Start small but smart, and you’ll soon taste the sweet fruit of your labour

While many people wonder whether it’s a fruit or a vegetable, everyone agrees on this: sweet peppers are bursting with pure natural goodness and flavour. For this reason, raw or cooked, we generously use sweet peppers in salads, appetisers and meat and vegetable dishes.

For the record, sweet peppers, also commonly known as “bell peppers” or “green peppers”, are indeed fruit. Plus, they have three times more vitamin C than an orange! And much like our Rainbow Nation, they also come in all shapes, sizes and colours, with the most common ones being red, yellow and green.

Fruit or vegetable, yellow or green, us South Africans love them, and we want them in our food all year round. This constant demand means that growing peppers could indeed become a very lucrative business. Just in 2019, for example, we produced more than 56 000 tonnes of peppers in the country, and ever since, it has remained fairly consistent. 

Luckily, you don’t have to start on a big scale to become a producer of peppers. Green peppers are easy to grow, they thrive in dry, sunny weather, and they can even be planted in pots or indoors. This, of course, depends on the type of pepper, but on average, they take about 60-90 days to bear fruit.

One bell pepper plant generally produces between six to nine fruit (although it can be more), and smaller types of peppers may even produce dozens. How big or small you would like to go when you start growing peppers is therefore entirely up to you. However, it is not necessary to go big right away to become a successful farmer of green peppers.

Sandile Feni from Prestige Farming in the Delmas area is a leading commercial farmer who produces and supplies peppers and spring onions to the local Pick n Pay and Food Lovers Market, as well as the wholesale produce markets in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni. He advises anyone who is interested in going that route to start small, but start smart.

“You have to first learn the rules of the game, before you can go all out,” says Sandile. Part of “starting smart” means to also take all the expert help you can get. Some of this help for him came in the form of GuanoBoost, which basically is a complete vitamin for plants and helps them grow healthier and at an efficient rate – while also keeping the soil healthy. 

When he first started using GuanoBoost, Sandile saw a visible improvement in the quality and condition of his vegetables within seven days. It is easy to use and super affordable. GuanoBoost is also totally natural with no harmful chemicals, making it safe for kids and pets.

GuanoBoost is thus for anyone who wishes to get the most out of their crops, whether you’re a bigger farmer or a niche farmer who grows produce in your backyard garden. It is conveniently available from any of the Laeveld Agrochem distribution centres in the country, who are also on standby to provide on-site technical advice and support. For more information, go to www.laeveld.co.za.