Best fertilizer for peppers

Be it sweet or hot, Peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin A and C, fiber, folic acid, and potassium. Therefore, spicing up your meal with pepper will offer you significant nutrients when you decide not to eat leafy vegetables. Instead of buying them, you can plant peppers behind your house and make it your kitchen gardening project. However for you to harvest pepper produce bountifully, it depends on the soil fertility besides maintaining other factors constant. These factors include water, light, soil drainage, and pest and disease control. Soil fertility is the primary factor that you should consider because is the source of vital nutrients which is the basic need for successful growth and development.

Essentials for Pepper Growth and Development

Since soil may lack other nutrients that are vital for the pepper to grow and produce as you desire, it would help if you obtain these nutrients from fertilizer. Peppers do well in soil with microbes, slightly acidic {pH ranging from 5.8-6.8} is rich in Nitrogen, Phosphorus, phosphate, calcium and magnesium, and sulfur. These nutrients work significantly and independently on each or every growth stage until it produces. Therefore, before using any fertilizer to boost pepper growth and harvest you should be aware of the soil’s nutrients content. The soil’s nutrients determine the best choice of a fertilizer that has a friendly nutrients supply with minimal to zero side effects towards boosting pepper growth and harvest.

The primary growth is the first stage after the pepper’s seed roots have grown into a plant. During primary growth, peppers need primary nutrients that are essential for the growth of leaves, and the development of roots and stems. Pepper seeds contain enough nutrients for germination, but these nutrients deplete the moment the roots have established. Therefore, they will need more nutrients from the soil to support their growth. Peppers require a lot of nitrogen after the roots have established which is vital in its early growth stage.

• Nitrogen

Nitrogen is essential because it promotes rapid and healthy growth of the leaves and stems development. If the soil does not have enough nitrogen you should use a fertilizer with a high amount of nitrogen to promote healthy growth of leaves and stem development. Healthy growth of leaves is essential at the primary growth stage because in the leaves is where energy synthesis takes place, thus when they are abundant they will store more energy that will be used later when pepper starts producing the pods {secondary growth}. Secondly, the stems of the pepper are usually feeble, thus providing nitrogen will help the stems to prevent the pods from falling and the produce to mature properly.

• Phosphate

Phosphate is a vital nutrient for the pepper plant because it aids in the uptake of nutrients from the root to the plant. Nevertheless, it also helps in the synthesis of protein for the establishment of strong roots through promoting cell division and the development of new tissues in plants. Insufficient amount of phosphate in the soil, your pepper will have the following symptoms: stunted growth, anthocyanin {reddish or purplish pigments forming on the leaves} and it may produce little or no flower pod. These symptoms are brought by poor root establishment and lack of nutrients due to a lack of phosphorus that aids in the uptake of nutrients and root development.

• Potassium

Potassium is also another macronutrient for peppers because it is responsible for the production of produce. Its significance in promoting abundance in produce is because it increases plants’ protein content through aiding and regulating the photosynthesis process and enzyme activation. Besides, enhancing photosynthesis, it also aids in the transportation of water from the soil to the leaves. If the soil has an insufficient amount of potassium your pepper will likely show the following symptoms: stunted growth, the margin or the edge of the leaves will be yellowish, and poor resistance to ecological changes. Potassium improves plants immunity to ecological changes, thus when it is lacking peppers might show little to no resistance when weather changes thereby interfering with the produce.

• Others

Since nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium are the macronutrients for pepper, there are other nutrients such as magnesium and calcium that are also vital despite being micronutrients for pepper. The soil needs calcium to aid in the formation of buds and enhance the health and timely maturation of the produce. While magnesium helps to activate the growth enzymes and hormones in plants thereby promoting rapid growth of the pepper.

Therefore it is worth noting that Nitrogen is essential for the primary growth stage of your peppers for rapid and healthy growth of foliage and food synthesis and energy storage for future secondary growth. Contrarily, both Phosphate and phosphorus are good for both primary and secondary growth of peppers to healthy growth and development of stem and roots to aid in water, minerals and nutrients uptake, and food synthesis. However, both phosphorus and potassium are best applied to the soil when peppers’ flowers start to blossom because they do not need much nitrogen. This is to allow the plant to concentrate on producing flowers, thus phosphorus and potassium significance come in to enhance the yield of healthy peppers in abundance.

How to Choose the Best Fertilizer for pepper

Closeup of ripening peppers in the organic pepper plantation.Fresh Yellow and Red sweet Bell Pepper Plants with Selective Focus in plantation,paprika

Since you know the primary nutrients that are essential for healthy growth and abundant produce of peppers, the best fertilizer for pepper depends on nutrient content in the soil. After testing the soil nutrients, it is best to supply the missing nutrients moderately but not too much because of the side effects. Secondly, the choice of fertilizer also should considerably be determined by the growth stage of pepper and the symptoms observed on the plant growth and leaves and flowering characteristics.

To know the percentage of the nutrient in the fertilizer always check the 3 number codes with the abbreviation N-P-K on the bag of the fertilizer. The three-number codes represent the nutrients contained in the fertilizer which indicates the amount of Nitrogen {N}, Phosphate {P} and Potassium {K} in that respective. For instance, 10-5-5 indicates the fertilizer contains 10% nitrogen, 5% Phosphate and 5% Phosphorus, while 5-10-5 indicates 5% Nitrogen, 10% Phosphate and 5% phosphorus. The number codes represent the nutrients to feed the pepper plant. Use the three number codes when choosing the best fertilizer for peppers depending on the soil nutrients.

Moreover, when choosing the best fertilizer for peppers you should ensure the fertilizer formula includes beneficial soil microbes. Soil microbes help in the breakdown of the organic matters in the soil to enhance soil fertility thereby providing extra nutrients needed for secondary growth. Below are some of the best fertilizers you might consider for peppers. They include:

• Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Pure Earthworm Castings Organic Fertilizer {All-purpose}

• Neptune’s Harvest Fish and Seaweed {for secondary growth}

• Espoma Garden Tone {organic fertilizer for Primary growth}

• Miracle-Gro Performance {Primary Growth]

• General Hydroponics Flora Combo Fertilizer {Secondary growth}

• Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food {Primary Growth}

• Miracle-Gro Performance Organics All Purpose Plant Nutrition Granules {organic fertilizer for secondary growth}

Points to take

• Apply Nitrogen to the soil after two weeks when the pepper seedlings have established in the soil to enhance their primary growth which only should be focused on producing healthy leaves.

• When the primary growth cycle ends, pepper does not need nitrogen because the leaf is in abundance, let it focus on producing buds. Thus, this would be the best time to apply Phosphates and potassium in plenty to boosts the health yield of produce. The secondary growth of pepper starts with the beginning of pod formation.

• Do not apply nutrients excessively because it may cause leaching which may lead to the formation of a hardpan layer in the soil leading to stunted growth of the plant. Besides, you should take precautions when using nitrogenous fertilizer because excess nitrogen promotes the growth of leafy leaves with delayed flowering or pods may not form entirely.

• If you incorporate pepper with the leguminous plant you should apply a little amount of the nitrogen fertilizer or entirely refrain from using it. This is because leguminous has nitrogen-fixing bacteria which utilizes the lightning energy to fix nitrogen in the soil.

• Confirm first the soil pH and soil nutrients percentage and viability before choosing the right and the best fertilizer for peppers. Unfavorable soil nutrients or pH will make peppers grow slowly because of the poor intake of nutrients in the soil which is also detrimental to the plant health and production.

• Lastly, you should strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s directions on how to apply the fertilizer to the soil for efficiency and avoid risks associated with fertilizer to your health.

With these tips as your thumb rules for pepper farming, I hope you will make the right decision when choosing the best fertilizer for peppers.

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