Planting Capsicums and Chillies

Episode: 5
Title: Planting Capsicums and Chillies
Broadcast: 20 September
Presenter: Melissa King

One of things Mel loves most about growing food is that you can harvest and eat varieties that are a bit different, like sweet peppers in every colour and shape.

  • Capsicums are in the same family as tomatoes so they enjoy similar growing conditions -  a sunny, open spot like this with good drainage is ideal. Prepare your beds with plenty of compost and organic matter, just avoid the temptation to add too much mature or you’ll get lots of leafy growth often at the expense of fruit. 
  • Weight for weight capsicums contain more vitamin C than oranges – they just don’t get the same publicity
  • Among the more typical green-red varieties ‘Sweet Red’ is a good choice. It’s an early fruiter and the capsicums change colour as they mature from green to purple to dark red – which makes for a good looking plant. It’s a nice compact variety so it does well in pots too.
  • Sweet Stuff Gold has really ornamental mini bell shaped fruit that ripen to a lovely gold colour. It’s also high yielding. And as the name suggests ‘Long Sweet Yellow’ has tapered fruit that ripens from green to yellow – it’s a good one for stir-fry’s or even for pickling.
  • Chillies are also part of the same family. They’re really decorative plants and because they’re compact they make beautiful potted features. Eating chillies can even release endorphins in your body, giving you a natural high and the fiery fruit really livens your cooking.
  • Chilli plants love full sun too and if you are growing them in pots use a good quality potting mix.
  • If you don’t like it too hot, Jalapenos are probably more your thing – they score about five on the chilli heat rating – so they are moderately hot and great for Mexican style dishes and salsa.
  • The small red ones like ‘Red Hot’ Chilli aren’t to be messed with. They’re only 5-7 cm long but they pack a real punch and ripen from green to bright red early in the season. ‘Caysan’ is a hot cayenne style pepper so it will make your eyes water too – in a good way.


Mel planted this delicious garden at Lilies on Brougham: (03) 9431 6622