Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Green Bell Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.var.grossum)

Sweet peppers are plump, bell-shaped vegetables featuring either three or four lobes. They usually range in size from 2 to 5 inches in diameter, and 2 to 6 inches in length. Inside the thick flesh is an inner cavity with edible bitter seeds and a white spongy core. Bell peppers are not 'hot'. They contain a recessive gene that eliminates capsaicin, the compound responsible for the 'hotness' found in other peppers. They are native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America and largely cultivated in European and Asia countries. It is an evergreen perennial growing to 1m by 1m .

How to grow
The plant prefers full sun, light sandy, moist and loamy with well-drained rich soil with slightly acidic. Peppers are best started indoors, eight to ten weeks or more before the last frost date for your area. Sow the seed on the moist soil and soil temperature should be at least 20 degree Celsius. The seed usually germination in 2 weeks time. Transplant when the plant with a pair of true leaves to individual pot or ground. Space 18-24 inches apart, in rows 24 to 36 inches apart.

Maturity info
Approximately 80 to 90 days.

Harvest info
Peppers can be picked as soon as they reach a size which is edible.

Nutrition info
Green peppers are a very good source of fiber, folate, and vitamin A, C & K as well as the minerals molybdenum and manganese.

Cooking info
It can be stir-fried with meat slice, stuffed with meat, eat raw with salad, baked or roasted.

Health benefit
Eating bell pepper may help prevent cancer in organ and glands lined by epithelial tissue due to its high Vitamin A content. It also help to benefit those who has liver disease, obesity, constipation, arthritis, and high blood pressure.

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