PEPPADEW PEPPER SEED
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Peppadew is a trademark name
Peppadew pepper seed is notoriously difficult to get hold of. In fact there is almost a complete blackout of availability of of both peppadew pepper plants or its seeds on the open market. Why? Well it turns out that the distribution of peppadew pepper plant material is strictly controlled, and the growers of the Peppadew ‘fruit’ are made to sign a contract which – if they are found to be distributing seeds outside the company - could face prosecution from the licence holding company. So jealously controlled are the movements of this plant that the production fields where they are grown are actually guarded!
This intense control and security over what is at best a naturally occurring hybrid has resulted in a ‘growing’ underground movement formed by a small group of incensed yet passionate gardeners. Believing that the entire peppadew operation is extremely ‘thug-like’ and that any naturally occurring hybrid should belong to the world, they will go to any lengths to secure, grow and distribute peppadew pepper seeds around the globe.
Should you manage to obtain seeds from the sweet piquanté pepper – legally of course - sow indoors around January for if you want them to establish quickly for outdoor planting or sow anytime up to the end of March for greenhouse growing. Sow your sweet piquanté pepper seeds - adequately spaced - into either plugs or a seed tray containing John Innes ‘seed’ compost. Top them off with another 1/2 inch of compost then gently water them in. It's important that the seeds remain moist until they germinate and as such will require adequate ventilation to prevent fungal rots. If ventilation is poor you may need to spray your newly germinating seedlings with a liquid fungicide once a week to protect them.
Once germinated – this will be normally between 7 and 24 days - pepper seedlings will require plenty of light, in fact for optimal growth they will need between 12 to 16 hours of light a day. If the weather isn’t yet suitable for planting outside then they will need to be placed onto a south-facing windowsill but remember to turn them daily to keep them from acquiring a permanent lean. Once the seedlings have produced four leaves they will be ready to prick out into individual pots, but you need to be careful so as not to damage the fragile root system. The safest way is to gently hold onto one of the sturdier leaves while using either a pencil or slim dibber to lift the roots as intact and undisturbed as possible.
When re-potting, use either a standard multipurpose compost or John Innes ‘No.1’ or ‘No.2’ potting compost. Grow them on for another couple of weeks and they will be ready for either the greenhouse or for planting directly outside into open ground once the threat of frosts is over. Make sure you choose a location that is in full sunlight and - if you have it - mix in some mushroom compost or other organic compost to help keep the soil fertile and moist.
Of course remember that pepperdew peppers are a brand name for processed sweet piquanté pepper. Applications have been made by the Peppadew company to The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, otherwise known as the UPOV. With this in mind there can be no breeding of the pepperdew pepper plant without the express permission of the owners of these rights - AVI(South African Company.
For more information click onto:
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