Creating something from scratch is always a fun experience. Be it a piece of art, a song, a dish in the kitchen, or growing vegetables in your garden, it gives a sense of satisfaction and an accomplishment when you create something by yourself. One does not have to be an expert in growing organic vegetables in your garden.
If you are interested in growing low-maintenance high-quality vegetables in your garden, bell peppers would be great for you to start with. Bell peppers are considered to be one of the most famous vegetables attributed to their sweetness and tons of health benefits that they provide.
In this article, we will be going into the details of how to grow bell peppers from scraps along with their sowing, transplantation, and harvesting.
Can You Grow Bell Peppers From Scraps?
Yes, you can grow bell peppers from scraps. However, the bell pepper grown from scraps has fewer qualities than the once grown from local or commercial seeds stores. But you can produce high-quality bell peppers if open-pollinated or heirloom peppers seeds are utilized to cultivate pepper scraps. The process of growing bell peppers from scraps is quite simple and easy. All you need is leftover bell pepper scraps of matured or ripened bell peppers. This should be followed by spreading seeds on a clean tray or paper towel after removing them from the scraps. You can then place the tray or paper towel under the sunlight and leave them until they’re dried (approximately 1 hour).
Leaving the seeds under the sun for a more extended period might affect the viability of the seeds. You can also keep the seeds under a shade or fan for drying them without degrading their viability. We will be discussing the procedure in detail in further segments of the article. This was all about growing bell peppers from scraps. But have you ever tried growing them from store-bought peppers? Let’s have a look into whether or not you can grow bell peppers from store-bought peppers.
Can You Grow Bell Peppers From Store-bought Peppers?
You can grow bell peppers from store-bought peppers just like you can grow them from the scraps. The only major problem arising here is most of the store-bought seeds are hybrid or Genetically Modified seeds. Moreover, they are primarily cultivated for personal consumption and not for growing. So, you may not find the desirable color, taste, yield, fruit size, and flavor of the bell peppers concerning their parent seeds.
Planting and growing store-bought pepper seeds depend on whether the store-bought seeds are hybrid, self-pollinated, ripe, or irradiated. Hybrid seeds do not have a genetic make-up similar to their parents’ seeds. Hence, they rarely grow true to the type. When it comes to self-pollinated seeds, even though the pepper flowers pollinate themselves, we cannot rule out the chances of cross-pollination. So, although the pepper might be an heirloom variety, the store-bought seeds sometimes fail to grow as expected. Checking if your pepper seeds are ripe or not is another major factor to consider. Green pepper seeds are not counted as ripened seeds. You have to look out for the seeds having red, yellow, or orange color. Lastly, always remember to check for the FDA food irradiation label on your packets. An irradiation label is a sign that your product is free from foodborne pathogens.
What Are The Advantages Of Growing Bell Peppers From Scraps?
1. A Great Garden Activity
Utilizing pepper scraps for gardening purposes will teach you the importance of consuming freshly home-grown vegetables. And since you can do this in your backyard or garden, it gives you a sense of empowerment as well. Moreover, gardening is quite a fun activity.
2. Waste Reduction
The primary objective of gardeners has always been to create a lifestyle that people would understand and follow to consume healthy food. Growing bell peppers or any vegetable from scrap reduces wastage and helps you save money.
3. Simple Procedure
Growing bell peppers from scraps is a cakewalk. Anyone with a basic understanding of the steps to be followed can grow them in their garden without making a mess out of it. You even have the option to propagate it indoors.
4. Perfect Activity For Kids
Gardens can be an ideal place to inculcate consequential lessons like responsibility, caretaking, independence, and environmental awareness within your children. Gardening can help your kid learn the life cycles of plants as well. It is a natural match!
5. Health Benefits Of Bell Peppers
Bell peppers have in them an incredible amount of health benefits:
- Good for eyes
- Anti-cancer properties
- Rich in multiple vitamins
- High in antioxidants,
- Great source of hydration
- Low in calories
- Low in carbohydrates
- Clears skin blemishes
6. When Is The Right Time To Plant Bell Peppers?
Bell peppers are warm-season crops. The best time to grow bell peppers in the summer. So, 8 to 10 weeks before last spring, frost would be suitable for growing bell peppers at your home/garden from scraps. You can even collect frost date information about your area from any local nursery around you. The growing of bell peppers might be a cycle of 60-90 days. Hence, growing them indoors is preferable since they have a typical long growing season.
Peppers are pretty much sensitive to low temperatures. So, if you plan to transplant nursery-bought plants outdoors, the best time to do this is when the last frost has passed.
How To Grow Bell Peppers From Scraps?
For growing good quality bell peppers from scraps, the scraps are required to be cultivated from heirloom or open-pollinated pepper seeds. The steps that are to be followed while growing bell peppers from scraps include:
1. Selection Of Fruit
The bell peppers are needed to be ripened or matured enough to produce good quality offspring. The reason for selecting a ripened fruit is that it contains natural seeds for better yields.
2. Removal Of Seeds
Remove all the seeds from the scraps and place them on a paper towel or clean tray. Almost every seed you remove is virtually a completely new plant that could give rise to 20-50+ peppers in a season. As you have seen, there are 100s of seeds inside a bell pepper are each of those has the capability to yield up to 50 new peppers.
3. Sun Drying The Seeds
Place the tray or paper towel under the sun for almost 2 days. Seeds may lose their viability if kept for too long under the sun. You can also go for fan-drying or keeping the seeds under a shade.
4. Sowing Of Seeds
For sowing the dried seeds, you have to prepare a potting mix in a pot. Potting mixes are meant to provide the plants with appropriate nutrition and support. The ideal composition of potting mixed usually involves cocopeat and compost in a 1:1 ratio. Start by filling the pot with a good and reliable potting mix and slowly spreading the seeds on the soil. Cover the seeds with a layer of potting mix. You should avoid burying the seeds too deep. Settle the potting mix carefully and gently by pressing it with your hands.
5. Watering The Seeds
Water the seeds to provide them with a moist environment. However, do not add an excess of water as overwatering can make your soil soggy. A few drops shall do your work.
6. Placing The Pot In A Warm Place
Store the pot in partial shade. Your seeds will start germinating within 6-7 days of sowing them. You will be able to find the seedlings after around 10 days. The seedlings will be ready for transplantation within a month.
7. Transplanting The Seedlings
Transplanting is not an easy process for any plant; it can stress a plant. The best time for doing this is waiting for the last frost. Your seedlings are required to harden off enough for them to make it. Hardening off is the process in which plants get accustomed to a new location. For instance, if you have prepared the seedlings indoors and then suddenly transplant the seedlings outdoors, they might not survive the direct sunlight in the garden. What you can do is slowly make them acclimated to outdoor weather. Start by keeping them outside in the morning for a few hours and then bringing them back later. Another important point to focus on is the temperature of the soil. The ideal soil temperature for transplanting the seedlings is around 65 Fahrenheit.
How To Harvest Bell Peppers?
The bell peppers can be harvested once they attain the desired size or color. We have to note that if you want your bell peppers to be sweeter in taste, you have to leave them for a more extended period on the plant. Wait for them to transform from green to yellow to orange to finally red in color for experiencing their sweetness at its best. Generally, most of the bell pepper varieties take 60-90 days for harvesting. However, this period may differ depending upon the variety you are harvesting. Always remember to cut the fruits from the vine with a sharp knife or scissors. Using your hands will damage the plant. It is suggested that you should leave at least one inch of a step behind.
Growing vegetables in your garden is always an exciting experience, especially when you harvest your seeds from vegetables like these. Bell peppers are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. You just need to invest a minimal amount for garden maintenance. The bell peppers can be grown from both scraps and store-bought peppers. However, growing them from scrap is healthier and more organic. So, you should definitely give it a try and grow new pepper plants with those peppers lying in your refrigerator!