How to grow bell peppers from grocery bell peppers
Updated: Aug 25
Hello and welcome to my blog. Today, I am going to talk about how I grew bell peppers from grocery stocks.
This is so far the quickest sprouting vegetable that I've grown. That maybe because I put it on top of my radiator for heat. (But, be careful, it might be too hot for your seeds.) I was monitoring the temperature using this.
I put it inside my pot to monitor the temperature and make sure it wouldn't go higher than 35⁰ C (95⁰ F). A temperature of 27⁰ C (80.6⁰ F) would be perfect. The bell peppers, or Capsicum annuum originated from Mexico and Central America, that is why it prefers warmer conditions to germinate. You should also keep the soil moist but well- drained.
Retrieving and Sowing Seeds
Day 1: 6th of April
I got my seeds from grocery bell peppers. The picture below was taken when I was slicing my bell pepper for lunch. Since I was growing my own veggies, I decided to sow the seeds immediately (meaning within the day after my lunch) and kept some seeds for later.
I filled a pot with all- purpose compost, (a seed compost would be better but this is the only compost I have in stock and lockdown is in place so, this will have to do).
I watered the pot after filling it and let it drain. The pot should always have drainage holes and this is very important (specially with container gardening) because waterlogging can encourage fungal growth that eventually results to rotting. You can always punch holes on whatever you got there. I've used takeaway plastics, I just punched holes in them and used the cover as a tray. It is another way of reusing those plastics. (Here is an article about why we should try to live a more sustainable life.)
After preparing the growing media, it's time to sow the seeds.
I was taught in school that if the seeds are big enough, we have to cover them with soil unless indicated not too. Since bell pepper seeds are big enough, I covered it with a thin layer of soil. Also, I put in 10 seeds on that pot. (I am OC like that!)
Then, damp it down with a little drizzle of water. Be mindful that you don't overwater. You can lift the pot to have a feel of how heavy it is.
Lastly, put a plastic over it to retain moisture. You can get propagation plastic in garden centers or you can just do what I did. I used cling film and secured it with rubber band at the side. I made holes on top using toothpick for a bit of aeration because I think the cling film is too tight to let enough oxygen in. No need to punch holes on propagation covers unless indicated.
According to sources, the bell pepper seeds don't need sun until they sprout. Warm temperature is the main key in optimizing germination. (I kept the pot on top of the radiator and monitored temperature and soil texture if in case it gets too dry.)
Day 10: 16th of April
I noticed 2 sprouts, so I start putting them on the windowsill for some light. I still kept the cling film on and still put them on top of the radiator every afternoon. (Sorry, no picture because they were to small for pictorials.)
Day 13: 19th of April
Today, there are more sprouts, about 6 so I took the plastic off to let air and more sunlight in. I also kept them by the window sill. They still get their sauna every afternoon.
Top view for better view. :)
I am hoping to get more sprouts, I will continue on with the sauna (the radiator treatment) every afternoon. Also, I haven't watered them since the first day because the soil is still moist. It might vary depending on what compost you use. The important thing is to keep it moist but not drenched and keep the temperature warm.
My bell pepper plants grew without any hassle. I have to give some away because it wouldn’t fit in my tiny apartment. I watered them 2-3/week and feed them with phosphorus-rich fertiliser when it started flowering once weekly. I also did manual pollination on the flowers using a brush to transfer pollen from flower to flower. It now has 5 fruits but it is still not ready for harvest.
Picture taken on 25/08/2020
I will update this blog again once the fruits are ready for harvest.
Thank you and enjoy growing.