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Gardening

Peppers Grown Using Hydroponics

One of the advantages to growing your own produce is being able to have a fresh supply of produce that would normally be too expensive when you buy them in the grocery stores.

Whatever type of pepper plants that you grow it’s important to consider the spacing, in order to maximize yield, but not so close that they are crowded. Pruning also improves air circulation around the plant which helps to reduce disease. Indeterminate varieties will need to be continually pruned (about every two weeks), because they continually grow new stems and leaves. Greenhouses usually keep them to 2 main stems growing upward from each plant. Indeterminate varieties can grow to a height of up to 4 meters (13 feet), and as mentioned will need to be supported. They are usually trained to grow on trellises made of twine. The twine is hung from the overhead support wires, and is used to support each stem. But be sure that the twine is not tied too tight to the stem, or the stem can be damaged when it expands as it continues to grow.

Flowering and Fruit Set

Though there are many varieties of pepper plants, they are generally a warm weather plant. Flowering and fruit set, as well as fruit size, are all related to temperature and fluctuations in the day/night time temperature. The optimum temperature for flowering and fruit set in sweet bell peppers is about 65-70 F°, while the optimum 24-hour temperature (24-hour average temperature) for yield is about 70-75 F°, and is more important to good fruit development.

Unlike tomatoes, pollination of the pepper flowers occurs successfully without any outside pollination assistance from bees (in the correct temperature range), although additional pollination assistance from bees or other pollinating insects, as well as hand pollination has shown to improve flower set, and eventual yield and quality of the pepper fruit.

Deformed fruit is usually caused by inadequate pollination, this inadequate pollination can also be a result of temperature, but it can be caused by the light intensity being too strong also.

The fruit themselves should be shaded adequately, either by the leaves or shade cloth for best results. However, the plants generally do not have trouble continuing to set flowers in less than ideal conditions. The root zone temperature is important also, if the root zone becomes to warm (above 72-75 degrees F°) the plants will tend to abort setting fruit, and the flowers will just drop off.