Grow Diary: Sweet Pepper (Purple Beauty)
- Days to Germination: 10-21. Optimum Soil Temp. for Germination: 65 to 70F. Days To Harvest: 85 days. Planting Depth: 1/8 inch. Spacing, Seed: 1 inch. Spacing, Plant: 15-20 inches. Light: Full sun/warm location/ Greenhouse/ Conservatory
- Sow seeds 1/4" deep in 3in pots with quality seed compost. Keep moist. Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days at 65-70 degrees F. Temperature is critical for germination.
- Transplant to individual containers when seedlings have at least two pairs of leaves. When 4-5 inches plant 15-20" apart in greenhouse / conservatory with root ball 1/2" below the soil surface.
- Keep moist and feed when flowering with tomato type fertiliser. Harvest when fruits have reached full-size and full colour
- "Soil Association" registered and certified Organic - AP22387. Professional DEFRA licenced Quality Seed Supply only - Minimal packaging - Ziplock labelled bags - Instructions not attached - See details provided above for cultivation advice.
Purple Beauty bell pepper seeds were planted in Root Riot Organic Starter Cubes inside a heated incubator, however, only one seed germinated, and only after a week of incubation. A few days after that, the seedling was moved into a 10L Kratky hydroponics bucket containing Aqua Vega nutrient media diluted with water to a concentration of 1:400 and pH-adjusted to 6.5.
The bell pepper plant grew quite slowly (compared to other plants tested in this hydroponics system) taking almost two months before the first flower buds appeared. The flowers were pollinated with the vibrating 'paddle' of an electric toothbrush (i.e. the toothbrush body without the actual brushing head). By the end of the third month (from seed start), the nutrient media began to run low, so 400ml of extra media was added to the bucket every few days to keep the plant alive a little longer, in order to observe fruit development. Once the peppers had turned purple in colour, the experimental grow was terminated.
Overall, the Purple Beauty bell pepper plant did not grow as well as hoped, however, this may have been due to the inherent genetic characteristics of the plant rather than any hydroponics system inadequacy. Further testing with this bell pepper variety would be needed to answer this question more precisely.