By Vina Medenilla
Long chili (Capsicum annuum), also referred to as siling haba or siling panigang, is extensively grown in the Philippines. It is rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber. This crop is suitable to grow in sandy loam or clay loam soil with pH levels 5.5 to 6.8.
Follow these steps to learn how to grow long chili from seed:
Prepare the soil media which can be a mixture of vermicast, carbonized rice hull (CRH), and compost.
In one liter of water, mix fermented plant juice (FPJ) and pour this into the growing medium. To test the soil moisture, perform a ball squeeze test by getting a handful of the soil and squeezing it. The soil must not be too soggy or dry.
After getting the right consistency, fill the seedling tray with the medium. Sow one chili seed in each tray hole. Slightly cover the seeds with soil. Set the tray aside in a shaded area.
Caring and harvest
Water the young chili plants every morning. Avoid watering in the afternoon and be careful not to overwater to avoid soil-borne fungal diseases. To prevent soil-borne diseases, allow the soil to dry before watering again.
Transplant the seedlings when at least three to four true leaves emerge.
Mix one tablespoon of fermented fruit juice in one liter of water and spray it on the plants twice a week to fight nutrient deficiency. This can also help promote the flowering and fruiting of chili plants.
For pests like spider mites, place the chili plants in a shady spot and use homemade natural repellents.
Regularly pruning dead leaves also allows the fruits to get all the nutrients that they need.
In just two months after transplanting, chili peppers will start to mature and will likely be ready for harvest.
For more information, contact the farmers’ contact center at 09209462474.
The procedure was demonstrated in AgriTalk’s 2 Easy Learning Video Series that presents instructional guides on organic fertilizers and pesticides, urban agriculture technologies, and the production of fast-growing crops. The online series is made possible in partnership with the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Center and Manila Bulletin’s Agriculture Online.