Boost sweet and chilli pep­per crops

Amateur Gardening - - Your Gardening Week -

SWEET or chilli, mild or scorch­ing – most of us grow a pot or two of sun-lov­ing pep­pers. One thing I’ve no­ticed over the years, though, is that of­ten the first fruit that sets on each plant dom­i­nates, sup­press­ing the for­ma­tion of oth­ers.

Called the ‘bull’ fruit, it of­ten grows very large (es­pe­cially in sweet pep­pers) at the ex­pense of later-formed fruits. It of­ten sits right at the top of the cen­tral stem, which is a good place to be as the plant is pump­ing all its nu­tri­ents there, but there in lies the prob­lem.

Like the prover­bial big brother, it greed­ily gorges on this nu­tri­tion while its smaller sib­lings go with­out. It’s tough love, but re­mov­ing it while it’s still small will al­low the oth­ers to de­velop.

If you want more pep­pers, re­move the ‘bull fruit’ at the top of the plant

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