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Bell pepper which is also known as sweet pepper is a cultivar group of the species Capsicum annuum.




Image of Bell Pepper plant at Google

Bell pepper which is also known as sweet pepper or a pepper (in the UK) and capsicum (in Australia and New Zealand), is a cultivar group of the species Capsicum annuum (chili pepper).

Overview
– Cultivars of the plant produce fruits in different colors.
– These include red, yellow, orange and green.
– Bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as “sweet peppers”.
– Peppers are native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America.
– Pepper seeds were later carried to Spain in 1493.
– From there spread to other European, African and Asian countries.
– China is the world’s largest pepper producer in the world, followed by Mexico.
– Green peppers are less sweet and slightly bitterer than yellow or orange peppers.
– Red bell peppers being the sweetest.
– Compared to green peppers, red peppers have more vitamins and nutrients and contain the antioxidant lycopene.
– The level of carotene, like lycopene, is nine times higher in red peppers.
– Red peppers have twice the vitamin C content of green peppers.
– One large red bell pepper contains 209 mg of vitamin C.

Growing/Caring conditions for Bell pepper
– Sow seedlings indoors.
– Sow those eight to ten weeks before the last frost date for your area.
– They are a difficult in germination and seedlings grow slowly at first.
– Provide bottom heat or heat lamps to raise the soil temperature to 80 degrees.
– This will promote better and quicker germination.
– A heated germination mat works well.
– While your seedlings are growing, get your garden ready.
– Add plenty of compost, manure, and a general fertilizer.
– Peppers like hot weather.
– Transplant young seedlings outdoors after the last chance of frost.
– If the weather is still cool, delay transplanting a few days.
– Keep them in a cold frame, indoors.
Space 18-24 inches apart, in rows 24 to 30 inches apart.
– Mulching around the peppers to keep down weeds, retain moisture, and help to feed the plant.
– As the peppers develop, use a fertilizer higher in Phosphorous and Potassium.
– Providing too much nitrogen will result in a great looking bushy, green plant, but few fruits.
– Peppers can be picked as soon as they reach a size which is edible.
– Continuous harvesting encourages the fruit to produce new flowers.
– Spider mites and aphids are the most common problems.
– An occasional borer insect is also known to attack this plant.
– Try an organic insecticide or dust.
– Fungal infections can be treated with fungicides. Apply treatment as soon as you see it.
– Potential pests include aphids, white flies, cutworms, pepper maggots, and Colorado potato beetles.
– Diseases include Verticillium wilt and mosaic virus.
– Frost will stunt or kill the plants.
– Cold weather can cause the plant to slow down or stunt it.
– Use a hot cap in on cold and frosty spring nights.





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