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February is just around the corner! And at the end of February, it is already necessary to begin preparations for sowing pepper seeds. Since bell peppers of any variety are distinguished by some "stubbornness" in terms of germination, it is better to sow it early than later grieve over the lack of germination of seeds. It so happens that you have to wait for seedlings for three weeks, if not more. At times, not only the harvest, but also how resistant the seedlings will be to diseases and bad weather, depends on how the seeds were sown correctly. In this regard, one should pay attention to the Red Spade pepper variety. How it looks can be seen in the photo below:
Description of the variety
Pepper Red shovel belongs to the early maturing varieties, fully ripens by about 100-110 days. It grows both in the greenhouse and in the open garden. Red fruits with thick walls (7-8 mm), weighing 120-130 grams, sweet, juicy, with a pronounced peppery aroma and taste. In appearance they really resemble a shovel - because of their flattened shape. Thanks to this form, it is very convenient to preserve it whole, since the jar contains much more fruits than other varieties of peppers. A characteristic feature of the Red Spade pepper variety is the amicable ripening of fruits, of which there are usually up to fifteen pieces on the bush. The bush is compact, of medium height (from 50 to 80 cm), due to the abundance of fruits, a garter to the support is required. From 1 square meter, about 4-5 kg of pepper are obtained. Resistant to pests and diseases.
Growing peppers through seedlings
One of the differences between sweet peppers and other vegetable crops is the long growing season. Therefore, for cultivation in central Russia, according to the reviews of experienced vegetable growers, early varieties of pepper are most suitable, for example, such as Red Shovel pepper. This pepper makes it possible to harvest already on the hundredth day after germination, but on condition that it was planted in the ground through seedlings.
The advantages of the seedling method
- seed germination increases due to the creation of favorable conditions for them;
- it becomes possible to grow the most valuable and rare varieties of pepper in a region with an unsuitable climate;
- harvesting occurs at an earlier date;
- obtaining real savings due to a reduction in the volume of water for irrigating the beds, it becomes possible to use a smaller area for planting, there is no need to spend efforts on thinning the beds;
- aesthetic component - when planting seedlings, the beds are immediately formed in accordance with the wishes.
What is needed for sowing seeds
The main feature of bell pepper is its thermophilicity. Despite this, the gardeners of our country are quite successful in growing it on their plots, even in the northern regions. But to succeed, you definitely need strong, healthy seedlings. And this will require very little:
- good, fertilized land (if it is not stored in the fall, the store is quite suitable);
- sowing containers;
- properly prepared seeds;
- peat pots or disposable cups;
- a great desire to get a rich harvest and a little free time.
Necessary procedures before sowing
- Pickle pepper seeds to disinfect them and not have problems with pepper diseases in the future. Seeds should be poured with a weak solution of potassium permanganate, held in it for half an hour, drained and dried.
- Germination test. It is better to spend it now than to guess later whether they will ascend or not, and if they do, how much? It is very simple to do this: you need to spread the seeds on a damp napkin, put another napkin on top and put it in a warm place, constantly checking that they do not dry out. After 7-10 days, the seeds will hatch, and it will become clear which ones are suitable for sowing.
- Hardening of seeds. Put a plate of seeds in the refrigerator for 10-12 hours. This will enable future peppers to survive all weather extremes safely.
Immediately before sowing, the soil should also be disinfected by watering it with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. Now you can start sowing. To do this, you need to make grooves, the depth of which is not more than 1 cm and spread out the hatched pepper seeds Red shovel 2 cm apart. Carefully close the grooves with soil, stretch the film over the container and put in a warm place until shoots appear. When the first shoots come out in a week, it is imperative to remove the film so that they do not die, and rearrange the container with seedlings to a lighted place, most likely it will be a windowsill. Before that, you need to make sure that the glass does not pull cold, since the temperature regime is a very important component when growing pepper seedlings. The required temperature for good development of seedlings is from 20 to 25 ° C.
Attention! It should be borne in mind that if the temperature drops to 14-12 ° C, then this will negatively affect the plants: not only seedlings, but even adult peppers significantly slow down growth.
When 2-3 true leaves are formed on the plants, a pick is carried out. Its purpose is to give the sprouts a large area for development, while removing all weak and small sprouts. Since pepper really doesn’t like to be touched for nothing, the transplant should be done very carefully so as not to damage the roots. You need to plant one Red Shovel seedling in one glass. The pepper sprout should not be buried, it is better to plant flush with the root, this will stimulate the plant to develop a strong root system.
Top dressing of pepper seedlings
To support the plant, you can feed it: the first time 13-14 days after planting, the second time 10-14 days after the first feeding. To do this, you can make the following composition: saltpeter - ½ gram, superphosphate - 3 grams, potash fertilizers - 1 gram; dilute in 1 liter of settled water. For the second feeding of the Red Shovel pepper, the same fertilizers are used, but in a double size. You can also make a third top dressing, it is carried out just before transplanting into the ground: the composition of the fertilizers is the same as in the second top dressing, but the potash fertilizers increase to 8 grams.
Advice! Chemical fertilizers can be replaced with organic matter - wood ash and nettle infusion (1:10).
If the seedlings of the Red Spade pepper variety grow slowly, sleep tea is used, from which the infusion is prepared: for 3 liters of boiling water - a glass of sleeping tea leaves, insist for 5 days, drain and water the peppers. You can not get too carried away with feeding, fragile seedlings can simply burn out. And you can completely refuse feeding. If the pepper seedlings are in comfortable conditions and the temperature regime is observed, then they will please with their strength and growth anyway.
To protect pepper seedlings from diseases such as blackleg, watering and feeding the plants should be a little in the morning, since excessive watering just provokes the appearance of blackleg and root rot. It is imperative to loosen and weed the soil, doing this very carefully, without disturbing the plants.
Planting pepper in the ground
So, the age of the Red Spade pepper seedlings is already 2-2.5 months. It's time to plant it in the ground. But before that, it would not hurt to temper it. This is done very simply: for 3-5 days, containers with seedlings should be outside for several hours or in a greenhouse with open frames. But this is provided that the temperature outside is not lower than 15 ° C and there is no wind.
Important! On the day of planting pepper seedlings in a greenhouse or on a garden bed, it is important that the air temperature is about 18 degrees Celsius, the weather is calm and, preferably, cloudy (in sunny weather, it is better to start planting in the afternoon).
Before planting, the soil under the Red Spade pepper seedlings should be well shed so that the transplant is painless. Then carefully remove each plant from its cup, if possible, together with the ground, and plant it in the prepared holes in the garden, the distance between which is not less than half a meter. You don't need to plant the pepper. The red shovel is too deep - the soil must be touched up to the root collar.
If the Red Spade pepper is planted on an open bed, to protect it from possible frost, it should be covered with a film or covering material, having previously installed arcs. It is acceptable to use cut-off plastic bottles or paper caps.
Despite the fact that bell pepper is a self-pollinating crop, insects often pollinate plants.
Advice! Sweet peppers should not be planted in close proximity to hot peppers, as the resulting cross-pollination can impart a bitter taste to sweet peppers.
It is interesting and informative to grow seedlings of any kind of pepper on your own! This is the key to understanding the life process of the plant and the ability to get a good harvest of exactly the kind of pepper that was sown.
Evgeniya Olegovna, Voronezh
What a wonderful variety - Red Shovel! Firstly, very fruitful, secondly, unpretentious, and thirdly, such beautiful peppers. And what is most interesting, it is so easy to preserve, and looks very beautiful in cans.
Yulia Vladimirovna Tarasova, Severodvinsk
Not for the first year I have been planting the Red Spade variety. And I am always happy, because I have never been left without a harvest. Good, large, juicy fruits give great pleasure when harvested.