From a colourful salad ingredient to pizza topping, the crisp, crunchy capsicum is a delightful, refreshing food. Available in several colours and varieties, it lights up the plate and offers many nutritious benefits.
With their antioxidant properties, bell peppers improve metabolism and immunity, and lower the risk of cancer. Their compound capsaicin works to relieve pain by blocking pain transmission to the spinal cord. They are also rich in Vitamin C and can cure iron deficiency.
Given their many health benefits and ease of growth, capsicums are a great choice for home gardens. YouTuber Ankit Bajpai’s channel Ankit’s Terrace Gardening, which shows how to create a mini forest at home, features a video which teaches viewers how capsicums can be grown by hanging bottles upside down.
“A garden requires patient labour and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or fulfil good intentions. They thrive because someone expends effort on them,” he says in his channel’s ‘about’ section.
He lists out steps to create an inverted capsicum plant in a hanging bottle:
- Take about two to three capsicum plants, which have sprouted from seeds, and are around 25 to 35 days old.
- Use an empty five-litre plastic bottle for the base.
- Paint the bottle with any colours and patterns you prefer.
- On the bottle cap, create holes for water to drain through.
- Use a hot knife to cut off the bottom of the bottle.
- Make four to five holes near the base of the bottle which you will use to string through the hanging wires.
- Near the neck of the bottle, use a hot iron pipe to make two to three bigger holes. This is where the plant will hang out from.
- To prepare the soil mix that will go inside the hanging pot, combine 40 per cent coco peat, 40 per cent compost and 20 per cent garden soil.
- Thread the hanging wire through the holes made at the base of the bottle.
- Hold the bottle facing lid down and fill some of the soil mix into it, making sure you haven’t covered up the holes you made earlier.
- Remove the excess mud from the existing saplings and clean their roots with water to get the soil off.
- Insert the saplings into the bottle sideways, through the iron pipe holes you made near the lid – the roots should be inside while the plant hangs on the sides of the bottle.
- Then fill up the rest of the bottle with the soil mix.
- For about a week, water it and place it in a partially shaded area. After that, move to direct sunlight.
- Hang it up!
- Make sure you’re not overwatering the plants since bottles are good at retaining moisture. Water only when the soil’s upper layer looks dry.
- Thirty days after the transplantation, start feeding the plant organic fertiliser like cow manure, fish meal, or bone meal.
- At the two-month mark, you should see baby capsicums sprouting from your plant!
Things to keep in mind:
- Capsicum plants grow best during the winter season (when temperatures range from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius).
- To grow well, capsicums need between six to seven hours of direct sunlight.
Watch the process here:
Health Benefits of Capsicum: 7 amazing benefits of capsicum by Chethana Prakasan, india.com, 11 August 2017
What are the health benefits of Capsicum? By Mary West, MedicalNewsToday, 30 August 2021
Edited by Yoshita Rao