Growing Chilli and Peppers
Chilli, Capsicum, Peppers
Chillis require a lot of heat to germinate. They do not need soaking before planting and if you have missed their optimal time for germination they will sit until next year. Unlike tomatoes, they prefer it hot and dry and most keen gardeners will kill them with kindness. They also grow very slowly, especially when they’re small, and the period of warm weather in Australia means that they will reach their full potential well before the last frost.
Chilli plants can carry a number of diseases, so make sure to check your plants often for limp or yellow leaves. Chilli must be planted in full sun—they don’t like shade at all! Like most vegetables. Many growers use plastic mulch for their peppers because the plastic can increase yields, reduce disease, and give you an earlier crop with little or no weeding.
You can lay plastic on the same day you plant, or you can put the plastic in as much as a week or two earlier. You do not need to use plastic to have healthy, productive chillis, but if you don’t you will need to mulch with something else (leaves, straw, cardboard,etc.) to prevent weed problems and conserve moisture.
Once your chillis are planted, they don’t need much care besides occasional watering if the weather is very dry (one thorough watering a week should do if it has not rained). Chillis do not have a lot of pest problems, but aphids (small, green insects that suck plant sap) can sometimes establish themselves on the undersides of leaves. Peppers do suffer from a number of diseases. If you smoke, wash your hands before touching peppers, as tobacco can carry these diseases but avoiding overwatering, is the best protection you can give them.