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Thursday, August 22, 2013 | Latest audio lessons → VOA Learning English

In the Garden: Growing Chillies



From VOA Learning English, this is the Agriculture Report.

Some people say eating hot chili peppers can help you breathe easier if you have a cold. Others believe that chilies give you more energy. All we know is that people have been growing chilies for centuries. And there are plenty of different kinds of chili peppers to choose from. Want to spice up your meals with homegrown chilies? They need a warm climate. If you plant the seeds outside when the weather is cool, place a glass over them. That will add warmth from the sun and protect them from wind. You can also start the seeds in your home or a greenhouse.

If you plant chili peppers inside, fill an eight-centimeter pot with soil. The pot should have holes on the bottom so water can run out. Drop seeds over the surface of the container and cover with a thin layer of vermiculite. Vermiculite is a material that can hold air, water and nutrients. Then cover the top of the pot with a see-through plastic bag. Hold the bag in place with a rubber band. Place the pot in a warm area. You should take off the bag when the chilies start growing. When the plants have reached about two centimeters high, place each one in its own pot. When the roots show through the holes on the bottom of the pot, transplant each seedling into a 12 centimeter pot. When the plants are 20 centimeters high, tie the plants to a stick placed in the pot to support them. When the chili peppers are 30 centimeters high, pull off the tops with your fingers. That should get new branches to grow. When the first flowers show, give the plants some potash fertilizer. When the weather is warm, put them into five-liter pots and place them outside. Make sure they get lots of light and water. For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.