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Keeping capsicum and chilli plants over winter

I know, I know, it’s a bit late for this! I have been meaning to get to it for weeks, but something always crops up. But even though it is starting to feel a little more like spring now – we have had 4 days of sun in a row, and I had to do some mowing, I thought I would review this anyway to keep in mind for next year if you get a good crop this summer. 

Here are a few tips to help capsicums and chillis survive winter so they burst forth with vigour in spring.

Prune. Before winter, to avoid disease and encourage growth, trim the plant and remove dead and unhealthy branches.

Protect. Cover them with something like a hot house. We use our greenhouses frame, which can be placed in the garden bed over the plant and is ideal to protect the plants from extreme weather – they are very sensitive to frost. Or if they are in pots, you can move them to a sunny location indoors.

Reduce watering. Only water when the soil is dry. Remember the plants are dormant, so they don’t need much.

Look for pests. Inspect the plants regularly and take action as needed.

Don’t fertilize. Again, they are dormant, and you don’t want to over stimulate them.

Don’t prune. If you do this could weaken the structure and expose the plant to disease.

You never know what nature will throw the plants way, but with these few steps you could get 2- 4 years activity from a plant.