How to Fertilize Peppers

Learning how to fertilize peppers is the first thing you need to do if you want to reap an abundant harvest. This is extremely important if you’re not so sure about your fertilizing habits. Every greens aficionado knows that not every fertilizer brand on the market is good for all types of plants because it will all depend on their growth patterns and periods.

However, you’d be glad to know that when it comes to fertilizing agents, peppers are generally standard compared to most vegetable crops. This means that peppers don’t require a fertilizer regimen that can only be used for a few types of plants.

Seasoned pepper growers make use of two types of fertilizers throughout the plant’s growing season. The first type of fertilizer is applied to toughen up the vegetable crop and to ensure its leafy growth. On the other hand, the second type of fertilizer is applied to enhance the production of pepper pods.

How to Fertilize Peppers

What You Need to Know About Fertilizer Grades

5-5-5, 3-5-5, or 2-3-1 – you’ve probably noticed these 3-digit numbers that are on the packaging on most of the fertilizer brands that you can find at the nearest store. Aside from the fact that these numbers are a national standard for soil used for gardening purposes, they also represent fertilizer grades that tell you about the elemental nutrients that the product contains.

 

The 3 Basic Elemental Nutrients in Fertilizers

While the first number of the fertilizer grade refers to the nitrogen content, the second number represents the phosphate content, and the third number gives you the potassium content in the soil. Each of these elements has a critical role to play throughout your pepper plants’ growth process. To give you a closer look at these three basic elemental nutrients, check this out:

 

Nitrogen

Your pepper plants need nitrogen to aid in the process of photosynthesis, enhance the production of their foliage, and boost the overall health of the plant.

 

Phosphate

Thanks to phosphate, your pepper plants can have phosphorus, the essential nutrient that is prevalent in most life forms. In case you’re wondering, phosphorus enhances your plants’ ability to take in the energy that they can get from the sun.

 

Potassium

Another nutrient that’s crucial to plant life is called potassium. It plays an important role in the movement of water and nutrients through the plant’s tissue. Furthermore, your pepper plants will find it impossible to regulate the process of photosynthesis without potassium.

 

Although each pepper seed contains the required nutrients for germination, you need to understand that at a certain point, the plant would need more nutrients from the soil or the air to thrive. Since pepper is a vegetable crop that belongs to the nightshade family, they prefer mineral fertilizers that are applied to the soil.

During their early growth, pepper plants would need a large amount of nitrogen to produce healthy foliage growth. During the later stage of their growth, they would need less nitrogen but larger amounts of phosphate and potassium to develop more pepper pods. To achieve this, you can choose to use an even-grade fertilizer throughout the season, or you can choose to switch the fertilizers in the middle of the growing season.

 

When and How Often You Need to Fertilize Your Pepper Plants

You can’t expect to reap a bountiful harvest of peppers if you only fertilize them whenever you remember to do so. Without the regular application of fertilizer throughout your plants’ growing season, you may end up under- or over-feeding them. You can only get the most out of your crops if you make it a point to keep track of your fertilizing schedule and stick to it.

 

The first fertilizer application

In case you’re not aware, the seed starting soil that you’re using doesn’t have the nutrients that your plant would need during its earliest stages of growth. For this reason, your pepper plants need to be fed with light fertilizer as soon as you spot their first set of true leaves—light fertilizing means using half the normal dose as indicated on the fertilizer’s packaging guidelines.

You can start fertilizing most pepper varieties on the second week after you see the seeds sprouting. Since the plants’ root systems are limited at this point, you need to keep the first application light. The fertilizer that you’re using is crucial to the formation of your pepper plants’ healthy roots, stems, and leaves.

 

The Frequency of Fertilizer Application

In most cases, fertilizers are applied on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. You would need to work some of these fertilizers into the soil before you transplant your pepper plants for the first time. Be sure to stick to a consistent fertilizing schedule in order to avoid over-fertilizing or under-fertilizing your vegetable crops. Remember that your pepper plants need a steady supply of nutrients rather than an abundant supply at a single time.

 

Is Hobby Greenhouse Gardening a Great Idea for Pepper Growers?

Serious pepper growers should consider planting these crops in a hobby greenhouse. Among its benefits include extended growing seasons, protection from harsh weather conditions, pests, and vermin, and so much more.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Fertilize Peppers

Now that you know how to fertilize peppers, why don’t you try your hand at greenhouse gardening? Experience the joys of setting up your own hobby greenhouse today!

 

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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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