Growing peppers and chillies on the balcony

Peppers and chillies are one of the most popular summer vegetables, they give great satisfaction in the garden, but even those without land can grow them in pots or other containers to be placed in n any lit space: terrace, balcony, windowsill, patio and even on the roof.

We have already touched on the question of the correct cultivation of peppers, and that of hot peppers, we see in this article how to carry out a cultivation of peppers in pots, which in some respects does not differ from that practiced in the open field, while for others, it is in fact very different and requires specific care. It may also be useful to read the general guide dedicated to the balcony garden.

The cultivation method is practically the same for peppers and hot peppers, the latter being particularly interesting for small-scale cultivation, since, due to their pungency, the production of even a small plant can cover the needs of the family, to be able to dry them later to maintain the harvest throughout the year.


The location and exposure of the terrace

In the case of cultivation on land in terraces, roofs, balconies and interior patios, the location is a determining factor because it can have a decisive influence on the success of cultivation.

Peppers are species that they want the sun : it is better to choose the brightest places for them, knowing that in urban areas sources of shade such as buildings, other dwellings or ornamental trees are frequent and sometimes penalizing. Therefore, if it is possible to choose between several balconies, the preferred ones are facing east or west, or southeast and southwest . Those in the north generally receive little light, while those in the south in summer receive too much light, so in the latter case it will be useful to provide shade or protection nets.

Types of pepper: bell peppers and chili peppers

When talking about peppers, we must first distinguish between sweet and hot peppers because the plants of the two categories acquire different sizes, the first being larger and the second smaller, an aspect that also influences the choice of pots.

Within these two main groups there are many varieties to choose from, and the best thing is to have fun trying several of them, not just the most common ones. If space is scarce and we are interested in efficient production, it makes sense to opt for productive varieties, however we suggest growing them using a natural method without forcing them too much with fertilization.

  • variety of peppers
  • Variety of hot peppers

Choose suitable packaging for peppers

When choosing containers, remember that peppers need larger pots, about 30 cm in diameter while the spicy are satisfied with a smaller amount of soil and therefore for them it is sufficient a pot of 20-25 cm .

However, there are not only pots to be grown above ground, but also wooden crates crates made of pallets or wooden planks, concrete flower boxes and other fantastic solutions like piled up car tires or repurposed washing machine baskets as flowerpots.

These or other collection containers are generally in good condition and creativity must be released and ventilated, but the important thing is that they are spacious , because a plant is well if its roots can develop safely. In fact, it should always be remembered that the size of the foliage of a plant is comparable to that of the root system, so if one does not want the plants to remain withered, they must have an adequate volume of soil. As a guideline, it is always advisable to discard containers that are too short, even for hot peppers, i.e. those less than 20-25 cm high.

About Materials We can say that breathable materials such as terracotta guarantee less water stagnation, but on the contrary, plastic materials allow irrigation with less precision because they do not breathe. The black muds cause a great heating of the earth inside, a useful factor at the beginning of the season but perhaps disadvantageous at the height of summer, so there is no fixed rule and the choice also depends on special situations.

A useful general approach can be found in the article on choosing a pot for the balcony garden, fabric pots can be perfect for peppers.

Suitable soils and soil conditioners

There is a lot of universal soil on the market, and it is good to favor those of good quality, or those already enriched with or without compost, to which it will be necessary to add some. It is also useful to mix real soil from the field into the soil. which brings the mineral fraction of the soil with clays, sand and silt.

As with other fertilizers, it is advisable to mix in a few handfuls of manure pellets and maybe even rock meal with the soil and compost when transplanting to provide valuable micronutrients. It is also interesting to try products based on mycorrhizae, because these good fungi that enter into symbiosis with plants stimulate root growth and therefore the absorption of nutrients.

Transplant seeds and peppers

To pot the peppers it is best to start with seedlings ready about 10-15 cm in height, to be transplanted between April and May depending on the latitude where we are.

We can plant pepper plants ourselves, especially if we are interested in perpetuating the varieties we love and whose seeds we reproduce year after year. . Those who grow peppers pay particular attention to these aspects, which you will find explained in how to grow peppers.

for planting you have to start from march , plant the seedlings in honeycomb containers in a balcony mini-greenhouse, and then choose the best ones for transplanting. The management of the mini greenhouse or the seedbed is something fun and satisfying, but it is also delicate and requires constant attention, so it is advisable to carry it out if one can monitor the situation on a daily basis or almost. daily.

Growing Balcony Peppers

After transplanting, since the pepper plants will live until about October, they must receive a lot of cultivation care. Growing peppers is very similar to growing tomatoes in pots. The main care that a plant needs is related to irrigation, given the scarcity of available land, the roots will not be able to last long without water. From the point of view of organic farming, it is also useful to know the main problems and the organic remedies that can be applied.

plant watering

Irrigation is one of the most frequent and important practices in the balcony garden, also taking into account the fact that in pots the plants do not have the possibility of deepening their roots. If your balcony garden is large, you should consider installing a drip irrigation system i with a timer, so we can leave the house without risking all the plants dying.

If we water with watering cans it is better to always keep them full to allow the water to cool before watering, an important precaution for the roots of plants which do not like contact with cold water.

Tutoring and other crop care

Pepper plants are often at risk of falling or breaking under the weight of the fruit, so it is suggested to plant a stick 1 meter long or a little more in the pot because Guardian to which the stem of the plant will be attached.

During growth, the plant begins to assimilate the nutrients provided by fertilizer and manure, but from time to time it is better irrigate with diluted nettle macerates or consolidate to increase nutrition.

During the summer, if the sun is strong, it is best to spray the plants with kaolin, a fine mineral which, with its white patina, protects them from sunburn.

diseases and pests

The cultivation of peppers in pots is threatened by the same diseases and pests that affect outdoor plants, so it is advisable to also equip yourself in time with an ecological defense eye. In the meantime, it is important do not wet the leaves with irrigation as a rule of thumb to limit the possibilities of fungal diseases.

Other preventive forms are infusion or macerated horsetail to stimulate the natural defenses of plants, and decoctions of nettle or garlic extracts to prevent attacks by harmful insects such as aphids. The spraying of defensive extracts or macerations exceptionally involves the wetting of the aerial part of the plants, since with the water the protective and deterrent substances against pests are distributed on the foliage.

zeolite this is another useful action because this fine mineral creates a mechanical barrier on the leaves, which hinders the action of insects and fungal mycelia. In the event of an attack on peppers by the European corn borer a moth which in the caterpillar stage can dig tunnels in the fruits, wasting them, it is possible to treat them with a product based on Bacillus thuringiensis.

picked up and leftovers

Once collection is complete of all peppers and peppers in jars, to close the cycle it is useful compose all the remains of the plants, in special composters for balconies, and to facilitate decomposition, it is advisable to cut the plants into pieces with scissors.

The exhausted soil of the pot will r usable for different crops best if not nightshade like peppers, and use it mixed with new soil and new compost.

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