Presentation of peppers
The pepper is a vegetable plant of the same family as the tomatoes, the Solanaceae. It is a variety of capsicum annuum, like some species of peppers. The pepper is therefore a kind of very large sweet pepper.
This plant is native to Central and South America, where it can live for several years. But in our regions, with a temperate climate, it is grown as an annual because it does not survive frost.
We are therefore going to explain to you how to grow peppers hydroponically all year round.
How to grow peppers in hydroponics?
- hydroponic system
- horticultural lighting (for indoor cultivation)
- hydroponic fertilizers
- pH up ou pH down
- pH meter
- Conductivity meter (EC-meter)
Pepper seedlings in hydroponics
To start growing peppers in hydroponics, you must start by germinating the seeds. The ideal substrate for sowing in hydroponics is the cube of rock wool. Indeed, it allows to use any type of system thereafter.
Note that peppers need a temperature of at least 25°C in order to germinate. We believe that using a heating mat can increase the chances of success for this kind of seedling. With this method, the rising time is about a week.
To illustrate this article, we have chosen to plant our pepper seedlings in coconut pellets. Then we transplanted our prettiest seedling into an 11 l smartpot filled with a substrate composed of 90% coconut fiber and 10% perlite. If you are looking for more information on this substrate, you can take a look at our article on coconut fiber.
So once your seeds have sprouted, it’s time to set up your young seedlings in a hydroponic system and offer it an appropriate nutrient solution.
Parameters of nutrient solution for pepper
- The first two weeks: EC = 0.5 to 0.8 / pH = 5.5 to 6.0
- During the vegetative phase: EC = 1.5 to 1.8 / pH = 5.5 to 6.0
- During the flowering and fruiting phase: EC = 2.5 / pH = 5.5 to 6.0
We are also testing pepper cultivation with the Kratky method. Know that no matter which hydroponic system you choose to use, the parameters of the nutrient solution remain the same for the same plant.
Still don’t know what EC and pH are? So learn the importance of hydroponic nutrient solution .
Caring for Peppers in Hydroponics
Pepper can grow very quickly in hydroponics, and it will tend to flower quickly. We advise you to prune the first flowers so as not to slow down the growth of your foot. This allows you to have a stronger and better developed foot, which will be able to bear more fruit.
In addition, it is important to carry out regular sizes within the foot.
- Remove the shoots that grow along the trunk, which as they grow, exhaust the foot.
- The shoots that develop on the ends of the branches will have to be selected, only the most vigorous should be kept.
Harvesting peppers hydroponically
Harvesting peppers can be done at different stages of maturity of the fruit.
- The greener the fruit, the less ripe it is. It also has less flavor, but it has the advantage of keeping for a long time.
- The redder the fruit, the riper it is. It is much tastier and sweeter, but it must be consumed quickly.
Growing bell peppers indoors
When autumn approaches, the first frosts are not far away. This is when it is important to place our chilli plant indoors, so that it does not catch cold.
We think it is interesting to use horticultural lighting so that we can continue to enjoy some harvests during the winter. But be aware that you have to be able to offer him a lamp with sufficient light power to really benefit from these crops.
Photoperiod for growing peppers indoors
For indoor cultivation, it is important to control the photoperiod because if the light duration is not sufficient, your plant will not grow properly and will not produce fruit. The use of a timer is therefore advantageous in order to be able to perfectly control these day and night times. From our observations, pepper needs at least 14-18 hours in the daytime and 6-10 hours in the night to grow properly and produce nice fruits.
Pollination of bell pepper flowers indoors
Outdoors, the question of flower pollination does not arise. It is done mainly through insects and wind.
Indoors, we believe that the simplest solution is to install a mini-fan which will create an air current conducive to pollination.