GARDENING: Shielding your peppers from aphids

editorial image
Have your say

SWEET peppers I do like, especially roasted so their skins turn a bit black with other Mediterranean vegetables.

Unfortunately, peppers are one of those crops, like basil, that quickly fall victim to aphids, especially in an enclosed environment like my conservatory.

Everything else will be untouched, but peppers plants will be deformed, twisted horrors.

This year, I decided to try an early Russian variety, developed in the mid-1990s, from Plant World Seeds (£1.80/20 seeds).

The wedge-shaped fruit are about four inches long and ripen from yellow through orange to red even during cloudy summers.

They were sown, along with the chillies, at the same time as the tomatoes (early March) - they do need some heat to germinate and good light conditions.

To ward off the inevitable greenfly, I planted a garlic clove with every plant - and it really seems to be working.

There was a minor attack earlier in the season, but the peppers draw up the insecticidal properties of the garlic, so whatever sucks the sap doesn’t last long. Of course, it’s perfectly safe and organic.

The small plants are full of small yellow fruit at the minute – usually, I’m waiting for peppers to ripen in October. I thoroughly recommend (so far)!