Chili is a fruit and plant member of the genus Capsicum. The fruit can be classified as either a vegetable or a spice depending on its use. As a spice, the hot chili fruit is very popular in Southeast Asia as a flavor enhancer for dishes.
Big Red Chili (Capsicum annuum L.) is a vegetable that has high economic value. Chili contains a variety of compounds that are beneficial to human health. Chili contains antioxidants that protect the body from free radical attacks. The greatest content of this antioxidant is found in green chilies. Chili also contains lasparaginase and capsaicin, which act as anti-cancer substances.
Chili is one of the vegetable products that is widely grown by farmers in Indonesia because of its high selling price and multiple health benefits. In addition, the vitamin C content in chilies is high enough to meet everyone’s daily needs, but it must be consumed in moderation to avoid a stomach ache.
Chili is a plant that is easy to grow in lowlands or highlands. Chili plants are high in vitamin A and vitamin C and contain capsaicin essential oil, which when used as a spice (kitchen spice) provides a spicy flavor and warmth. Chili plants are suitable for planting in humus-rich, loose, and nesting soil, not waterlogged; The ideal soil pH is around 5-6. A good planting time for dry land is at the end of the rainy season. To get a high price for chili, this can also be done in October and harvested in December, although there may be a risk of failure. Chili plants are propagated by seeds that grow from healthy plants and are pest and disease free.
Those of you who are trying gardening might be thinking about growing vegetables at home. For example cayenne pepper and red chili. Cayenne pepper and red chili are grown from seeds. This seed comes from dried seeds. You can buy it from the plant vendor or take it from the chili you have.
Here’s how to grow chilies from seed and how to care for chili plants until they’re ready to harvest.
Selection of chili seeds and dry
- Cut the chili into 3 parts. Take the seeds in the middle cut. The middle has the highest quality seeds compared to the front and back.
- Soak chili seeds in a glass of clean water. Choose sinking seeds. Floating seeds are seeds that are not of good quality.
- Remove the high-quality chili seeds from the clean water bath and then dry them for three days or more.
You can do the sowing first to select high-quality chili seeds.
- Prepare seedling media in the form of soil mixed with trays and manure in a 2:1:1 or 1:1:1 ratio.
- Prepare polybags measuring 5 x 10 cm. Fill the previously prepared planting medium three-quarters of the way up.
- Soak seeds in warm water for 6 hours to stimulate seed growth.
- Plant the seeds up to 1.5cm deep in the seedling medium and then cover them again with the growing medium soil. Keep in a safe place from attack by grasshoppers, caterpillars, ants, or other insects.
- Place the seeds in a room with little light or provide shade to avoid direct sunlight or heavy rain. This can also be done by covering the surface of the seedling media with a black cloth in which several holes have been made.
- Water the sown seeds with clean water every morning and evening for a month. After a month, the seeds will grow into seedlings ready to be transferred to a larger growing medium.
- Wait for the seeds to sprout. Choose a shoot that is large and healthy looking. These are the seeds of high-quality chili plants.
- When the height has reached 5-10 cm, transfer them to the growing medium 3-5 days later.
Transfer the seeds to a wider growing medium
- After more than 4 weeks, put the chili seeds in the pot. If you continue to use polybags, use polybags that are at least 30cm in diameter. Instead of a pot, you can use a used, cleaned bucket.
- Fill pots or polybags with growing media. Use a 3:2:1 mixture of soil, fertilizer, and raw peel for the planting medium.
- Carefully remove the seeds from the seedling media polybag to avoid damaging them. Then transplant to a depth of 10 cm in the growing medium. Cover again with soil.
Maintenance of chili plants
- Water chili plants regularly, especially in the morning and evening. You can use plain water or rice wash water.
- Provide additional nutrients 5-7 days after transplanting the chili seedlings into the growing medium. Avoid providing additional nutrients if the chili has just been transplanted, as applying nutrients too early can affect plant growth.
- Give the starter food in the form of 5 ml of fertilizer A and 5 ml of fertilizer B mixed with 1 liter of water. Give fertilizer every 10 days. Nutrient doses can be added gradually.
- Spray chili plants regularly with organic pesticides. Not too often so that the growth of the chili is not disturbed.
- Nurture chili plants until they bloom, bear fruit, and are ready to harvest.
- Harvest chilies that have fruited after the plants are 80-90 days old.
- Choose completely red chili.
- Harvest the chili with a sharp knife or small scissors to avoid damaging other parts of the chili plant. Cut off with 2 cm long stems.
Choose seeds from the fourth crop
If you intend to use chilies from the harvest for the seeds of the next harvest, choose chilies from the fourth to sixth harvest.
Harvesting in the first to third periods usually produces seeds that later bear little fruit. On the other hand, chilies from the seventh harvest and so on tend to be of lower quality.