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Growing Capsicum, also Bell pepper, Sweet pepper

(Capsicum anuum)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
P             P P P P P

(Best months for planting Capsicum in New Zealand - sub-tropical regions)

  • Harvest in 70-90 days
  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed.
  • Best planted at soil temperatures between 18°C and 35°C.
  • Space plants: 100-150cm

Small bushy plant about 40cm high The seeds are reluctant to start germinating if temperatures drop at night. These are best sown in small trays in a warm, sheltered place: a small greenhouse if possible. Then plant out when about 10 -12cm (4-5in) tall.

They are from the same family as chilli but are not hot and spicy. The seeds are bitter.

Capsicums are frost tender and need warmth to ripen the fruit to the brilliant reds and yellows of commercial ones. They can be used green but are not as sweet.

There are a number of colours available, chocolate, black, yellow, orange as well as red. They all start off green and change as they ripen.

In cool, wet weather cover with a cloche or frost fleece.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Capsicum

Can be sliced and seeded and used raw in salads.
Will freeze successfully without blanching if seeded and sliced.

Or brush with olive oil, roast at a high temperature until the skin changes colour
then put in a covered dish until cool and rub off the skin and remove seeds.

Your comments and tips

26 Jan 11 Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
The capsicums that start black will probably be the variety that turns red later.
26 Jan 11 Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Tom, If you keep the seed cool and dry they should last till next year. A paper kitchen towel is good for drying seeds on.
01 Feb 11 matt (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
my plant is doing fine, with flowers and small seeds growing. my question is do I need to pinch out any flowers or seeds too increase growth, like tomatos?
15 Mar 11 dale (New Zealand - temperate climate)
where do i buy purple capsicum plants from in new zealand
18 Mar 11 Megs (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Purple capsicum - The Warehouse did have a few purple capsicum plants a wee while ago - I would keep an eye out july / August to see if they get some more in.
24 May 11 anna (New Zealand - temperate climate)
we scattered our own dried seeds in november, nothing happened until we pulled plants and found we have three plants all with tiny fruit .. should we leave them in or transplant to pots and bring inside
17 Aug 11 Sanjay Dhawan (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Am in India and am interested in procuring quality seeds for Chocolate, black, orange and Purple capsicum, would appreciate if someone can help. We have a 20 acre farm which we want to progressively convert to some of these vegetables
20 Oct 11 Jim (New Zealand - temperate climate)
We are interested in growing Capsicum piccilo a pear shape multi-colour but can not find seed can anyone help
21 Oct 11 Daryl (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I live in In-gill , Diack's nursery have every colour imaginable , they are listed on the web
04 Nov 11 (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Thanks Daryl. We have contacted them, and await a reply. The variety is called "Piccolo" and was being used by Jo Seager in a TV cooking segment.

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New Zealand - sub-tropical,   New Zealand - temperate  

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