AgricultureFood industry

Cultivation of hot peppers

Why is it worth growing hot peppers?
How to grow hot peppers step by step?
The next phase in the cultivation of hot peppers – we go outside!
How to increase the yield of our crop?
Ranking of peppers on the Scoville scale

Why is it worth growing hot peppers?

There are a lot of hot peppers on the market. Although it seems that this vegetable is typically exotic, we can successfully grow it in our climate zone. Both in detail and on a larger scale. Let’s get acquainted with the conditions that must be met in order for our cultivation of hot peppers to be fruitful. Contrary to popular belief, peppers of varying degrees of spiciness are very healthy, considering their nutritional value. We will talk about it in this article.

How to grow hot peppers step by step?

It is worth noting that we can buy pepper seeds of various spiciness at the garden center, as well as use our own transplants. We would advise those who plan their own cultivation not to throw away the seeds from bought and eaten peppers. All we have to do is spread them out and store them in a dry place, and they will soon serve us as seeds for cultivation.

The first step in growing hot peppers is to prepare the right substrate. Cultivation of peppers is possible in the summer season, due to the high sun exposure during this period. What does “proper” mean here? The right place for peppers is a well-lit and dry place, i.e. a place that slightly imitates a warm climate zone. The soil for our peppers should be primarily loamy, fertile and deep. If our soil does not meet these requirements, it is worth improving its structure and enriching it with compost. You can also take a risk and try to use nitrogen, but of course you should not overdo it. This element in excess can cause the accelerated growth of our pepper. This fact is associated with susceptibility to disease and a decrease in productivity.

It should be emphasized that before we plant peppers, we must gradually adapt them to external conditions. We can do this by placing seedlings in pots outside. However, it is worth protecting them from the wind somewhere in privacy. With our plants, it is worth doing this for several hours a day, initially for several days, gradually extending this time. Such hardening of peppers in the open air will make them assimilate to the conditions outside. We can also cover our crop with dark material. It is best to stock up on landscape fabric.

The next phase in the cultivation of hot peppers - we go outside!

After the above treatments, related to the adaptation of peppers to external conditions, you can permanently “settle” them in the garden. We must remember one important point. The common denominator of all types of peppers is their non-resistance to frost. With this move to the court, we should wait until the complete certainty that we will not have frosts in a longer period of time. Our peppers are best planted on a cloudy day, at a distance of about 30 cm. The spacing we undertake should of course depend on the size and level of maturity of our plants. Of course, they should be planted deeper than in pots, considering the fact that the peppers sprout roots from the part of the stem that we buried earlier.

As our peppers grow, we need to protect them (just like tomatoes) against possible wind and fruit load. Peppers are very delicate. Immediately after planting them in the ground, water them and make sure that they have the right amount of water throughout the growing season. If you grow peppers in a very warm area, you should also make sure to put a large layer of mulch on the heated soil. This will keep the soil moist. As you can see, the cultivation of hot peppers is not as laborious as we might suppose.

How to increase the yield of our crop?

It may seem controversial, but to ensure a better yield of our peppers, we should pick the first flowers. This will make the plants stronger, grow faster and, consequently, produce more fruit. As for the pick of peppers itself, we can do it using scissors or secateurs. The tool we use depends, of course, on the type and size of peppers we grow. Small peppers – because that’s what this article is about – We wouldn’t advise doing this manually, given the high probability of damaging our fruit. The first harvest can be made before the peppers are fully ripe, so that they can mature peacefully later. It is worth noting that the fruits harvested at an earlier stage have a slightly different taste than those ripening on the vine.

Ranking of peppers on the Scoville scale

The name of the enigmatic scale appeared in the headline above. The capital letter suggests that it comes from the name of its discoverer, and refers to the amount of a substance called capsaicin. This scale is denoted by the abbreviation SHU, literally from the Scoville Hotness Unit (which in English means the Scovill hotness unit). The taste buds of humans and other mammals are able to “accept” initially only peppers with the smallest amount of capsaicin. After prolonged consumption, we can however, get used to it and – what’s more – eat more and more spicy peppers. Here is a list of them along with the increasing content of capsaicin:

  • 100 – 500 SHU  – pepperoni peppers, pimento;
  • 2,500 – 8,000 SHU – jalapeno peppers, Hungarian peppers, Tabasco;
  • 50,000 – 100,000 SHU – Thai pepper, bird’s eye chili;
  • 100,000 – 350,000 SHU – Piri Piri, Scotch Bonnet, Guntur chili, Habanero;
  • 876,000 – 970,000 SHU – Dorset Naked;
  • 855,000 – 1,075,000 SHU – Naked Jolokia;
  • 1,643,700 SHU – Trinidad Scorpion Butch T;
  • 1 569 300 SHU – Carolina Reaper.

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