How to grow Bell pepper Hydroponically

How to grow Bell pepper Hydroponically

If You want to grow Bell peppers hydroponically, check this out

The use of hydroponics has made it easier to grow our favorite plants in our arena. Bell pepper or commonly called capsicum, happens to be the favorite of many.  But, the Best thing is that they can be grown hydroponically.  So, today we will be discussing the essential requirements, steps to cultivate, hydroponic system, and monitoring the growth of hydroponic bell peppers. SO let’s get started.

What is hydroponic bell pepper? Why grow Bell pepper hydroponically?

Simply put, hydroponic bell peppers are the ones that have grown on nutrient-rich water without the need for a soil system. It can be grown at home with minimal effort and there are minimal challenges associated with it. The only challenge that appears is dealing with the size of the plant. However, we have discussed the steps to help you with it. 

Moreover, Hydroponic Bell peppers usually taste better than the soil-grown bell pepper plant. This is due to the type of nutrients, light, pH level being modified depending on requirements. Adding fertilizers provide a boost as they enhance both aromas and taste.

What varieties or species of Bell Peppers can be grown hydroponically

All the varieties of bell pepper can actually be grown using the simplest of hydroponic techniques. Right from California Wonders with a mix of green and red to Ace and Yolo Wonder can be grown.

How to grow Bell pepper Hydroponically

Requirements for Growing Hydroponic Bell pepper

Getting started with the base level

Hydroponic Bell peppers can be grown from germinating seeds or even by cloning from a  healthy plant.

Germinating Seeds: Peppers seeds can get started for germination once they get a suitable warm temperature of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. So using a heat map to provide warmth can be beneficial. Use damp paper towels, scatter the seeds over the damp towel, wrap the towels up, and put them in the plastic bags to ensure that seeds are moist. Thereupon you can use a rapid rooster for germinating the seeds. Depending on the type of seeds, you can see the seedling in about a week or two.

Cloning Bell Pepper: Cloning from a plant ensures that the same traits of the plants get transferred to the clone. So cloning from a well-oxygenated, healthy plant is a really good idea to get a plant with healthy features.

Which Hydroponic system works for Bell peppers

While growing bell peppers what comes into the picture is the weight of the plant. When it blooms into wonderful, healthy and big-sized bell peppers, the plant eventually tries to bend down and break. So a support system ought to be provided to hold up the weight of the system.

Growing hydroponic bell peppers via ebb and flow, drip systems using rail systems are the most used hydroponic systems for growing bell peppers. However, the easiest method happens to be the deepwater culture. The DWC involves a reservoir of water with nutrients, and the seeds are spread over the water in which the roots sprout. Also, it allows the roots to dip in a highly nutrient-rich, oxygenated solution. 

In the Kratky method, an air pump isn’t needed, but this method is not suitable for large scale production of bell peppers. If you don’t have a pump and are planning to grow 3- 4 of them, then this is the best and budget-friendly.  All one needs is a container, a net pot, and grow LED lights.

Note: Peppers grown using DWC and Ebb and flow hydroponic methods produce large peppers, having more leaves and longer roots than other hydroponic methods.

How to grow Bell pepper Hydroponically

Suitable temperature to ensure healthy growth of hydroponic bell pepper

As mentioned earlier, bell peppers prefer to grow in warm temperatures. SO a mid 65-75 degree range during the day and 50-60 degrees by night. If the temperature provided is much more than the mentioned, bell peppers may drop their flowers rather than fruiting. 

Remember that temperature can affect the overall development of the fruit. A sudden change in this factor will reduce the fruit quality, so it is necessary to maintain a balance.

Humidity to ensure healthy growth of hydroponic bell pepper

An optimal humidity rate of 55 to 65% is needed for growing healthy bell peppers. Even though 60-80 % is tolerable, in the case of bell peppers, it may lead to deformed fruits.

pH  for growing Bell Peppers hydroponically

One of the most important factors for any hydroponic culture is optimum pH level. Anything beyond the optimum level will make the bell pepper fail to effectively absorb important nutrients and water minerals.

So for a hydroponic environment of growing bell pepper, a pH rate of 6.0 to 6.5 is adequate. Make sure not fluctuate the level on a regular basis and maintain a consistent pH rate. Use a pH test meter to check the acidic measure of the water. If it’s less, put gloves on and add small quantities of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide solution to the water.

Spacing Requirements for growing Bell Peppers hydroponically

Once bell peppers grow well in size, they need an ample amount of spacing in between them. A spacing of 18-20 inches is the best for them to grow without competition in sunlight, soil and other resources.

How to grow Bell pepper Hydroponically

Light Requirements for hydroponic bell peppers

Bell peppers need strong and warm temperatures to grow. Apart from that they additionally need 14-18 hours of light each day. Bell pepper is neutral in daylight; thus, natural light length does not affect pepper blossoming and nighttime is as important as the daytime.

Rather than using fluorescents, it’s advisable to use LED and HID lights and grow lamps since they have a high power rating. These can be used for indoor plantations.

Nutrients fed to hydroponic bell peppers

When bell peppers are ready for flowering the nutrient requirement changes than that during vegetative growth. One should switch to a nutrient regimen with the composition of less nitrogen and more phosphorus and potassium during flower and fruit production. 

Nutrient regimes like  Dyna-Gro Liquid Bloom, Dealzer and Dyna Gro Grow work too well. If you re planning to use a fertilizer, use the one with a 5-10-10 ratio that permits the bell pepper to spend less energy on new leaves growth and rather focus on fruit production.

Pollinating Hydroponic Bell Peppers Grown Indoors

To continue the life cycle, plants undergo pollination, where the female seeds come in contact with the male seeds and they give rise to fruits. While pollinating flowers, bell peppers which are grown in  open lawns or balconies have an added advantage. Pollination becomes easy since it has both male and female parts. Pollination can take place through wind. 

However, if the bell peppers are grown inside that of a nursery or closed environment, then a small paintbrush is used to aid the transfer of pollen grains manually. This method is called hand pollination and is a form of artificial pollination.

Harvesting Hydroponic Bell Peppers

After germination, bell peppers can take 70-80 days depending on the breed of bell pepper used. Even though one can harvest it at any time in between the mentiine duration, however the longer they are kept, the sweeter they are. At this time only most of the bell peppers change their colour to orange, yellow, red and people. 

So if you are planning to get these colourful and sweet peppers, an additional wait of 3 weeks can help you achieve it. The color transforms from yellow to orange to red. Thus, it will be worth the wait to harvest bell peppers a while later.

Important things to note before harvesting

Before harvesting the bell peppers, clean the reservoir to rid the plant of extra nutrients, salts or other contaminants that might have got attached to the bell peppers. This also enhances the taste of the bell peppers.  Empty the tank, wipe it, pour the flushing agent and replace the growing pots.

How to grow Bell pepper Hydroponically

Pruning Bell peppers

The act of sweet pepper plant pruning and pinching does not allow them to grow into a large size. It also allows new shoots to grow effectively in a hydroponic garden.

While removing the bell pepper from the vine, use a sharp knife. Pulling it can damage the structure of both the plant and the pepper. Once removed, store the peppers at 45 degrees fahrenheit.

Steps involved in growing bell peppers hydroponically

Step 1: Prepare the seedbed with new netting and the requirements as mentioned above. The porosity of the nation must be good enough for sturdy root growth. Also while preparing the seedbed, add a support system like styrofoam. Thereupon add the seeds

Step 2: Aerating water. You need a good quantity of oxygen in the water for delivering all the nutrients into the bell pepper. An air pump enhances this. 

Step 3: Set your hydroponic setup in an environment where it can receive 12 hours of light. Set it in the open environment or if you are choosing indoors, use LED lights. Use dark netting over the cover for your hydroponic system for controlling the light intensity.

Step 4: Prune the crop by pinching 2 or 3 stem buds. Remove 1 to 2 buds. Shake the plants manually to aid pollination. Do it 2-3 times a week.

Step 5: Start applying root enhancers to the growing medium. Ensure to water them properly. 

Monitoring the growth of Hydroponic Bell peppers

Bell peppers need not receive constant monitoring. However, a few measures are mentioned here to watch out for.

  • The reservoir of water should meet the roots but doesn’t fill water to the top. Put the seedlings ( 2 to 5)  in a container, Put the soilless hydroponic medium.
  • Arrange the lights so that they are around 8 inches above the peppers, Keep a check on a timer to work for 10 to 12 hours each day. When the plant grows in size, raise the height of the light to prevent burning the foliage.
  • Keep an eye on the water level often and test for nutrients composition along with pH whenever more water is added.
  • If you are cultivating the plants indoors, then when the buds open, shake them two to three times per week manually or use a table fan to force pollination. It helps in spreading the pollen around.
  • Prune the plants when they grow 6 to 8 inches tall to allow energy toward pepper production. 

FAQS on growing hydroponic bell peppers

Do hydroponic peppers taste different?

Ans: Yes. but mild changes. There are many factors that change the taste of hydroponic peppers like controlling nutrient level and light.

How long does it take to grow hydroponic bell peppers?

Ans: The germination process takes about 2 weeks. Same with cloning too. However, the complete time period is about 70-80 days for green bell peppers. Wait for 10-15 more days in case you wish to get those colorful harvests.

What hydroponic nutrients should I use for Peppers?

Ans: Nitrate (NO3) (180- 200 ppm), Ammonium (NH4) (7- 15 ppm), Potassium (K) (240 ppm- 270 ppm), Phosphate (PO4)( 50 ppm), Calcium (Ca)(200-220 ppm), Iron, manganese and zinc.

How many pounds does a bell pepper plant produce?

Ans: The average hydroponic bell pepper yield per plant can be higher than a soil-grown pepper plant. A hydroponic bell pepper plant can produce a yield of 40 to 100 pounds of peppers per plant. However, the average soil-grown pepper plant will only yield around 3 to 5 pounds per plant.

Why are the leaves on my pepper plant turning yellow?

Ans:  Pepper Plant Leaves are Yellow Due to a Lack of Water and Nutrients. 

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