Growing pepper seedlings
Pepper by taste is conventionally divided into 2 groups.
- Sweet (vegetable). It is also called Bulgarian. For a specific aroma of fruits, the content of vitamins and other substances and compounds necessary for the body, sweet peppers are among the most valuable vegetable crops.
- Hot peppers (bitter, spicy) have a burning taste due to the presence of capsaicin alkaloid.
Hot pepper is mainly used as a seasoning for dishes and pickles, and sweet in technical and biological maturity as a table vegetable for fresh salads, stewing, pickling, pickling, preparing individual dishes in the form of mashed potatoes, stuffing with cereals, vegetables, meat.
These vegetables are characterized by a long growing season. To obtain a crop of biological maturity, they need 90-180 days. There is no such long warm period in the vast majority of Russian regions, so they are grown through seedlings, followed by planting in open ground or in greenhouses, under shelters, in high greenhouses and other rooms that maintain the necessary temperature, humidity and lighting.
The specifics of preparing seedlings is the same for both groups of peppers - sweet and hot.
The technology of growing pepper seedlings
When to plant peppers for seedlings?
In order for seedlings to be ready for planting in the open ground of the southern regions, the seeds are sown in prepared containers in the last decade of February or the first decade of March. Moreover, early and medium varieties are sown in February, and later in March.
In central Russia, sowing of pepper for seedlings is carried out from February 10 to 25 and it is better to sow early, medium and late varieties with a gap of 2-3 weeks.
Preparation of soil mix for pepper seedlings
As with other seedlings, we pre-harvest the nutrient mixture. It consists of: turf or leafy soil (2 parts), humus (1 part) or high peat (2 parts) and sand (0.5-1.0 part). The mixture is mixed and disinfected with one of the methods of physical exposure (freezing, steaming, calcination). You can treat the soil mixture with a 1-2% solution of potassium permanganate.
After drying, mix with a solution of trichodermin, planris or other fungicides that contribute to the propagation of beneficial microflora while destroying fungal pathogens. In the prepared soil mixture before packing, add nitroammophoska 30-40 g and a glass of wood ash on a bucket of soil. In the absence of ready-made complete fertilizer, you can use a mixture of 15-20 g of nitrogen, 30-40 g of phosphorus, 15-20 g of potash fat and a glass of wood ash.
Pepper seed preparation
Pepper seeds sprout 2-2.5 weeks. In order to accelerate the emergence of seedlings independently harvested seeds must be prepared for sowing. It is better for novice growers to purchase seeds in specialized stores. They go on sale already processed and prepared for sowing.
- Separate the seeds into fractions. We dissolve a spoonful of salt (30 g) in 1 liter of water and lower the seeds into the solution for 5-10 minutes. Inferior, lungs will float up. Qualitative will sink to the bottom of the container with the solution. We merge light seeds, and wash heavy ones under running water and dry to flowability at room temperature.
- To increase immunity, seeds are hardened. During the day they are kept in a warm room at a temperature of +20 .. + 22 ºС, and at night we place them on the lower shelf of the refrigerator, where the temperature ranges from +2 .. + 3 ºС. We spend about 3-5 days hardening. When hardening, be careful. Only dry un germinated seeds are hardened.
- To prevent diseases of young seedlings, the seeds are decontaminated.
Pepper seed dressing is carried out in several ways:
- The simplest is processing in a 2% solution of potassium permanganate. Dissolve 10 g of the drug in 0.5 l of water and lower it in a gauze bag into the solution for 15-20 minutes. We wash the seeds from a disinfectant solution under running water.
- To disinfect (pickle) seeds of pepper from bacterial infection with a black leg, root and root rot, wilting, it is possible in a solution of one of the biofungicides phytosporin-M, alirin-B, gamair SP, trichodermin, albite according to the recommendations. Seeds are not washed.
- We enrich the seeds in a nutrient solution, using growth stimulants epin, ideal, zircon, novosil, ribav-extra and others. You can use complex microfertilizers microvit, cytovit. Moreover, treatment with stimulants, micronutrient fertilizers and biofungicides can be combined in one solution (prepared as a tank mixture). The seed material in the gauze bag is lowered into the nutrient solution for 12-15 hours. Without washing, sprinkle on paper or natural (non-synthetic) fabric and dry at room temperature until flowing. A simple and effective way of pre-sowing seed enrichment with trace elements is soaking in a solution of wood ash. We insist 2 tablespoons of dry ash in a liter of water during the day. We filter the solution and lower the seeds into it in a gauze bag for 3-5 hours. Then (without rinsing) spread on paper or a dry cloth and dry to flowability at room temperature.
- Pepper seeds germinate very slowly, so they are germinated before sowing. Moisturize her. We cover the same on top and leave at a temperature of +20 .. + 25 ºС. Daily, sometimes 2 times a day, wet the material. In such a humid chamber, peppers will grow in 2-3 days, sprout. Lightly dry the seeds and sow in a prepared container.
When treating seeds yourself, be careful and careful. Follow the recommendations exactly. Do not try to increase the concentration of solutions, temperature, duration of soaking and other methods of preparation. Instead of improving, you can get a negative result.
Preparation of seedlings for pepper
The amount of prepared nutrient mixture and containers depends on the area allocated for growing pepper crops. When sowing scheme 5x4 or 6x3 from one square. m. of useful area is removed 500 pieces of seedlings. If you need a little pepper, seedlings can be grown at home - on the windowsill or in a specially allocated warm and bright place in individual containers (cups). With this kind of cultivation, picking sprouts is not required.
Sowing Pepper Seeds
I moisten the soil in the prepared container and impose a specially knocked-down grate with a ready-made sowing scheme. If there is no lattice, then I draw the soil with a stick on the squares corresponding to the scheme. In the middle of each square or in a separate container (glass, peat-humus glass, special cassettes) I place 1-2 seeds.
I sow seeds by 1-1.5 cm, cover with film or glass and put in a warm place (temperature 25 ° C) in the room or place the boxes in the greenhouse. To obtain healthy developed seedlings, it is very important for this heat-loving crop to withstand the temperature regime in the seedling structure.
- From sowing seeds to seedlings, the temperature of the soil mixture should be maintained at +20 .. + 28 ° C. Peppers are characterized by low germination energy, therefore seedlings in cold soil are unprotected, late.
- During the first month from the appearance of seedlings, the temperature regime of the soil changes and amounts to +15 .. + 17 ° С at night, and +20 .. + 22 ° С during the day. During this period, we maintain the air temperature for the first week during the day at +14 .. + 16 ° С, and at night we lower it to +8 .. + 10 ° С. Subsequently, before quenching, the air temperature is maintained at night at +11 .. + 13 ° C, and during the day +18 .. + 25-27 ° C, shading on sunny days. A temperature change pattern is needed to prevent seedlings from stretching.
In boxes, seedlings grow up to 30-32 days of age. With the appearance of 1-2 real leaves, the seedlings dive into another container, including individual containers with a feeding area of 8x8 or 10x10 cm. When transplanting, seedlings are immersed in moist soil until the cotyledons. We put containers with a pick in openwork light partial shade or use temporary shading from the sun. Seedlings in individual containers do not dive.
Pepper Seedlings Care
Care of seedlings before planting in open ground or permanently in a greenhouse is to maintain optimal humidity, temperature conditions and sufficient supply of nutrients.
Watering pepper seedlings
The soil should be moist without drying out. I spend watering in 2-3 days. After the formation of 3-4 leaves, I switch to daily watering. I necessarily heat the water for irrigation to +20 .. + 25 ° С. I mulch the soil after watering, often with dry sand. In order to avoid fungal diseases of the root system, seedlings are watered every 2 weeks with a solution of biofungicides (trichodermin, planriz and others). Due to the high humidity, I thoroughly ventilate the greenhouse (without drafts).
I feed seedlings twice. I carry out the first feeding in the phase of 2-3 real leaves with mineral fertilizers consisting of 50 g of granular superphosphate, 30 g of ammonia and 20 g of chlorine-free potassium per 1 sq. Km. m area in dry or dissolved form (per 10 liters of water). After top dressing, watering is mandatory to wash away the remaining fertilizer. They can cause a chemical burn of young leaves. I spend the second top dressing 7-10 days before landing on a permanent basis with the same composition. But, if seedlings are growing rapidly, then I do not use nitrogen fertilizers in the second feeding.
Pepper seedlings hardening
2 weeks before planting, I harden seedlings. Gradually limit the amount and rate of irrigation. Drying of the top crust of the soil mixture is allowed. I lower the temperature in the greenhouse to the level of the outside air. When growing seedlings in a house, apartment, I take out the seedlings in an unheated corridor, first by 4-6 hours, increasing the stay in natural conditions to around the clock.
Dates of planting pepper seedlings in a permanent place
Pepper seedlings are planted in open ground when the soil warms up in the main root-inhabited layer (10-15 cm) to +14 .. + 16 ° C and the threat of spring return frosts passes. This period falls on the third decade of May-the first half of June. Before planting, seedlings are abundantly watered to reduce damage to the root system. Sluggish seedlings take root poorly, lose their first buds.
Characteristics of pepper seedlings for planting
The age of seedlings ranges from 60-80 days, depending on the variety. The height of the seedlings is 17-20 cm, 7-10 well-developed leaves. Recently, in the southern regions, beadless seedling cultivation has been used according to the 8x8 or 10x10 cm pattern. When 4-6 leaves are formed, such seedlings (naturally after hardening) are planted for permanent treatment. The survival rate is high, the crop is excellent. Plants do not get sick.
Varieties of sweet pepper
At home, it is better to cultivate varieties rather than hybrids. They are characterized by increased resistance to growing conditions and do not require special care as hybrids.
By maturity, pepper is divided into early, middle and late with transitional forms (medium early, medium late, etc.).
Early varieties of pepper
Early varieties form a crop in technical ripeness after 95-110 days and in biological 10-12 days later. For cultivation in the suburban area, the best varieties are considered: "Duel", "Winnie the Pooh", "Health", "Red Elephant", "California Miracle and others.
Medium Early Pepper Varieties
Harvest is formed in technical ripeness for 110-125 days: "Topolin", "Swallow", "Victoria", "Flight", "Prometheus", "Yellow Bouquet", "Gift of Moldova" and others.
Mid-season varieties of pepper
In recent years, mid-ripening varieties have been used successfully and are recommended for personal plots: "Fat Baron," Bogatyr "," Prometheus ". Harvest in technical ripeness they form on 128-135 days. They are distinguished by excellent taste, fleshy walls of the fetus and a large mass - up to 140-200 g.
Late ripe pepper varieties
Late-ripening varieties and hybrids are popular for warm regions and for cultivation in cold areas in greenhouses. Hybrids are recommended: “F1 Night”, “Paris F1” and varieties “Albatross”, “Flamingo”, “Anastasia” and others.
Hot pepper varieties
Early ripening: "Gorgon", "For mother-in-law", "Fiery maiden", "Mother-in-law's tongue", "Anniversary," Twinkle "and others.
Medium Early: “Adjika”, “Double Abundance”, “Astrakhan 147”, “Miracle of Moscow Region” and others
Mid-season: “Red Fat Man”, “Bully”, “Elephant Trunk” and others.
Late ripening: “Vizier”, “Hercules”, “Habanero”, “The Little Prince” and others.
Attention! As usual, we ask you in the comments to this article to write about your methods and tricks of growing pepper seedlings. Please do not forget to indicate in which region you grow them and in what time frame you are planting and planting on a permanent basis. Thank!