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Capsicum seeks tomato for friendship and more

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Capsicum seeks tomato for friendship and more

By Tod Palenski, Awapuni Nurseries

If you followed my advice and planted tomatoes last month, it's time to play matchmaker and introduce them to the trusty capsicum.

It's another summer favourite of mine - light, fresh and full of vitamin C. The two summer plants grow well together where it's sunny and dry, and out of the wind.

You'll be pleased to know capsicums don't need a lot of love and attention. They can actually grow in quite confined spaces and thrive with little watering.

For easy access, or if you don't have a proper garden, why not grow your capsicums in terracotta pots on the deck? The brightly coloured fruit - red, yellow and green - looks fantastic against the dusky, desert red of the pots.

And, if you want to get the kids in on the action, get them to paint a pot and help you with the planting. You can bet they won't be picking the pepper off their pizza after all that fun.

If you're a fan of hot and spicy fare, keep in mind they also grow well with chillies, as the two plants develop in the same way. And, when they're both done, throw them into a guacamole for a tasty snack.

So, get down to your local Bunnings, The Warehouse or supermarket and pick up some capsicum seedlings.

Or head to our online shop at www.awapuni.co.nz and get the seedlings delivered straight to your door. Purchase six or more items and get free delivery to a non-rural address or pay just $4 for delivery to a rural address.

Once you've found the perfect spot for planting, increase the quality of your soil by mixing in compost.

And if you want to give your seedlings a really good head start, mix a general fertiliser, such as nitrophoska blue, into the soil prior to planting. This will encourage growth and ensure bountiful capsicums come harvest.

Like courgettes, capsicums take around 12 weeks to cultivate. However, they're a bit like tomatoes - you have to focus on growing the plant first before you see any action on the fruit front.

Lastly, surprisingly, capsicums are quite tasty to slugs - so be sure to put our some slug bait.

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