Growing bell peppers in containers is an ideal option for you if you are short of space. If your area is very cold or experiences strong winds at some point, planting the peppers in containers is also a good choice for you. They will have more warmth than those planted directly on the ground. Later, when the plants develop fruits, you can move them to a safe area where the wind will not break the branches.
Bell Peppers That You Can Easily Plant in Containers
Growing bell peppers in containers does not have to be difficult. However, proper care is critical, especially in the initial stages of growth. Plant them indoors first. They require the warmth of your house. Bell peppers come in many varieties. These include:
The large, sweet fruits of the Jupiter variety turn from green to bright red when fully matured. The full foliage of the leaves protects the fruits from sunburn.
The fruits are extremely sweet. They can be fried, frozen, or dried. Still, they can be eaten raw in salads.
The golden bell produces sweet, medium to large fruits. At maturity, the fruits will turn bright yellow when fully matured. Its large foliage protects the fruits from sunburn.
It produces tapering fruits whose ends are blunt. When ripe, the fruits turn red-orange.it is self-pollinated and produces fruits continuously.
The heart-shaped fruits of early pimento turn from green to red at maturity. It is an excellent choice for home gardeners.
This variety produces medium-sized peppers. Bell boy fruits turn from green to red. The variety is resistant to most plant diseases.
The sweet banana variety produces cylindrical fruits which turn red when ripe.it also produces fruits for an extended period.it is open-pollinated and resistant to many diseases
How to plant bell peppers in a container
1. Select a suitable container
Go for large containers. They should be 10-12 inches wide and deep. Initially, the plants may seem small, but they will grow and fill it out within some weeks. If the container does not have holes, drill them to avoid waterlogging. Place them in a sunny spot as the vegetables thrives well in sunlight. Too hot or too cold temperatures may lead to the production of low quality fruits.
Add potting mix to your containers. The potting mix is well-draining compared to soil. This will prevent the peppers from getting waterlogged. It also provides essential nutrients and allows proper aeration.
2. Get the right plants
You can propagate from seeds. Still, you can get seedlings from a nursery. When using seeds, buy them from trusted dealers. The seeds will germinate within 1-3 weeks, depending on the climatic conditions of your area, and the nature of soil used.
If you are using seeds, make sure they are exposed to light, so that they do not grow tall and spindly. This might affect their overall growth. Transfer them to a container after they develop their first true leaves.
3. Water the plants consistently
Bell peppers require moist soils for proper growth. Always check the moisture content of the soil using your fingers. If it feels dry, water the plants. Water in the morning. Daytime watering evaporates at a faster rate. Use a watering can or a hose pipe with a spraying nozzle.
Overhead irrigation may make the plants develop fungal infections. Aim for the base of the plants. Apply mulch at the base of the plant to prevent excessive evaporation. To control weeds, use mulch or black plastic. Those in warm climates should stick to mulch as it helps conserve moisture. As the peppers ripen, reduce the amount of water you apply to them, to enhance their flavor.
4. Feed the plants
Feed the vegetables with organic food for vegetables and fruits, especially during the flowering period. Follow the instructions on the usage of the plant food. You can also use fertilizers. Do not use fertilizers with high levels of nitrogen. They may attain a lot of foliage but will not produce fruits. The vegetables prefer a slow-release granular fertilizer or organic varieties.
5. Support your plants
The plants may require support to prevent them from leaning or snapping as the fruits mature. You can do this by poking a stick next to the plant and tying it
If you notice the vegetables are flowering too early, pinch off the flowers. The leaves of the plants should provide enough shade for the fruits so that they do not get sunburnt.
Protect the plants from extreme cold conditions. You can use bell jars for this purpose.
Harvesting the plants
Bell peppers will be ready for harvest within 90 days after planting. Harvesting the fruits encourages the plant to develop other fruits. The fruits can be harvested when they are green. Still, you can leave them to turn to red, yellow, or orange.
Only pick the fruits when they are firm. If they appear thin, it is an indication they are not fully ripe. Still, if you leave on the plant for too long, they may feel soggy. After the first harvest, apply fertilizer on the plant so that they can form other healthy fruits.
Storing bell peppers
Bell peppers can be put in plastic bags and refrigerated up to 10 days after harvesting. They can also be dried in the oven until they are brittle. After they cool, they should be kept in storage containers or bags.
Keep the seeds for planting
In ideal conditions, you can harvest and store pepper seeds for two years. This means that you do not have to buy seeds annually.
Controlling Pests and diseases
If the fruits are black at the ends, it shows the plants are not getting enough calcium.
If aphids attack the plants, you can spray water to get rid of them. Still, you can use insecticides. Since they are hard to eradicate, it is necessary to apply the insecticides or spray with the water frequently.
Frequently Asked Questions
Just be patient. After some time, there will be a color change in your fruits.
It could be they are not getting sufficient water or nutrients. Increase the amount of water. If nothing changes, add more nutrients to the plants.
Use scissors or clippers to snap the stem from the vine.
Let the fruits mature fully. Choose the largest peppers and score the seeds out. Dry them completely, and then store them in a dark, dry place.
Yes. That is why green bell peppers have a bitter taste as they do not receive all the natural sugars during growth.
Bell peppers are rich in vitamins, folate, and iron. They are low in calories.
Although they are considered as vegetables, bell peppers are technically fruits, as they contain seeds.
From tacos to omelets, to salads and pasta dishes, bell peppers provide a crunchy, sweet taste. It might seem difficult to grow them on your own. However, with the right information, you can always get fresh produce right outside your balcony or in your yard.