All About Growing Peppers in Southern California

If you’re seriously thinking about growing peppers in Southern California, know that peppers can be temperamental compared to the rest of the plants in your garden. Even though these peppers can be finicky, they’re also considered to be the top favorites of cooks and gardeners alike. When you grow them right, these peppers can offer you more than just color to your garden and flavor to your food.

How Do You Grow Good Peppers

Can I Grow Bell Peppers In California?

Yes, you can grow bell peppers in anywhere in the state of California. Research shows that the Golden State produces approximately 38% of the total number of bell peppers that are grown in the country. Furthermore, California’s main bell pepper production areas include the southern coast, the southern desert valleys, the central coast, as well as the central valley.

The most common bell-peppers that are grown in the state are the open-pollinated varieties that include Keystone Resistant Giant Strains, California Wonder 300, Capistrano, Yolo Wonder, Jupiter, and Grande Rio66. These warm-season vegetable plants grow best in areas where the temperature is anywhere between 75˚F to 85˚F, and they also thrive in well-drained soils.

 

Is Growing Peppers In Southern California Easy?

It sure is! Although peppers are grown as annuals in areas that experience cold winters, these vegetables can be grown as perennials in Southern California.

In case you’re a newbie to gardening and horticultural alchemy, an annual plant lives and dies in one season while a perennial comes back for many seasons. In other words, peppers are really easy to grow when you’re somewhere within the southern half of the Golden State. Once you get these plants established in your backyard garden or your greenhouse, you won’t have to replant them every year.

Needless to say, a vegetable garden in Southern California won’t be complete without myriads of colorful and tasty pepper varieties that range from mild to spicy hot!

 

How Do You Grow Good Peppers In Southern California?

Growing peppers in Southern California will require you to plant them in areas that get a lot of sunshine. You’ll also need to transplant them into moist soil that has a vegetable fertilizer during the late afternoon or early evening. To produce good peppers, remember to sprinkle the young and tender plants lightly with water every day for about 5 days before watering them every week.

 

Top Vegetables That Grow Best In Southern California

Thanks to Southern California’s growing climate, gardeners can choose to grow a wide variety of vegetable crops all-year-round such as rhubarb, radicchio, asparagus, and artichoke. Aside from the fact that these vegetables require minimal maintenance, you can also grow them all year and year after year. Take a closer look at each of them here:

 

Rhubarb

Although most people know that cobbler and pie won’t taste the same without rhubarb in them, not everybody knows that rhubarb is a prolific vegetable plant. When they’re mature enough, these plants can grow up to four feet tall with the crunchiest and sweetest green-, red-, or pink-colored stalks.

Furthermore, their leaves can also be a wonderful addition to your compost pile. However, keep in mind that it’s not a good idea to eat rhubarb leaves due to their high oxalic acid content. In case you’re wondering, high doses of this chemical compound can be toxic to human health.

You can expect these vegetables to produce for up to eight years. During the first year, you’ll only get to harvest a couple of stalks but you’ll harvest a little bit more starting in the second year. By the third year, you’ll be able to harvest a lot of stalks.

 

Radicchio

The red-leafed chicory called Radicchio is another vegetable that grows well in Southern California. Although it looks a lot like a ruby red cabbage with white veins, its head doesn’t grow bigger than the size of a grapefruit and it stays compact.

What makes this plant interesting is the fact that it turns sweeter as the weather turns cooler. You have the option to harvest their leaves during the growing season or cut the whole plant off when its head is formed.

 

Asparagus

 If there’s one thing you need to know about this vegetable crop, it’s the fact that it takes longer to establish it than other types of vegetables. For instance, if you decide to plant crowns, you’ll need to wait for a year before you can harvest them. On the other hand, if you start planting from seed, a waiting time of up to three years is required before you get to harvest your asparagus.

Although growing them takes a little more commitment on your part, you won’t regret it once you enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh asparagus spears for up to 30 years. Between planting and harvest time, your garden will be graced with flowery asparagus spears and their tall and feathery ferns that are a sight to behold.

 

Artichoke

With buds that look like beautiful pinecones in green and purple varieties and green leaves with a hint of silver in them, artichokes will make any ornamental garden look glorious. What’s more, they don’t just look nice – they taste great too! These plants can yield for up to five years

 

Is It A Great Idea To Grow Peppers In A Greenhouse?

Yes, it is! Whether you’re dreaming about yielding a harvest of mild or spicy hot peppers, you can expect to reap a great harvest if you plant your peppers in a greenhouse. Aside from stabilizing your plants’ growing environment by protecting them from harsh weather conditions and pests, a greenhouse can also be your haven and a place of mindfulness where you can be free to nurture and care for your plants.

 

Tips For Planting Peppers In A Greenhouse

With a greenhouse, you can provide your peppers with enough warmth, moisture, and light to develop generously and healthily. To get you started, check out these tips

 

Soak pepper seeds

If you want to speed up your pepper’s maturing period, all you have to do is to soak the seeds for about 10 minutes before you plant them. Doing so will soften the pepper’s hard seed cover and enhance its germination time.

 

Let them get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight

If you want to grow the best-tasting peppers in Southern California, find a location within your greenhouse that gets about 6 hours of direct sunlight daily and place your peppers in that spot.

 

Maintain proper temperature control

One of the best things about setting up your own greenhouse is the fact that it allows you to maintain proper control of your plants’ growing conditions, including the temperature. You’ll make your pepper seedlings happy if the daytime temperature is kept at about 70˚F and the evening temperature at 60˚.

 

Use a powerful water hose to remove pests

You can get those pesky aphids and other pests from your adult plants if you hose them down. However, keep in mind that this method isn’t recommended for young seedlings.

 

Keep the soil wet

Peppers need plenty of water to thrive. For this reason, it’s best to keep the soil consistently wet. When the temperatures rise, be sure to water them daily and apply an inch of water every 4 days.

 

Plant them in nutrient-rich soil

Make sure that you plant your peppers in soil that has enough calcium and phosphorus in it. Furthermore, keep the soil pH at 6.0 to 7.0 and its temperature at 70˚F to enhance the plant’s germination process.

 

Conclusion

When it comes to growing peppers in Southern California, nothing beats growing them in a greenhouse. Krostrade offers top-quality greenhouses that are made from the strongest and most durable materials. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our products.

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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