Italian Peppers For Frying: Tips For Growing Italian Frying Peppers
The first thing to note when growing your own Italian Pepper plants is that they need to have good drainage. If not, then you will get mold and mildew problems. You can use a drip irrigation system or just let them soak up water from the ground during the day while watering at night. Another thing to consider is that your Italian Pepper plants will grow faster if you are using a light soil mix rather than heavy clay.
When choosing which type of pepper plant to start, there are several things to think about. There are many varieties of peppers available and each one has its own unique taste. Some types such as jalapenos, serranos and habaneros are very hot while others like bell peppers tend towards being sweeter tasting. The main thing to remember is that all peppers are edible.
In general, the hotter the pepper, the larger and more robust it tends to be. However, some peppers such as red jalapeños can become quite small if grown too close together. A few other factors to keep in mind include how well your soil will hold up under pressure (soil pH) and whether or not you want your pepper plants to flower or fruit before harvest time.
Getting your plants
Most seed banks or home and garden centers such as Home Depot will have a good selection of pepper plants. When getting your plants, you may want to avoid those in small plastic pods as they can be a little harder to transplant, especially if the seedlings are very small. The best selection to get is going to be in either peat pots or bare root bundles. These can usually be found in larger plastic trays.
Since you will be transplanting these anyway, you may want to pick out the larger plants and avoid those that look weak or sickly.
Planting your peppers
Whether you are planting indoors or outdoors, the general rule is to put your pepper plants somewhere with full sun. If you are planting indoors, the best place is on a windowsill. If you are planting outdoors, your pepper plants can be planted in your garden. As long as you put them somewhere with full sun exposure, they will do just fine.
Preparing your containers
Whether you are planting your peppers indoors or outdoors, you will need to have some sort of container for them to grow in. This can be anything from an old pot to a wooden box to a small hole in the ground. There are several things you need to consider before choosing your container.
If you are using a wooden box, make sure it has good drainage. If it doesn’t then you can make some holes in the bottom before putting in your soil and fertilizer mixture. If you are using a small hole in the ground, then ensure that it is not in an area that tends to flood. If you are using an old pot then make sure there are holes in the bottom for drainage.
Your choice of soil is also important. Some soils are better than others and each one has its own benefits as well as drawbacks. A common soil mixture that many people use is made up of one part compost, two parts soil and one part sand. Compost is a great soil additive as it provides nitrogen, potassium and other nutrients that most plants need to survive.
Soil tends to lack these nutrients so adding compost will help to keep your plants healthy and happy. Sand is also an important additive as it helps with drainage.
Contrary to what some people think, you do not need to buy a special “planting mix” at a garden center or home supply store. Your best bet is to make your own as it will be cheaper in the long run. The general rule of thumb is one part compost, two parts soil and one part sand.
If you do not have access to a compost pile, then using fertilizer in the form of manure or plant food is also an option. Fertilizer that is high in nitrogen such as 10-30-10 is good as it promotes leafy growth. If you choose to use fertilizer, then do not add compost as well as it will cause nutrient burn, as compost contains a lot of nutrients.
Another important thing to consider is how much space you will need for your container. If you are planting in the ground, a wooden box, a bucket or a hole in the ground; the space needed will be significantly less than if you were to plant in a large pot or a bucket. You do not want your peppers to be cramped as this can cause complications with root growth. A good rule of thumb is that each pepper should have a minimum of 8 inches (20 centimeters) of growing space and no direct contact with the container or pot edge.
If you are planting in a container (such as a pot, bucket or old tire) then it is important to ensure that it has a drainage hole at the bottom to allow the water to drain out. A very simple and easy way to create a container is to buy some ready-made plastic planters from a home supply store. These come in all shapes and sizes and are designed to be cheap as well as decorative.
Location, Location, Location!
Once you have your soil and container chosen, you need to find the perfect spot to plant your chili seeds. These plants require full sun so they will need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight for best growth. If you don’t have a garden or yard, you can still grow the plants inside as long as you have a large window that faces the direction of the sun.
If sunlight is at a premium where you are (such as a basement or an inner city apartment) then you can use artificial lighting to give your plants the full 6 hours that they need. A simple fluorescent or LED bulb chained to a timer will do just fine.
The next thing to look for is the temperature. The best temperature for your chili plant is between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit (18-30 degrees Celsius). This means that you should avoid locations that are subject to extreme temperatures such as near a furnace, air conditioner or draft. You can also use artificial heating or cooling devices to help control the temperature if need be.
In addition, you will also need to prepare the soil before planting your chili seeds. If you are using a pre-made container or bag of potting mix, then you can skip this step.
Take a spade and dig a hole in the ground (the size of the container that you will place into it) at least one foot away from any trees, shrubs or other plants. If you are planting directly into the ground then you only need to dig a small hole as chili plants can grow right out of the ground without the aid of a container.
Take the container and place it into the hole. Fill in the hole with some of the soil that you dug out and lightly tap the sides of the container to let any air bubbles escape. Fill in the rest of the hole with soil and lightly tamp it down.
Planting The Chili Seeds
You will need to allow at least 3 weeks for your chili seeds to germinate before planting them in your prepared container or ground. If you are using a store-bought pot then it should have planting holes in the base. Simply place 3-4 seeds into each hole and lightly cover with soil.
Sources & references used in this article:
Influence of drying and cooking process on the phytochemical content, antioxidant and hypoglycaemic properties of two bell Capsicum annum L. cultivars by MR Loizzo, A Pugliese, M Bonesi, D De Luca… – Food and chemical …, 2013 – Elsevier
The Field Guide to Peppers by D DeWitt, J Lamson – 2016 – books.google.com
Sausage in Oil: Preserving Italian Culture in Utica, NY by N Guttman, M Wall – … Smoked, and Fermented: Proceedings of the …, 2011 – books.google.com
Grow the Best Peppers: Storey’s Country Wisdom Bulletin A-138 by W Burge – 1995 – books.google.com
Influence of drying techniques and growing location on the chemical composition of sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L., var. Senise) by G Speranza, R Lo Scalzo, CF Morelli… – Journal of food …, 2019 – Wiley Online Library
Gastronomy of Italy: Revised Edition by A Del Conte – 2013 – books.google.com
No 2 2013 Pepper Variety Trial by R Brown – 2014 – digitalcommons.uri.edu