Grow peppers in pot, peppers and chillies are among the most popular summer vegetables, they give great satisfaction in the garden, but even those who do not have a plot of land can grow them. in pots or other containers to be placed in any lighted space: terrace, balcony, window sill, courtyard and even on the roof.
We have already dealt with the correct cultivation of peppers, and that of hot peppers, we see in this article how to make a cultivation of peppers in pots, which in some respects does not differ from that in the open field while for others it is actually very different and requires specific precautions. . A reading of the general guide dedicated to the garden on the balcony may also be useful.
The cultivation method is practically the same for sweet peppers and chilies, the latter are particularly interesting for a small-scale crop, given that for their spiciness the production of even a small plant can cover the family needs, being able to then drying them can maintain the harvest throughout the year.
The position and exposure of the terrace
For above-ground cultivation on terraces, roofs, balconies and internal courtyards, the position is a determining factor, because it can decisively influence the success of the crop.
Peppers are species that desire the sun: it is better to choose the most illuminated points for them, considering that in urban environments the sources of shade such as buildings, other houses or ornamental trees are frequent and in some cases penalizing. If it is possible to choose between several balconies, then those facing east or west, or south-east and south-west are preferred. Those to the north usually receive insufficient light, while those to the south in summer also receive too much, so in the latter case it will be useful to provide shading nets or protective reeds.
Types of pepper: bell peppers and chillies
When it comes to peppers, we must first of all distinguish between sweet and spicy ones, because the plants of the two categories take on different sizes, the former being larger and the latter smaller, an aspect that also influences the choice of pots.
Within these two main groups, there are also many varieties to choose from, and the best thing is to have fun trying many, not just stopping at the most common. If space is scarce and we are interested in efficient production, it makes sense to opt for productive varieties, but it is still advisable to grow them naturally without pushing them too much with fertilizations.
Choice of containers suitable for peppers
In choosing the containers we must think that sweet peppers need larger pots, approximately 30 cm in diameter, while the spicy ones are satisfied with a smaller amount of earth and therefore a pot of 20-25 cm is enough for them.
However, there are not only pots for above-ground cultivation, but also wooden crates, boxes made from pallets or wooden boards, concrete planters and various other imaginative solutions such as stacked car tires or washing machine baskets reused as pots.
These or other recovery containers are generally fine and creativity must free itself and find vent, but the important thing is that they are capacious, since a plant is fine if its roots can develop safely. In fact, it must always be remembered that the size of the crown of a plant is comparable to that of the root system, so if we do not want the plants to remain shriveled they must have an adequate volume of earth. As a guideline, it is always advisable to discard containers that are too low, even for chillies, i.e. those under 20-25 cm in height.
On the materials we can say that the breathable ones such as terracotta guarantee less water stagnation, but on the contrary, the plastic ones allow you to irrigate less precisely because they do not transpire. The black pots cause a great warming of the earth inside them, a useful factor at the beginning of the season but perhaps disadvantageous in the height of summer, so there is no fixed rule and the choice also depends on specific situations.
A useful general focus can be found in the article dedicated to choosing the vase for the garden on the balcony, the fabric vases can prove to be perfect for peppers.
Suitable soil and soil improvers
There are many universal soils on the market, and it is good to focus on those of good quality, or already enriched with compost or without, to which we will have to add it. It is also useful to mix with the soil of the real country earth, which brings the mineral fraction of the soil with clays, sand and silt.
As for other fertilizers, already at the time of transplanting it is advisable to mix a few handfuls of manure in pellets and maybe even some rock flour to the soil and compost to provide precious micro nutrients. It is also interesting to try it with mycorrhiza-based products, since these good fungi that enter into symbiosis with plants stimulate root growth and therefore the absorption of nutrients.
Sowing and transplanting the pepper
To put peppers in pots, it is advisable to start with ready seedlings, about 10-15 cm high, to be transplanted between April and May depending on the latitude in which we are.
We can sow the pepper seedlings independently, especially if we are interested in carrying on the varieties we love and whose seeds we reproduce year after year. Those who grow hot peppers are especially attentive to these aspects, which you find explained on how to sow peppers.
For sowing then you have to start from March, sowing the seedlings in the cellular containers in a mini greenhouse for the balcony, and then choose the best ones to transplant. The management of the mini greenhouse or seedbed is a fun and satisfying thing, but it is also delicate and requires constant attention, so it is recommended to do it if we can keep an eye on the situation every day or almost.
Grow peppers in pot for balcony
After transplanting, given that the pepper plants will live approximately until October, they must be given a lot of cultural care. The cultivation of peppers is very similar to that of tomatoes in pots. The main treatments that a plant needs are related to irrigation, given the scarcity of available soil, the roots will not be able to resist for long without water. From the perspective of organic farming, it is also useful to know the main problems and the bio remedies that can be implemented.
Watering of seedlings
Irrigation is one of the most frequent and important practices in the garden on the balcony, also considering the fact that in pots, plants certainly do not have the opportunity to deepen their roots. If the cultivation on the balcony is large, it is necessary to consider setting up a drip irrigation system with a timer, so that we can be away from home without risking to kill all the plants.
If we irrigate with watering cans, it is advisable to always keep them full, in order to cool the water before irrigating, an important precaution for the roots of plants, which do not like to come into contact with cold water.
Tutoring and other cultural care
Pepper plants often risk falling or breaking with the weight of the fruit, so it is suggested to plant a 1 meter long stick or a little more in the pot as a stake, to which to tie the stem of the plant.
During growth, the plant begins to assimilate the nutrients provided by the compost and manure, but every now and then it is better to irrigate with diluted nettle or comfrey macerates, to increase nutrition.
During the summer, if the insolation is strong, it is advisable to spray the plants with kaolin, a fine mineral that with its white patina protects them from sunburn.
Diseases and parasites
Pot cultivation of peppers are threatened by the same diseases and parasites that affect plants outdoors, so it is advisable to equip yourself in time also with a view to ecological defense. Meanwhile, it is important not to wet the leaves with irrigations, as a basic rule to limit the chances of fungal diseases.
Other preventive forms are the spraying of horsetail infusion or macerates to stimulate the natural defenses of plants, and nettle extracts or garlic decoction to prevent attacks by harmful insects such as aphids. The spraying of extracts or defensive macerates exceptionally involves wetting the aerial part of the plants, because with the water the protective and deterrent substances against parasites are distributed on the foliage.
Sprinkling the plants with zeolites is another useful action since this fine mineral creates a mechanical barrier on the leaves, which hinders the action of both insects and fungal mycelia. In the event that the peppers are attacked by the corn borer, a butterfly that in the caterpillar stage can dig tunnels in the fruit,
Collection and remains
Once all the peppers and peppers in pots have been harvested, to close the cycle it is useful to compost all the remains of the plants, in special balcony composters, and to facilitate decomposition it is recommended to cut the plants into pieces with shears.
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