Growing Bell Peppers

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-12-51-10-pmI would love to say that this is a photo of my bell pepper plants, but sadly my peppers never grown well. It’s a quest I’ve had for many years now – to grown a decent bunch of peppers.

I’ve read about growing them. I’ve tried to pay attention and fertilize them as needed, with not much luck. I might get one or two funny looking peppers a season but that is it! Now I live in a different climate, where it’s much warmer, which I think peppers like. Maybe my pepper growing luck will change.

I’ve read that the nutrients peppers need are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. For that I can use a 20-20-20 fertilizer. Once the flowers show, add additional nitrogen. For that I can use Ammonium sulfate or 21-0-0 blend.

Bone meal is something I have used in the past when planting my flowers and vegetables. The calcium in bone meal is especially good for developing a strong root system, which is why I usually mix it into the hole when planting almost everything. The “Maximum Yield” site has a very good article about Bone Meal Basics, which I found very enlightening.screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-12-49-24-pm
Green peppers have their own special flavor and I use them in salads, sandwiches and omelets. Red Bell Peppers are sweeter, and are delicious when mixed into chicken salad or sliced to eat raw with a healthy dip. From what I understand, green peppers will eventually turn red if they are not picked.screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-12-50-25-pm
Eating a variety of brightly colored fruit and vegetables gives us optimum health, and picking it from the yard is as fresh as you can get. One day I WILL eat my own yummy peppers… maybe this season.

(Image credits:  Find all these wonderful photos at Pixabay.com)

Bone Meal For The Spring Flower Garden

Get the ground ready for planting by adding bone meal to the soil.

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Bone meal helps grow strong roots

It sounds a bit gross to use crushed bones when fertilizing, but the fine, powdery substance works wonders for your plants. Bone meal is a great source of phosphorus which helps establish good roots, and without good roots, plants don’t grow as well.

Bulbs, like the ones in my photo here, will appreciate some bone meal mixed into the planting soil.  Your tulips and daffodils will produce more blooms, as will any flowers planted in spring.

Organic Bone Meal is the perfect addition to an organic garden. I add it to the bare garden soil in spring before it’s time to plant.  It helps make the soil better for everything you plan to grow, as long as you don’t overdo it.

Use it as a soil amendment around perennials too. I sprinkle it around the hydrangea shrub and other perennials in the yard once the snow is gone. Rake it into the soil and be careful around the shallow roots. Bone meal replaces depleted phosphorus and will get the plants off to a good start for summer growth.

I buy mine in 4.5 lb. bags and directions say to use 1 teaspoon mixed into the dirt for bulbs. For shrubs, such as the hydrangea, apply 1 to 2 pounds (2.25 cups of bone meal equals 1 pound). Directions are on the bag, or box and it can even be used in pots.

Blood meal is a different product and can be used to supply the nitrogen your garden needs. Nitrogen keeps plants looking green. Use it if the leaves on your plants begin to turn yellow.

Be careful when using fertilizer, even organic fertilizer (and make sure it is truly organic!) like bone meal and blood meal, because it is still possible to use too much and damage the plants.

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Annuals and Perennials will grow better with bone meal.

Above you can see the lush growth of my nasturtiums (annuals), and hydrangea (leaves) and coneflower (echinacea) which are perennials.

(All photos in this post are my own, and are not free to use.)