Pepper – The Black Gold
Pepper (Kurumulagu) is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, known as a peppercorn, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. When fresh and fully mature, the fruit is about 5 mm in diameter, dark red, and contains a single seed, like all drupes.
HEALTH BENIFITS OF PEPPER
- High in antioxidants. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage your cells.
- Has anti-inflammatory properties.
- May benefit your brain.
- May improve blood sugar control.
- May lower cholesterol levels.
- May have cancer-fighting properties.
- A versatile spice.
Plant them 18 to 24 inches apart in a sunny, well-drained spot. Pepper plants need at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. Mix compost or other organic matter into the soil when planting. Water immediately after planting, then regularly throughout the season.
HOW TO CARE PEPPER PLANT
Stake or cage pepper plants to avoid breakage of stem in wind or in any other circumstances. Water the plant well and keep the soil moist for better growth.
Proper fertilization must be provided and the plant must be in the sun.
Constant checking for pests and companion plants must be done, and proper action must be taken
- Apply about 30 percent of the nitrogen as part of the pre-planting broadcast.
- Two weeks after planting, add 45 percent of the nitrogen.
- Save the last 25 percent for the final weeks as the pepper harvest is wrapping up.
A pepper plant takes four years to mature, but can be harvested for seven years afterward. You can tell that peppercorns are ready for harvest when one or two clusters of fruit on a low-hanging stem begin to turn red. Once harvested, they are dried by either the sun or a machine.