The Benefits of Eating Frozen Fruit and Vegetables

People usually eat fruits and vegetables for their nutritional values, but they cannot enjoy them when their season is over. When fruits and vegetables are out of season, cooks either have to adapt to eating the produce of the new season or depend on frozen fruits and vegetables. Frozen fruits and vegetables are used for various reasons like ease of using them and their nutritional benefits. Some of the benefits of eating frozen fruit and vegetables are:

Frozen Fruit And Vegetables Are Full Of Nutrients

The nutritional value of fruits and vegetables starts lessening the minute they are picked. So, their nutritional value gets affected from the moment they are plucked and the time you take to eat them after harvesting them. But the nutritional value can be much more than fresh fruits and vegetables as they are frozen as soon as possible after harvesting them. Moreover, they are full of their nutritional elements, including minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins, when they are plucked after their full maturity. Freezing fruits and vegetables at this stage help in locking most of their nutrients in them. On the other hand, the fresh fruits and vegetables you get in the market have to travel a long way to reach you, and during that period, they get enough time to reap and get maturity. So they must be harvested when they could not get the maximum amount of natural nutritional elements. They get ripened artificially during their transit period. So, frozen fruits and vegetables have more nutritional value than their fresh counterparts.

The fact that frozen fruits and vegetables are more or equally nutritious to fresh fruits and vegetables can be proved on the basis of two studies performed independently. These studies were carried out by the scientists of Chester University and Leatherhead Food Research center. They have performed over 40 tests on frozen fruits and vegetables as well as on the products kept in a fridge for 3-4 days to measure and compare their nutritional values. They found that the level of nutrients found in the samples of frozen foods is more than in the comparatively fresher items. Actually, the level of antioxidants, like anthocyanins, lutein, beta-carotene, and polyphenols, found in some of the frozen vegetables and fruits, were higher than in fresh fruits and vegetables. The results of these researches have confirmed that the nutrients are not destroyed when the foods are frozen. It has been found that frozen broccoli lost 10% of its nutrients when preserved for one year, whereas fresh broccoli lost over 50% in just one week.

Frozen Fruit And Vegetables Are Free From Additive

When fruits and vegetables are frozen, no unwanted additives are used while packing them in bags. On the other hand, canned fruits and vegetables have a number of additives in them, even if no sugar or salt is used while preserving them. You can find these additives from fresh fruits and vegetables if you check them minutely, but you cannot find any added material on the fruits and vegetables preserved in freezers.

Frozen Fruit And Vegetables Are Very Easy To Use

If you like to eat fresh fruits and vegetables then you can visit a local market of farmers to get the produce of that season, but in the long run, you will find that it would have been better if you have bought frozen foods. Along with preserving the nutritional values, the frozen foods are easy to use as you need not wash, chop, or peel them. And for that reason, you can pour them directly on your plate to eat them instantly after taking them out of the freezer. The ease of using frozen vegetables and fruits has also been proved through a study on working women. According to this study, on average, almost one hour is spent every day by working woman for preparing, serving and eating the food and cleaning up afterward when she uses frozen fruits and vegetables. But when they use fresh fruits and vegetables then they have to spend at least one hour for preparing, serving and eating each meal. Actually, they save a lot of time to reach and prepare meals with frozen ingredients than fresh ingredients.

Frozen Fruit And Vegetables Can Be Used Flexibly

You can use frozen fruits and vegetables stocked in your freezer in different ways as necessary. You can spread them on the whole-grain toast with butter or use them as a topping on your oatmeal recipe. You can also sauté them with some garlic, herbs, and extra virgin olive oil and add some brown rice pasta or a bit of quinoa or add them in your stir fry dishes as the main ingredient to make delicious recipes of your choice very quickly. Moreover, you can use frozen ingredients throughout the year even when their season is off. Fresh fruits and vegetables, you cannot use them in their offseason, unless they are imported from elsewhere.  

Frozen Fruit And Vegetables Take More Care Of Your Health

Though buying fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to get nutrition, but it is not necessary. Nutritionists usually suggest eating 4-5 servings of vegetables and fruits every day to remain healthy.  According to a recent study, it has been proven that fruits and more vegetables and fruit are consumed by the people who buy frozen produce than those who buy fresh ones. It makes people eating frozen produce healthier than those using fresh produce as their intake of vitamins and minerals is higher.

There are a number of benefits of eating frozen vegetables and fruits, but that does not mean that you should avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

How to Freeze Bake Ahead Homemade Pies

Some traditions are passed on to you, and then there are traditions you create. A tradition I have created is organizing a Thanksgiving dinner each year for my closest friends and relatives. I have done this for the last 18 years, and I have enjoyed every Thanksgiving dinner more than the one before. It is because I have become something of an expert over the years. I understand the importance of planning and organizing things in advance.

The holiday season is around the corner, and most of you will be welcoming guests into your house. No holidays are complete without a good pie. This blog is dedicated to all those house chefs who are worried about how they will manage to make a pie while entertaining all the guests. Read on to know how you can make your life easier by freezing and baking pies in advance.

How to Freeze a Homemade Pie

If you are planning to make a homemade pie in advance and freeze it, follow these simple steps.

Pick a Fruit-Based Pie Recipe

If you are going to make and freeze pie weeks or months in advance, I recommend you to pick a fruit-based pie recipe. While fruit-based pie recipes freeze well and retain the texture and flavor of the ingredients used, custard pies become soggy and lose their flavor if frozen and stored for long. Apart from fresh fruit pies, chocolate and mince pies also freeze well. Another thing that you must remember is: always use quality ingredients if you plan to freeze the cake you are making as excellent quality ingredients do not lose their flavor over time.

Assemble and Wrap The Pie

Once you have decided on the recipe and have all the ingredients, it’s time to assemble the pie and make it ready for freezing. Take a pie pan (aluminum or disposable are recommend) and cover it with the pie crust dough. Once done, add the filling and the thickener to the bottom crust of the pie. Next, place another layer of the dough and top it with another layer of the filling. Fold the edges of the pie into whatever shape you want to give it. Once your pie is assembled, you must wrap it properly. This is the area where many people make mistakes. Before freezing, the pie must be wrapped in at least two layers of plastic wrap, and any air present between the pie and wrapping must be diffused out. Add another layer of aluminum foil wrap on top. Creating a double-layered wrapping is vital to protect your pie from any moisture present. Freeze the pie. Your frozen pie will stay good for up to three months.

Tips on How to Freeze Homemade Pie and Mistakes to Avoid

If you are planning to host a large gathering, it is a good idea to make a pie in advance and freeze it. Here are a few tips to make your pie taste good and the mistakes to avoid while freezing it.

  • It is possible to freeze both baked as well as unbaked pies. While unbaked pies stay good for up to three months, baked pies can be used for up to four months. However, pies that are first baked and frozen often lose their authentic taste. Thus, it is always a better idea to freeze an unbaked pie.
  • Remove the pie from the freezer, take off all the wrappings, and place the pie directly into the preheated oven. For best taste, line the baking dish with some egg wash and sprinkle raw sugar on the top of the pie. The egg wash will give your pie a beautiful brownish golden color, and the sugar will add to its rich flavor.
  • Depending on the kind of pie you are making, add 20 to 25 minutes to the baking time given in the recipe. Since the pie is frozen, you will have to provide it with some extra time to bake.
  • Sometimes people freeze their pie with the icing on top. If you are planning to add any icing or decorations, do not add them while freezing. The best time to add these is right before you bake your pie.

Freezing pie and storing it is any day a good idea. Many chefs do it. If you are going to freeze your pie, be careful about the ingredients you are using. Also, make sure you have wrapped your pie well, and it is guarded well against any moisture in the surrounding air.

How to freeze homemade cookies

When you freeze cookies and dough for your holiday baking, you can enjoy stress-free schedules. These come in handy during holiday periods when you need a lot of time for activities such as buy, travel, and celebrate. Our easy-to-follow steps on how to freeze cookies and cookie dough and bake later help you freeze and bake when you are in a time crunch.

1. What type of cookies to freeze?

You can freeze almost every type of cookies cutouts, slice-bake, biscotti, and drop cookies. Avoid freezing cookies such as meringues that are decorated, filled, or have a delicate structure. You should also avoid freezing cookies that are coated with chocolate. A chocolate-coated cookie tends to form a boom, which is a white-colored layer on the surface when you freeze it.

2. How to freeze cookies?

After you bake your cookies, allow them to cool completely in the room temperature. Place these cooled cookies in a single line on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. You can stack multiple layers of cookies provided they are separated by parchment or wax paper. Store the lined up cookies in a freezer friendly zip lock storage bag. Before you close the bag, squeeze out any extra air in the bag and place it in the freezer. You can also label these bags with a name and date when you have many different types of cookies to freeze.

Whenever you like to taste the cookie, grab the cookies from the freezer and place it outside the freezer for a while to get rid of the coldness in the cookies. Allow it to attain the room temperature before you eat. You can also heat the frozen cookies in a microwave in a 10-second interval. You need to avoid heating decorated cookies.

3. How to freeze a cookie dough?

It is preferable to freeze a cookie dough instead of freezing the baked cookies. Frozen cookie dough allows you to make fresh homemade soft cookies with a nice smell, any time you need it. You can place the baked cookies or roll or cut the cookie dough in paper sheets lined with wax and place them in the freezer. You need to freeze them for an hour or so until it becomes firm hard. You can then transfer the frozen unbaked cookies or cookie dough in an airtight container or storage bag and freeze it. You can label this cookie dough or cookies when you have many doughs that look similar. You can store cookies or cookie dough in the freezer for up to 6 months, provided they are wrapped and stored properly.

However, if you need to complete the entire task of baking cookies in one shot, you need to bake the cookies and freeze them.

6 mistakes to avoid when freezing cookie dough.

1. Freezing a wrong cookie dough.

You can freeze all types of cookie dough except thin and delicate cookies such as lace, Florentines, pizzelle. The doughs for these cookies have watery batters and do not freeze well, whether they are baked or unbaked. It is preferable to make fresh batters for these types of cookies.

2. Not freezing cookie dough in the right method.

Depending upon the kind of cookie dough, you need to follow a different method to freeze it.

Drop cookie doughs should be rolled into balls on a baking sheet and frozen until it is firm and transfer it to an airtight container or a freezer bag.

Slice and bake doughs should be rolled into logs, tightly wrapped in waxed sheets, and placed in the freezer.

Cut out doughs can be shaped into discs, layered one upon the other, and separated by wax sheets. You can place these stacked discs in a plastic wrap and transfer to an airtight container.

3. Freezing cookies rolled in granulated or powdered sugar.

Freezing cookies that are rolled in sugar or granules make the sugar to clump. It forms an unpleasant coating on the cookies and an eyesore. To prevent this, you can roll your cookies on powdered sugar right before you pick them to eat.

4. Not baking for additional time.

Though you can bake frozen balls of drop cookies, slice and bake and cutout cookie doughs need to be placed outside the room temperature for a short while before you bake. Colder doughs need more time to bake, and you need to allow it to bake for few more minutes than the suggested baking time. Warming the dough helps you to get better-baked cookies when you use cold doughs.

5. Not freezing doughs first.

You need to freeze your baked cookies or cookie dough until it is firm using a baking sheet wax before you transfer them to a freezer bag or an airtight container. Otherwise, it might end up in a block of stuck cookies or cookie dough when you grab them out.

6. Thawing baked cookies in the same frozen containers.

When you thaw the baked cookies in the same container, you froze them, the lingering condensation from the frozen containers deposits on cookies, and make them soggy. You need to take out frozen baked cookies containers to separate plates lined with paper towels and place them at room temperature.

These simple tips enable you to create great homemade cookies and give you a lot of time for other holiday activities. You can grab out your cookies any time you need a variety of cookies within minutes.

How to Freeze a Homemade Pie: A Guide on Freezing Homemade Pies

One of the frequently asked questions is, “Can homemade pies be frozen? Well, the appropriate answer is Yes! Pies made at home can freeze wonderfully. There are several reasons to freeze your pies; for instance, you could be preparing pies in advance for a family dinner, an upcoming holiday, or looking to store some to eat later on. Regardless of the reason, the guide below is a recipe for enthralling freezing results.

we use the same baking method and ingredients most people use at home to roast our pies. Therefore, the steps below can apply for all our pies, and those baked similarly.

Freezing

  • Make and bake your pie in using disposal/recyclable pies pans.
  • After baking the until the pie is completely done, remove the pie from the oven and cool on a rack. Please ensure that the pie cools completely before proceeding.
  • Using an airtight freezer bag or plastic wrap, wrap and seal the cooled pie.
  • Place the wrapped pie in a freezer. To freeze thoroughly may take 24 hours or a little longer to freeze the pie fully.

Cook’s Note:

  • Pies take approximately 8 hours to cool fully. Checking on cool time guidelines is essential for the best results.

Storage Half-Life

When it comes to the storage half-life, you will get different estimates on how long the frozen pies can last. However, from our vast experience, we recommend the following time limits. Note that we have estimated the shortest period. Therefore, you can leave it for quite a little longer without worrying about its safety for consumption.

  • Frozen fruit pies are best served within six months.
  • Custard based pies should be served within three months once frozen.

Defrosting and Serving

If you check various sources, two main methods can be used to defrost and serve frozen homemade pies. Both methods work exceptionally well, but we like one of the methods since it is relatively convenient.

First Defrosting Method

  • Pre-warm the oven to more than 300.
  • Remove the pie from the freezer and unwrap the pie.
  • Remove any accumulated frost common on the top side of the pie.
  • Place the frozen pie in a baking sheet and place it in the preheated oven.

The baking times vary, so verifying doneness is essential. An easy way to check whether or not a pie is ready is to insert a knife to the center, remove and feel the temperature of the knife tip using your finger. If the knife is warm, your pie is ready for consumption. That said, the various baking times include;

  • 5” pie takes between 15 to 30 minutes
  • 7” pie takes between 30 to 50 minutes
  • 10” pie takes between 40 to 70 minutes.

Let the pie cool then serve.

Second Defrosting Method

This method takes much more time compared to the first method.

  • As usual, take out the frozen pie from the freezer and leave it for at least 5 to 6 hours
  • Unlike the first method, don’t remove the plastic wraps or airtight freezer bag. Defrost the pie with the wraps on it for approximately 4 to 5 hours or to room temperature. Doing this allows condensation to occur outside the plastic wrap instead of forming on the pie’s crust.
  • Once condensed, unwrap the pie and put it on a baking sheet.
  • Place the pie to heat in the oven for 30 minutes at 300. Note that the timing applies to all pies regardless of the size.
  • Remove the pie from the oven, place on a rack, and let the pie cool and serve.

Pie Freezing Do’s and Don’ts

Freezing pies can be as simple as the guide outlines above. However, there are some things to note when freezing your pie. Below are common dos and don’ts when freezing a pie.

  • Do label the pies with descriptions and dates of placing them in the freezer.
  • Do store the pies together and with other similar foods in the freezer.
  • Do freeze pies in individual portions, which makes it easy to thaw only what you need and shortens thawing time.
  • Do leave some air between the wrapped pies, which allows air to circulate freely.
  • Don’t freeze the pies while hot. Make sure that they cool before putting them in a freezer.
  • Don’t use extra-large containers.
  • Do squeeze all the extra air from freezer bags used to wrap the pie before sealing.

There you have it. We hope this guide will help you achieve better-frozen homemade pies. Observe the dos and don’ts for better results.

How to Freeze Green Beans at Home

Do you want to know how to freeze green beans? Are you looking for the best storage option to use green beans throughout the year? Green beans are healthy and can help you to boost your digestion. However, fresh green beans are not available in all seasons. But you can store them in your freezer and use whenever you want.

Storage is easy, and you can store frozen green beans for almost a year. You might be thinking about how. Here are a few tips that can help you to store green beans in your freezer. You will have to take care of every detail, such as to pick the beans at the right time as well as following the right storage method.

How to Choose the Best Green Bean for Freezing?

For the storage, you will have to be a little choosy while picking green beans. Picking is important since if you choose wrong beans or at the wrong time, then you might not store them for long. Also, beans might lose the freshness and flavor if not chosen properly. The peak season to store green beans is from May to October. You can choose any day between these months to ensure the best outcome. In the peak seasons, yummy and fresh green beans will be available in your local store. Visit your local store and choose blemish-free, crisp, and bright-colored beans. Take extra caution to avoid the green beans with shivered ends or limp.

Make sure that these beans do not have small beans inside. Though the small beans do not affect the quality and taste of the green beans, still, these are not considered good for the storage. The size signifies that the bean is past its prime.

You will have to choose the freshest possible bean and freeze soon after picking them from the store or your garden. It is suggested to freeze on the same day. If you want to wait for some obvious reason like a busy schedule, then keep them in the freeze in the meantime.

Prep Your Freezing Containers

Your freezing container does not need much preparation. You can use jars, bags, and a freezer container to store green beans. All you need is to clean those containers and then make it completely dry. Any moisture is not suggested since it can damage the beans. After keeping green beans in the container or bag, you can simply shake them to compact beans.

How to Prep the Green Bean for Freezing

Now you have the fresh green beans and freeze containers. The next is how to prepare the beans for storage. You can consider any with or without blanching. We will discuss both the methods. To start with, use cool tap water to wash green beans. After washing, take a small handful of green beans and line up their stem ends and use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the stems. Repeat the process with the remaining beans. If required, you can trim off its tapered tail ends. As a lot of recipes need cut green beans, you can cut your beans into one-inch pieces for easy storage. If you want, you can store whole green beans depending on your preference. Both ways will offer the same benefit.

Wash your beans with water again to get rid of any dirt and then dry beans completely. Proper drying up is important to ensure better storage. You can use a paper or cloth towel to dry green beans completely. The drying up process will not take more than half an hour.

Now pack the beans into the jars, bags, or container. Seal the container following the manufacturer instructions and press hard to get rid of all the possible air. You can also use a freezer tape around the container lid edges to get a tight seal.

The above method will enable you to freeze green beans with blanching. Some suggested blanching for more effective storage. Blanching will demand one more step. You will have to boil beans in water for a few minutes and then dunk them in ice water. It will help green beans to maintain the flavor and color during freezing.

For boiling, get water in a large pot and boil them. Place beans into the boiling water for two to four minutes depending on the size of beans. While using large beans, you can boil for four minutes and small beans, the time should not exceed two minutes. Soon after, you will have to cool the beans quickly in rice water. Once the beans are cooled down, drain them and follow the same process for the storage. Pack the drained green beans into containers, bags, or jars. Shake the container to compact green beans and add more beans while leaving 1-2 inch headspace.

Package and Label Your Green Bean

After packing the beans in the container by following the above instructions, the next step is to label those containers. You will have to label each container with the content name, packaging date, and amount. It is important to mention all the details in the labeling. Otherwise, you might forget the packaging date and might not use them at the right time.

How to Freeze Your Green Beans

If you are using bags, then rearrange your bags in such a way that you can lay them as flat as possible. This will ensure quick freezing and will preserve the original flavor and taste of your beans as well. Lay the containers or bag flat to the freezer in the batches. Besides, leave some space near the container so that air can easily circulate. Now, your beans are safe in the freezer. You can use them whenever you want for cooking.

How Long Can Frozen Green Beans Be Stored?

As stated earlier, frozen green beans can be stored for a long time up to a year if you follow the right freezing method or choose the right green beans. You can store frozen beans around nine months while using a conventional freezer. If you want to store even longer, then you can use a deep freeze appliance.

How to Grow Runner Beans

How to Grow Runner Beans

Actually, runner beans are very easy to grow. Summer is incomplete without the runner beans for many people. Many people love to garden as a favorite pastime.  

Runner beans are very nutritious and healthy. Runner beans are good to eat and can be used and preserved in all the ways you can use string beans. If you wish to use runner beans as green or string beans the younger you pick them the more tender they will be.

The seeds from the older pods can be harvested and eaten or dried stored for later use. This is an opportunity most American gardeners miss, but will to the store and by Cannellini beans.  Cannellini beans, as it happens, are variety runner beans.

I once had a friend (knowing that I would not mind) who would come over and raid my runner beans when it looked like I was too busy with the day job to keep up with the harvest.  Both our families cook and use runner beans like lima (Butter Beans). 

 It does not need a proper place to grow up. It can grow among flowers and all. It can reduce the risk of heart disease. It can also prevent the chance of colon cancer. It can control diabetes. It can boost your immunity. For the good eye health, runner beans are very good. It can also help you to improve the bone health of your body. This vegetable helps you to keep your stomach working properly.

Runner beans can grow in a container. The container can dry out easily. So, you need to water them frequently. According to the size of the container, a very small amount of runner beans can grow in a single container. Pots can also restrict the growth of the plant.

Direct Sowing:

  • Direct sowing is an easy process. It can be done at any time of the whole year. This process means to plant the seeds directly into the soil of the garden. There are actually three main parts of direct sowing such as preparation, sowing the seeds and taking care of it.

Soil Preparation:

  • It is important to set the bed for the seed. It should be done before a couple of weeks of sowing.
  • Amend the soil means to add valuable and vital nutrients to the soil. The soil analysis is very much needed in this stage.
  • After the amending part, you will have to wait for a few days for the weeds to sprout and after that remove them with the use of a small hoe.
  • Then layout your bed.

Sowing the seeds:

  • Before doing the direct sowing, you will have to decide how the vegetables will grow and use for. You should have to give water to the soil before the day of planting. After the sowing procedure, you will have to provide the seeds with enough water to drink. Seeds basically need three valuable things to germinate such as moisture, light, and temperature.

Care:

  • Caring for runner beans after sowing consists of weeding the bed, re-sowing and weather protection for the crops and plants.

Growing seedlings:

  • Seedlings need more micro-climate to grow than older plants. If you are planning to grow seedlings of runner beans, then you will have to take some special care.

Transplanting seedling:

  • To transplant seedlings, you will have to fill each new container with the moist planting mix. You will have to loosen the soil around the seedlings by using a kitchen fork. You will have to take special care of handling the seedlings by their leaves to avoid the damage.

Succession Planting:

  • Succession planting is a very efficient way to grow runner beans and other vegetables. The methods of succession planting increase the availability of crops.
  • Insect and Pest Control: For any kinds of sowing, it is essential to do insect and pest control. By controlling the pest, you can ensure the growth of the crops. You can use many DIY methods to control the pest and insects. You can also hire pest control to remove and kill them.
  • Controlling Diseases and Problems: By using proper medicines, you can control diseases and other problems related to this. Fungi used to take their energy from the growing plant. These fungi are mainly responsible for the damage of the crops and plants. You will have to identify the problem that causes hamper to your plant and solve it accordingly.

When are bush beans ready to harvest ripe?

  • Generally, bush beans should be ready in 50-55 days. The maturity time depends on the variety of its growing.
  • Green beans: Green beans are tender and tasty. Your plants provide a continual production all the seasons.
  • Dry beans:
  • These beans are ready for harvest in 70-120 days. Dry beans are actually growing to full maturity.

Harvesting:

  • Weeding, watering, and mulching are essential until the runner beans are harvested. You will have to apply an occasional liquid to fertilizer feed them. This procedure will begin in the mid-summer and continue to the first frosts. Runner beans actually crop just after the French beans. It is a very productive, beautiful and delicious vegetable to grow. You will have to pick the beans regularly to encourage future production.

Storing Runner Beans:

  • Runner beans are actually prolific. You can store it for a long time depending on the method used.
    • Blanching, then freezing the runner beans as green beans is an easy option. Once frozen runner beans can be safely stored up to nine months in an ordinary freezer, and fourteen months in a deep freeze in a vacuum-packed bag. 
    • You can keep fresh runner beans in the salad drawer of the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. You will have to use the oldest beans at first.
    • It takes a week actually to dry runner bean seeds at home, but once dry and stored the dry beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry spot, runner beans can be safely kept for up to five years, then cook much like dry lima beans.
    • Young Runner beans can also be dried as leather breeches beans (dry green beans) a heritage method, which is nearly forgotten, then rehydrated and eaten for up to two years.

Related references

How To Grow Sweet And Hot Chili Peppers

The chili pepper was developed in the Assam region of northeastern India. People around the world love the intense pleasure that this novelty pepper brings, and many Chile heads want to know how to grow the chili peppers in their own homes or gardens. With your homegrown peppers, you can enjoy them in recipes, or try your hand at making the next world’s hottest hot sauce or even brag to your friends that you grow one of the peppers on Earth. Learn more about how to grow chili peppers and General Growing Culture or requirements for chili peppers

Seedling of pepper plants in pots on a window sill
Seedling of pepper plants in pots on a window sill

Growing Seedlings

It’s great to grow your own chilies, but for many, the struggle is with germination – getting all those wholesome crops to shoot in the first place!

Luckily the answer is a simple one.

For the majority of seed varieties, you will require two main ingredients, which are warmth and moisture. Let’s take chili seeds; for example, The main reason for unsuccessful or poor germination rates of chili seeds is down to the warmth factor. You see, although you may sow your chili seeds in good soil, and keep that soil moist (but not soggy), the seed trays may be left on a windowsill or in the kitchen, where the temperature is warm during the day, but fresh at night time.

Chilli seeds need a relatively warm and consistent temperature range to germinate properly (between 27-32 degrees C), and the low nighttime temperatures caused by the heating going off means that the average temperature is low, sending mixed signals to your germinating chili seeds!

The answer is, therefore, to use a heated propagator for propagating your seeds for best results, ideally with a thermostat to allow you to control the temperature more accurately. If you don’t have a heated propagator, then the next best thing is to use your airing cupboard where the average temperature is much higher, and once seedlings start to emerge, then you can transfer your seedlings to a sunny window sill so that they get lots of light, which is essential to growing healthy and robust plants.

If you can get a heated propagator with a lid that is ideal, as many seed varieties also like a bit of humidity to germinate successfully, this means you can also water your seed trays less often as more moisture is retained.

So, now all you have to do is to follow these simple tips to start getting better results germinating your chili seeds and solve any poor germination problems you may be getting.

And if you want a headstart and are looking for an easy and consistent way to germinate your seeds, then a propagation kit can also be ideal as they contain special growing media that optimizes the moisture/air ratio, which is another factor that can affect germination, thus eliminating guesswork.

Grasshopper
Grasshopper

Insect And Pest Control

Using insecticides and pesticides does work on the chili garden, but it’s not the only way to do it. Natural garden pest control is another option to be considered. One of the main benefits is that once set up; there is a system there that can take of pest problems.

The first step is prevention. Don’t have conditions in the garden that will attract pests in the first place. You don’t want wet leaves and plants. It’s better to water the soil for most plants than the actual plant itself. Get rid of plants that already are sick or insect prone. Leaving this only cause more problems for the other plants around them.

Don’t have conditions like piles of wood next to your garden as it can attract more pests. Use beneficial insects. Beneficial insects are insects that are good for the garden. They prey on the pests that ruin your plants. These would include praying mantis, lacewings, ladybugs, and others.

Each of these beneficial insects is attracted to the garden because of individual plants. Even if it’s purely a chili garden, flowers can be planted as well to have a full system of beneficial insects.

There are chili plants that can get rid of certain pests. Mint, for example, is not something most pests enjoy. If you have a pest problem, see if that specific pest doesn’t like a particular crop and use those in the garden as well.

Transplanting Pepper Seedling
Transplanting Pepper Seedling

Transplanting

You should do chili peppers transplanting as soon as the seedlings are big enough to handle, from the small pots into bigger pots in which they will remain until they can be transplanted into the garden again.

Although the chili transplanting process is a good option f, it has a more significant effect on other plants. Some seedlings fail to undergo transplantation process, as the process tends to break or bend or their small roots,

Several types of chill peppers do not transplant well from the seed-bed to the garden plot. In some cases, you can use planting pots that can be directly placed in the garden, offering an opportunity to start the plants indoors, without having to transplant them later. Quart berry boxes, Peat pots or pint work well for this use.

Another way is to cut the sod into six” square pieces about two inches thick. Put them, root side up, and plant the chili plant, in hills directly on the loam soil, supported by the grassroots.

Wait for the weather to warms, and “transplant” these seedlings, merely place the berry boxes, sod squares or peat pots into the prepared hole. You can trim the bottom of the tables if so desired.

Controlling Diseases and Problems

You may be faced with many chili gardening problems on your way to set up your own chili garden. These problems may vary from chili diseases and pest attacks to the failure of the plants to bear fruit. We will see some of the common chili gardening problems and its causes.

One of the problems is that after sowing the seedlings don’t come out. This might be because it did not have enough time for germination and you will have to wait for some time for the sprout to emerge. Very cold temperatures, too dry or wet soil may also prevent the seedlings from coming out. The seeds have to be sown at the right temperature, and sufficient water has to be provided to avoid drying or waterlogged. If the birds ate the seeds, you would have to replant and protect the bed with the net. Another reason for the seedling not coming out may be that the seed is too old. Then the only option is replanting.

Dry soil and over-watering may cause most of the chili gardening problems. Seedlings may wilt, and the young plants die because of this. It causes the rotting of stem and roots. The solution is proper and adequate watering. Fertilizer burns, root maggots, and cut-worms may also cause the young plant to die. Fertilizer burns could be avoided by adhering to fertilizer instructions. Cutworms could be avoided by keeping the garden clean. The laying of eggs by flies and moths has to be prevented by using covers.

Plants may wilt because of fungal diseases. The best way to avoid wilt is by using disease-resistant seeds. Too much fertilizer is also not good for plants. This will make plants weak and spindly. Plants won’t grow properly if there is not enough light and if the plants are too crowded. Sometimes the plants may grow slowly, and the leaves will have a light green color. This is because of improper photosynthesis. This is caused by the absence of adequate sunlight or crowding of plants; cool weather, deficiency of fertilizers or over-watering.

Mineral deficiency and improper sunlight will make the leaves yellow, but they won’t wilt. Sometimes the leaves will have yellow and green patches in a mosaic pattern, and the plants get stunted. This is a virus disease, and the infected plants have to be destroyed. Sometimes fertilizer burns may cause symptoms similar to viral diseases. Before destroying the plants make sure that the stunted growth and patches have not resulted from fertilizer burn. Sometimes the leaves will have holes. This can be caused by winds and insects. If it is insects, use organic insecticides, and for wind, barriers have to be provided.

At the end of the plants won’t bear fruit all your efforts will be wasted. Plants won’t bear fruit because of the extreme hot and cold climates; or excess of nitrogen. The seedlings have to be planted in such a way that it bears fruit before the extreme climates.

When are chilies ripe?

Usually, a lot depends on the type of chili. As a general rule chilies turn from green to red while they ripen. Most of the chilies are edible in the green stage and the taste and heat increase as they become redder.

Chopped peppers ready for use
Chopped peppers ready for use


Harvesting


Mature chili peppers are easily plucked from the parent plant, when your peppers are not coming with ease, wait for a little. Harvesting increase the yield because after that the pepper is replaced by month new chili


When collecting the seeds, cut or break the pod, leaving the stem and core intact. Hold the stem; scrape out the seeds with a blunt knife.

Frozen pepper in a plastic bag
Frozen pepper in a plastic bag

Storing

To preserve or store the peppers, keep them in the refrigerator, they can stay for a week. Roast, peel, store in your freezer for not less than six months of use. Finally, ca or pickle your chili to use up to 2 years.

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