Bell pepper, also called pepper or capsicum, is a fruit cum vegetable that can add crunch to burgers, sandwiches, and salads. The aroma of bell pepper is tantalizing and can instantly arouse your appetite. And fortunately, because they are a simple crop to grow, bell peppers are a favorite among vegetable gardeners. They are all propagated in the same way, regardless of taste, size, or color. You can also grow them in your backyard to ensure a constant supply of fresh peppers.
Some of you who want to add bell pepper plants to your garden may be wondering how to cultivate this plant. Keeping this question in mind, this article will go over the steps for growing this vegetable from scraps.
Growing bell peppers from scarps necessitate several steps. It can be done by following 6 easy steps, they are:
- Collecting the seeds
- Drying Out the Seeds
- Checking the Seeds
- Planting the Seeds
- Transplanting the Outdoors
But, before we get into the heart of the matter, here are a few more facts about bell peppers to help you out.
What is Bell Peppers?
Bell peppers are native to Mexico, Central America, and the northern part of South America and are members of the capsicum annuum species’ Grossum cultivar group. It is a type of fruit that comes in various colors, including green, red, yellow, and purple.
Raw bell pepper is a rich source of vitamin C, with a small percentage of carbohydrates and very little protein and fat. This is a simple crop that is commonly found in vegetable gardens.
This crop is sun-loving, and growing them in a spot that receives full sunlight could be beneficial. You do not really have to invest long hours in cultivating this crop, as all it would need well-drained moist soil, good sun exposure, some organic compost, and regular watering.
Why Grow Bell Peppers: Benefits
Bell pepper is an easy-to-grow crop. However, the question lies in the fact that why should you go for cultivating them? Apart from good taste, does this crop has any other benefit?
- A Constant Supply of Organic Peppers: One of the most lucrative reasons to grow bell pepper at home is to get a constant supply of organic pepper. You do not have to hit the market to buy peppers, which may not be organic all the time. When you grow these veggies in your backyard, you control how to grow them and which food to feed them. Hence, you can be absolutely certain about the quality of the final product.
- Good Garden Activity: Growing bell pepper from scrape could be a fun activity if you support organic gardening and are a firm believer in the ‘zero-waste’ concept. In addition, it would teach you the value of eating fresh produce grown from the remains of vegetables and fruits.
- Easy to be Grown Fruit: Pepper is a simple vegetable to grow. It only requires a few steps to propagate bell pepper plants from scrapes successfully. In addition, this vegetable can be propagated indoors, and only a small area in the garden is required during transplantation. In short, bell pepper plants will not bother you at all!
- Cultivating from Scraps Reduces Wastes: You will be able to reduce waste if you plan to grow bell pepper from scrapes. You can save money and resources by using the scrapes from the peppers. In addition, the process will teach you how to make the most of the available raw materials, avoiding waste.
Types of Bell Peppers to Grow
There are numerous varieties of capsicum or bell peppers to grow.
Peppers are primarily classified into three types: sweet, hot, and chilies. Bell peppers are occasionally referred to as “sweet peppers.” Despite being used as a vegetable excipient in various dishes, these sweet peppers are classified as fruits and are labeled as berries in botany.
The following is a list of some of the most popular bell peppers that can be grown at home.
- Sweet California Wonder
- Bell Boy
- Corno di Toro
- Golden Bell
- Sweet Chocolate
Can Bell Peppers be Grown From Scraps?
Yes, bell peppers can be grown from scraps. And the method is relatively simple, as we will see in the following section. However, if you plan to grow these sweet peppers from scrape, one thing to keep in mind is their flavor. Gardeners claim that bell peppers grown from scraps are frequently inferior in taste and vigor to those grown from local or commercial seeds.
Nonetheless, it is simple and popular to cultivate this crop in home vegetable gardens.
Growing Bell Peppers from Scraps: 6 East Steps
As we stated earlier, growing bell pepper from scraps is a pretty hassle-free method. Yet, the steps should be followed carefully to ensure a successful propagation.
Below we have mentioned all the steps to make it easy to understand even for novice gardeners. Hence, without much ado, let’s delve deep.
Step 1: Seed Collection
Begin your propagation by gathering seeds. However, please remember that not all seeds are good and that the best chances of success lie in the collection of quality seeds. Scraps of the pepper you’re using can be used to collect seeds. However, there is a catch. To find out more, continue reading.
There are two kinds of seeds: heirloom and hybrid. Let’s learn more about these two types of seeds to help us decide which one is best for us.
These seeds are gathered from heirloom plants that have been cultivated in the open. This means bees, insects, and birds have fed on the plant’s flowers, spreading pollen to the stamen and generating seeds.
Heirloom cultivars are never crossed with other varieties. As a result, these plants have retained their original genetic profile.
Hybrid seeds are produced by plants that have been cross-bred with another plant or species. This process imbues the fruit with the characteristics of both plants. Also, pepper plants grown from hybrid seeds are disease resistant and possess characteristics of both parent plants.
Also, hybrid seeds mostly bear peppers that could be different in shape, color, and flavor.
Which one should you go with? It is entirely based on your personal preferences. However, remember that scraps collected from the heirloom variety tend to yield high-quality bell peppers superior in taste and flavor.
Collecting the Ideal Seeds
You can collect seeds from peppers grown in your garden or purchased from a store.
When collecting seeds from homegrown peppers, select the best pepper-producing plant to ensure taste and quality. Also, before you begin collecting the seeds, allow the pepper to mature to the point of wrinkling.
Note: Mature seeds are simpler to dry out.
Cut the bell pepper diagonally from the center to expose the seed core. Then, taking a plate or dish, tap the pepper over it. You do not have to use all of the seeds you obtain. Select the best seed and toss the damaged ones.
Look at the following picture to get an idea of what a healthy seed looks like.
Step 2: Dry Out the Seeds
After deciding which seeds to work with, it’s time to dry them out.
Place the seeds on a napkin or towel and place them in direct sunlight and open air. However, use a mesh tray or sieve if you want optimized airflow to dry your seeds faster. While checking your seeds, turn them every 1-2 days to ensure that both sides dry evenly.
It would take about one week for the seeds to dry out completely. However, the duration would be determined by the amount of sunlight and air the seeds receive.
You can also speed up the drying process by using a food dehydrator. However, keep in mind that the embryo of seeds will perish in temperatures above 96 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, use extreme caution when adjusting the heat setting on your dehydrator.
Step 3: Check the Seeds
To ensure that the seeds are not affected by mildews, they must be completely dried. But how can you be sure that the seeds are completely dry?
Perform the snap test. How should it be done? It’s quite simple.
Simply pinch a few seeds between your fingers. When the seeds are completely dry, they break easily. However, if they bend, you must leave them out in the open for a few more days.
This is what completely dry seeds will look like.
You can store dry pepper seeds in an airtight container or a zip lock pack for 1-2 years. After that, you can store the container in a dark, dry, and cool place.
Step 4: Start Planting the Seeds
Once you’ve decided to grow your bell pepper plant, you can take a few seeds from storage and test them. This test is required to ensure that the seeds remain relevant.
You don’t need to do much. You need to fill a glass or bowl with water and soak the seeds for about 15 minutes. Only choose the seeds that are at the bottom of the water-filled glass. Those that are floating may not sprout if planted.
How to Plant the Seeds?
Follow the steps below to plant bell pepper seeds successfully:
- It is recommended to start propagating your seeds indoors on a germination tray.
- Fill the tray with organic potting soil.
- Spread the seeds on the soil and sprinkle some more soil on them. Do not press the seeds in the soil.
- Place the tray in a warm spot that receives a temperature of 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pro Tip: You should start planting your seeds at least six to seven weeks before the last frost in your area.
- Keep the soil moist by regularly misting it with water.
- Leave the seeds for around 2 weeks to let them germinate.
Pro Tip: Be Patient!
Step 5: Move to a Larger Pot Indoors
This step is optional, but it is recommended for better root growth.
Move your seeds to a larger container once they have produced at least one set of true leaves. A larger space will allow the baby plants to spread their roots and harden before being transplanted outside.
Step 6: Transplant Outdoors
You can transplant your baby bell pepper plants outside after the season’s last frost. Ensure your new plants are two or three inches tall and have a 1-2 layer of foliage before transplanting them.
Plants of bell peppers are susceptible to transplant shock. As a result, gradually acclimate your plants to the outdoor environment. To harden off your baby plants, follow the steps below.
- Please take out your plants outside and place them in a partially shaded area protected from harsh wind and scorching sunlight.
- Keep the plants outdoor for at least 1 hour. The duration can be increased gradually.
- Check for any changes in your plants or if they are facing any problems.
- When 1 hour is over, bring them inside.
- Increasing the outdoor duration to 7-8 hours, depending on how much your plants can take.
- Take the time of around 8-10 days for the entire process of hardening.
- Once the baby plants get accustomed to a long period outdoors, you can transplant them into your garden.
When transplanting your baby bell pepper plants, choose a sunny location. We mean that the area should be exposed to the sun for 7-8 hours per day. On the other hand, the soil should be light, moist, and well-drained. Mulching could also prevent the soil around the baby plants from drying out.
Yes, bell peppers can be grown from store-bought peppers. However, for this process, ensure to choose bell peppers that are fresh and mature.
From seeds, bell pepper plants would germinate 8-10 weeks before the last frost of the spring.
Harvesting bell peppers when they are still green is always recommended. However, you must ensure that the fruits are fully grown in size while harvesting them.
You can expect 5-20 fruits per plant under normal conditions.
Most sweet peppers have a growing period of 50-60 days, after which they are ready to bear fruits.
Once dry, you can store the seeds for 1-2 years in an airtight container or zip bag.
Pepper plants grow better in a hot climate. A temperature between 12 and 30 degrees Centigrade is ideal for these plants to thrive.
As you can see, propagating bell peppers from scraps is a simple task that anyone can accomplish. All you would need is some patience. Moreover, growing peppers from scraps don’t have to be expensive. It is, on the contrary, a very natural and cost-effective method.
If you’ve ever tried growing bell peppers from scraps, please share your experience. Also, don’t forget to share this post with your loved ones who enjoy growing plants organically.