Three important micro nutrients have a very beneficial effect on peppers, and all of them are contained in common household items you may already have in your cupboards.

• Sulfur - in matches. Before you transplant your baby pepper plants into the container, tear the cardboard cover from a book of matches, leaving the bunch of matches intact. Dig the hole for the plants, lay in one match bunch per hole, cover with an inch or so of potting soil, then pop in the peppers. By the time the roots grow down to the matches, the matches’ sulfur will have dissolved into the surrounding soil. Sulfur is also found in Epsom salts; see magnesium, below.

• Calcium - in eggshells. Save a few eggshells and leave them out on the counter a few days until they are thoroughly dry, then crush them (place the shells inside a plastic bag and run over it with a rolling pin). Place a spoonful in the bottom of each pepper’s planting hole.

• Magnesium - in Epsom salts. (Which is magnesium sulfate, and therefore also a source of sulfur.) Mix a bit of salts into plain water and spray the solution on the plants when blossoms begin to appear.

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