts appear, it is necessary to sow pepper seeds for seedlings in late February or early March.
Hot peppers ripen in about 2 months. They can be grown on the windowsill all year round and sown at any time. For home gardening, compact and shrub varieties are chosen. They do not cause trouble when grown, look amazingly beautiful on the windowsill and willingly give a generous harvest.
Sweet peppers require more attention. To obtain healthy, strong seedlings that are not susceptible to diseases typical of pepper, you need to know the intricacies of sowing, picking and growing.
Rules for obtaining strong seedlings
- Light day for pepper seedlings should be at least 12 hours. If there is little light, the seedlings begin to bend and stretch. Use phytolamps to illuminate — they increase the germination of seeds and stimulate the growth of seedlings. A more budget option is LB or LBT fluorescent lamps. Ordinary ones are not suitable — they heat up, dry the air and burn the leaves.
- Pepper seedlings are important not to overgrow. If the stems become stiff ahead of time, they will slow down the growth in thickness and begin to crack. The optimal age of seedlings ready for planting in open ground is 60-80 days.
- Unlike seedlings of other vegetables, pepper seedlings cannot be swooped down to the depth of the cotyledons — the plants will stop growing and start to hurt. This method of picking is used in professional greenhouses, where it is possible to keep seedlings for 7-10 days at a stable temperature of 15-17 °, followed by an increase in temperature to 23-25 °. In this case, the seedlings form a strong stem with a dense cotyledon knee, which can be deepened. At home, it is better not to take risks.
- Pepper painfully tolerates a pick, reacting to the slightest damage to the roots. The best option is to sow in peat tablets, and in the phase of 2-3 leaves, carefully transplant into small pots with nutrient soil. If you choose the right size, the seedlings will quickly braid the roots with an earthen lump and the transplant will be painless. For compact varieties, prepare pots with a diameter of 3-4 cm, for large-leaved varieties — 8-10 cm.
- If you plan to prepare a lot of seedlings, take rectangular plastic containers 10-12 cm deep — they can be placed compactly on the windowsill. A 30×60 container will require one or two packages of seeds (with a planting rhythm between plants of 2-3 cm).
You will need a light, nutrient-rich soil with a neutral pH. For looseness, you can add calcined river sand (1: 5). You can reduce the acidity of the soil by adding chalk or dolomite flour (2 tablespoons per 5 kg of the mixture).
Before sowing, soak the seeds in a growth stimulator. If you still have seeds from last season, check them for germination: soak them in saline (5-10 grams per glass of water) — feel free to throw away those that float. To speed up the germination of seeds, wrap them in a damp cloth, place in a plastic bag and leave in a warm place for 2-3 days to swell.
We sow the seeds
When sowing in pots or peat tablets, place no more than two seeds in each. Cover with foil. When sowing in containers, make grooves at a distance of 2 cm and carefully distribute the seeds with a rhythm of 2-3 cm. In order not to wash out the crops, moisten by spraying.
At a temperature of 23-25 ° shoots will hatch in 7-10 days; at T 25-27 ° — in 2-3 days. Remove the film. Stop watering for two days — a little stress will make seedlings stronger. If the air in the room is very dry, lightly moisten the topsoil. After the appearance of the cotyledons, water with warm water (28-30 °). Regularly highlight, protect from drafts, do not allow drying out and waterlogging.
We do a picking of seedlings
At the age of 3-4 weeks, the seedlings have two full leaves and are ready for picking. At this time, the stem is still very fragile. Grab the seedling by the petiole of the leaf, carefully remove it with a clod of earth and transfer it to a pot. While still holding the plant, water without allowing it to sag. Add earth to the root neck and lightly tamp.
After two weeks, feed the seedlings with mineral fertilizer, following the instructions on the package. After 2-3 weeks, carry out the second feeding, in the stage of 6-8 true leaves — the third. Two to three weeks before planting peppers in open ground, harden seedlings outdoors, for example, on a loggia. Many growers do this.
already on the site, protecting the seedlings from drafts and direct midday rays.
Planted in open ground
When planting large-fruited varieties, follow the 50×60 cm scheme. Bush peppers are placed at a distance of the future crown diameter. Seedlings are planted in pre-prepared holes, fertilized with NPK-complex (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium). The root collar is placed at ground level.
Water regularly, spray, loosen row-spacings, weed out. Apply NPK fertilizer every 2-3 weeks. Nitrogen will contribute to the growth of green mass, phosphorus — to ensure the health of the vitality of the root system, potassium — to accelerate the formation of ovaries and weight gain of fruits.
In conclusion, we want to remind you that pepper can be grown not only in the garden. Growing pepper on the windowsill will bring not only a vitamin harvest in winter, but also give beautiful flowering, decorating the house. In our article, we will tell you how, following simple rules, you can grow a wonderful crop of pepper on the windowsill.