SOW EAS­ILY DE­LIGHTED

Grow­ing your own cap­sicum is eas­ier than you think and the re­sults and taste of the freshly picked fruit are amaz­ing, writes

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Gardening - TINO CARNEVALE

As a kid I never re­ally got into cap­sicums, maybe it was be­cause back then my Dad could only grow the large Cal­i­for­nian pep­pers and I found them a bit wa­tery, but this was the only va­ri­ety that we could get his hands on at the time. He was al­ways yab­ber­ing on about the fruits and veg­eta­bles of his youth, figs that were so juicy you could drown in them, toma­toes that tasted like a sum­mer’s day and the pep­pers, oh the pep­pers.

I had to wait till the age of 19 but my in­tro­duc­tion to these fa­bled cap­sicum va­ri­eties was on the first night I spent in Dad’s home town of Bar­ile in south­ern Italy.

I rolled out my swag in a 400-year-old stone room and went to sleep un­der rows of dry­ing red pep­pers. They smelt so sweet that I had to have a crack at one and to my dis­may my fa­ther was right yet again. The name of that par­tic­u­lar va­ri­ety is Corno Rosso, the

Im­ma­ture cap­sicum start green and de­pend­ing on the va­ri­ety they will ripen to yel­low, or­ange, red or black+

bull’s horns.

Af­ter re­turn­ing home I went on the hunt for the seed and the fam­ily have been grow­ing it, and oth­ers, ever since.

There are so many great va­ri­eties of sweet cap­sicum you can grow, from the golden Mar­coni to the dark brown Sweet Choco­late. Cap­sicum love the warmth and it is for this rea­son that in Tassie, pro­duc­tion is lim­ited to the warmer months, although with even the most sim­ple glass house you can se­ri­ously ex­tend your sea­son. Plant them in an open sunny po­si­tion, though in ar­eas of ex­treme heat it can be good to pro­vide shade for them from the scald­ing af­ter­noon sun. These plants will grow in a neu­tral to acidic soil and to be hon­est it doesn’t have to be all that crash hot, I have grown them in beach sand right

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