Sweet peppers and hot peppers are easily grown in the garden. Peppers are so versatile in cooking, they can be used raw, or cooked. Peppers thrive in a greenhouse with full sun, they will also grow well if you place outside in a warm, sunny spot. In this article, we will share how to grow peppers, the nutrients, and health benefits gained from eating peppers.
Varieties Of Peppers
It’s estimated that there are over 50,000 different varieties of peppers in the world. Each different in colour, size, shape, spice, taste, and tolerance. There are many varieties to choose from but here are some of our personal recommendations:
‘Habanero’- Small, wrinkled, extremely hot pepper rated 100,000-350,000 on the Scoville scale, used in small amounts in many hot sauces. Only for high spice tolerance!
‘Jalapeno’- Medium-sized, green/red, mild-medium spiced pepper rated 2,500-8,000 on the Scoville scale. A very easy and fast versatile pepper to grow.
‘Cayenne’- Skinny, red, hot pepper rated 30,000-50,000 on the Scoville scale. Used a lot as chili powder.
‘Ghost’- In the top 15 of the hottest peppers in the world, rated 855,000-1,041,427 on the Scoville scale. Ranked the hottest pepper in the world in 2007, 200 times hotter than a jalapeno, and about 6 times hotter than a habanero.
‘Bell’- A big, sweet, versatile pepper, comes in green, red, orange, and yellow rated 0 on the Scoville scale.
How To Grow Peppers
Sow indoors from mid-February-early April indoors, when the temperature is around 18-21°C(65°-70°F)in pots/containers or trays. Sow seed around 1cm deep into a pot/container 7.5-10cm(3-4in) in diameter. Take the plant outdoors when grows 2 true leaves. Peppers prefer slightly acidic, well-drained, moisture-retentive soil rich in organic matter, or slightly sandy, loamy soil with a pH of 5.5-6.8.
Transfer plants to 30cm(12in) pots, when roots fill your previous pot. This usually happens in late April-mid May if growing in a greenhouse, or late may if growing outdoors. keep in a sunny site, and water regularly, and keep the soil evenly moist. Fertilisers are optional, if you want the best result, feed with a high potash liquid fertiliser once the first chili is set.
Nutrients And Health Benefits
Peppers are full of nutrients, they contain vitamins and minerals- C, B-6, K-1, B-9, E, A, potassium, and manganese. In addition, pepper has many beneficial plant compounds and antioxidants. They also are beneficial for eye health, helps to prevent anemia, may fight cancer, aids to weight loss, help to keep your heart healthy, may help to fight infections, and can help prevent stomach Ulcers.
How To Add To Your Diet
If you love spice, you can find many of your own ways you like to incorporate chili into your diet. There are many ways of enjoying that sensational burn in your mouth, from eating fresh in salads or added into a delicious curry. Next time you pick up a pepper or take it from your back garden, throw them into some sandwiches, soup, rice, add as a side to meats, etc.