Growing Chile Peppers

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Chile Pepper

History and Background of Chile Pepper

The Chile pepper is also from the nightshade family. This makes it a relative of the potato, tomato and other common vegetables. Chile peppers have been eaten for more than 9000 years, and are one of the oldest vegetables eaten by man. They originate in the Americas, just like tomatoes.

The Chile pepper gets its heat from a chemical named capsaicin. This is the main ingredient in pepper spray. This chemical is responsible for the power of many peppers known for heat like jalapeno, cayenne, and the famous habanero. Listed below are some varieties of Chile peppers:

· Bell peppers
· Paprika
· Jalapenos
· Scotch bonnet
· Aji pepper
· Naga
· Habanero
· Red Chile
· Cayenne, and
· Gypsy

Chile Pepper Growth Needs

These peppers typically take 74-84 days to mature. These plants are best started indoors in late winter and then transplanted outside in the early spring. Take care to make sure the last frost has passed and that there is no chance of freezing the plants. Set the transplants 18 to 24 inches apart and 15 to 20 inches apart from row to row. Peppers do best in well-drained moist soil. These plants are especially vulnerable to drought and hot winds. Please take special care to keep growing soil irrigated and aerated.

Chile Pepper Pests

Chile peppers are vulnerable to the tobacco mosaic virus and aphids. It is possible to spread the virus to pepper plants after handling cigarettes. Aphids can be located on the underside of leaves and can indicate a severe problem. A good insecticide is suggested if this activity is found.