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Bell Peppers - what gives?

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Roseinarosecity
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Post  moswell 2/24/2012, 9:26 am

@Lavender Debs wrote:

Disclaimer: I do not live in a pepper friendly area. Take what I say with a grain of salt (or dash of cayenne)

Mature peppers are ripe and fully colored out peppers. A green pepper is an immature pepper that may be full size.

Anything you buy from Lowes or Home Depot is shipped from a central location. Your plant might do awesome in Texas or Florida, but New Jersey might not have enough long hot days to bring that same pepper to maturity. This is why I like to grow from seed or from a local nursery (or farmers market) who sell sprouts for plants that are good for your local climate.

Debs.....who is still seduced by the nursery plants at the local big box store once in a while.

Smile - that I understand. This year, now that I've found a local nursery, I will be purchasing my seedlings from them.
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Post  walshevak 2/24/2012, 9:39 am

My "local nursery" sells the same brand as Lowes at a higher price.Sad

But there is a commercial grower, Leary Plant Farm, about 40 miles away. Hmmm maybe it's time for a field trip.

Kay

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Post  Lavender Debs 2/24/2012, 9:55 am

@walshevak wrote:My "local nursery" sells the same brand as Lowes at a higher price.Sad ...snip....
Kay

Good point.
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Post  jpatti 2/24/2012, 10:09 am

If you want to order based on where you are... Territorial is in the Pacific Northwest, Johnny's in New England, Southern Seed Exposure in the mid-Atlantic, Baker's Creek in MO (but also has a different store in CA and one in CT too).

Course those are seeds, not seedlings (though Territorial does do seedlings).
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Post  quiltbea 2/24/2012, 10:51 am

I'm in Maine so our growing season is short. Last year I tried a couple of Feherozon peppers in pots. I could bring them inside if the weather was cooler. They were able to get to full harvest growth while all my others had to be picked in their early states. That's why this year I'm putting more in pots and also adding eggplant to the pots since they are even more particular about heat than peppers.

Bell Peppers - what gives? - Page 2 08-20-11

Tangerine Dream just starting to get orange 8/20 last year.

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Above: Sweet banana and Feherozon Dwarf on 7/31
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Post  shannon1 2/25/2012, 4:16 am

It really does take sweet peppers a long time to ripen, no matter where you buy them. It is a lesson in delayed gradifacation.
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Post  AvaDGardner 3/19/2012, 12:45 am

WELL....I did get my seeds planted. I had a flury of a planting day, and got a bit out of control. Instead of succession planting my bell seeds, they went into their three squares at the same time.

I guess I can clip off the seedlings from two of the boxes and throw them into a salad. I think I read that each plant should produce 4 (does that sound right?).

I just bought 4 deep ruby red peppers at the store, nice large size, very square. Can't wait to stuff them while we still have this chill in the air! (I do try to avoid the oven when it's hot.)

~~~

Thanks for all the great seed info! I've been very pleased with the details by Seeds of Change (also a producer of foods for the HF market), and I love Botanical Interests' details, although I wish they'd put "height" on the outside of the pkg (the print on both inside and out.

Last week was the annual natural products trade show (ExpoWest.com). MUCH to my surprise there was a "No GMO" stand in the lobby. It was very cute too, made from pallets. I joined their mailing list, but it's a little soon to expect an email (the Expo get over 10k visitors). Before I saw them I had begun to notice a number of 'no gmo' seals on the seed packs.

Way cool.
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Post  Roseinarosecity 7/24/2012, 3:09 pm

This is the first time ever that I have had success with my bell peppers. I removed the first blooms to allow the plants to get stronger and that resulted in some nice market size bells early in the season. The next set of bells were smaller. Now in late July I am finding my staking was not enough and I am having to protect the plants with shade. How much longer is the Southern California season?

Since my staking was not enough, one nice plant toppled over and appears stressed as if it needs water. I raised it back up but after 4 days it still appears stressed. They other 4 plants around it are all fine, no toppling but they are producing smaller bells. I did add compost to mulch when we started to get 90 degree days. Its just this one next to the edge of the raised bed. Maybe it's just had it. The bell peppers appear not to be getting bigger. Is that normal? Are my bells suppose to get smaller as the season ends?
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Post  CapeCoddess 7/24/2012, 4:07 pm

I have poopy peppers. The flowers keeping falling off on all 6 plants and I got nuttin'. I keep watering them tho, forever patiently hopeful. hyper

My 6 jalapeno plants have 2 pea sized peppers between them all so far. Maybe they will be ready about the same time as my first red tomato (if any of these tomatoes are planning on turning red), and my 2nd cutting of chives, so I can make salsa.

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Post  southern gardener 7/24/2012, 7:33 pm

@Roseinarosecity wrote:This is the first time ever that I have had success with my bell peppers. I removed the first blooms to allow the plants to get stronger and that resulted in some nice market size bells early in the season. The next set of bells were smaller. Now in late July I am finding my staking was not enough and I am having to protect the plants with shade. How much longer is the Southern California season?

Since my staking was not enough, one nice plant toppled over and appears stressed as if it needs water. I raised it back up but after 4 days it still appears stressed. They other 4 plants around it are all fine, no toppling but they are producing smaller bells. I did add compost to mulch when we started to get 90 degree days. Its just this one next to the edge of the raised bed. Maybe it's just had it. The bell peppers appear not to be getting bigger. Is that normal? Are my bells suppose to get smaller as the season ends?

I'm not sure how long the season is in So. Calif, that's where we live too. The fields around us are growing peppers, and they look awesome. Probably 2-3 feet tall, and loaded with peppers. We have a few puny plants with a few puny peppers, so I don't know Sad There is one small plant with F1 peppers I think it is, and it is full of peppers, but the other 11 are pretty much just sitting there, like when we planted them from 6 packs? Who knows? Let me know if you find out what they need. We fed them, epsom salts, fertilizer, etc etc...
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Post  AvaDGardner 7/24/2012, 7:42 pm

Rose, are you new to SoCal? Our heat runs through October if the Santa Anas kick up, and that depends on the ocean currents. We're moving to El Nino (or just coming out of it?) and one is extreme and the other is mild.

Oh CAPE!!!!
@CapeCoddess wrote:I have poopy peppers. The flowers keeping falling off on all 6 plants and I got nuttin'. I keep watering them tho, forever patiently hopeful. hyper

My 6 jalapeno plants have 2 pea sized peppers between them all so far. Maybe they will be ready about the same time as my first red tomato (if any of these tomatoes are planning on turning red), and my 2nd cutting of chives, so I can make salsa.

CC

Love your name! Love your description! rofl Are you growing in earth or MM?

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Post  Roseinarosecity 7/24/2012, 8:53 pm

Yes, Ava, I am in Southern California, so I'm thinking our 100 degree days are coming soon. So far we have had some 90's but always with relief within days in the 80's. I have not had blossom drop but it's my understanding that the blossoms will drop or not form if there are high 90's. My one and only droopy pepper plant tipped over so I propped it up with stakes but I'm afraid the root system may have been jeopardized since it's still droopy. So if the pepper season continues until October I should keep the plant and hope it recovers?

I found this info about the root systems:
http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/010137veg.roots/010137ch28.html
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Post  elliephant 7/25/2012, 9:48 am

I've been amazed by my peppers this year. Usually I've not had much luck with bell peppers and I've blamed it on the heat. We get into the mid 90s during the day and mid 70s during the night by May and don't get out of it until Sep if we get a good rainy season and Oct if we don't. But this year we have had plenty of 100 degree days and my peppers are STILL producing. I couldn't believe it when I noticed 4 new ones the other day on my healthiest plant. I've already harvested at least a dozen from that one plant!
My first year I only got 2-3 small peppers from 8 plants. One difference I can point to is the drip irrigation, which is really helping the watering situation. Another is adding bone meal to each square.

ETA: Oh, I forgot to mention that the peppers ARE getting much smaller as the season has gone on. I'm thinking of pruning them way back and topdressing with blood and bone meal or something, as we shouldn't get a freeze until Dec at the earliest, and most likely not until Jan.
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Post  Roseinarosecity 7/25/2012, 11:26 am

I'm not new to Southern California; I'm new to Bell Peppers. I'm amazed I was able to get market size bells for the very first time in my gardening experience, but I credit it to using Mel's Mix for the first time growing them but my second year in square-foot gardening.

Elliephant, isn't topdressing with bone and blood meal fertilizing to encourage leafs? And isn't pruning going to expose the bells to sun-scorching? So is it normal to be getting smaller bells as the season progresses? I have only been adding compost every two weeks.
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Post  CapeCoddess 7/25/2012, 2:03 pm

@AvaDGardner wrote:
Love your name! Love your description! rofl Are you growing in earth or MM?

Ava

THanks, Ava. I'm growing in MM for 3 bell peps and all 6 jalapenos, and in who knows what the other 3 bells are growing in as they are in a pot. It's probably Fafard or straight compost. But all the bells are misbehaving. No Maybe it's just something that doesn't grow well on the Cape or maybe they just need alot more time. I'll leave them alone and wait.

CC
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Post  elliephant 7/25/2012, 4:07 pm

@Roseinarosecity wrote:I'm not new to Southern California; I'm new to Bell Peppers. I'm amazed I was able to get market size bells for the very first time in my gardening experience, but I credit it to using Mel's Mix for the first time growing them but my second year in square-foot gardening.

Elliephant, isn't topdressing with bone and blood meal fertilizing to encourage leafs? And isn't pruning going to expose the bells to sun-scorching? So is it normal to be getting smaller bells as the season progresses? I have only been adding compost every two weeks.

The bone meal will help with the fruits and the blood meal with help with the leaves, if I understand correctly. I'm just thinking that since my season is so extremely long that I'll cut them way back and let them kind of start over with a nutrition boost, just to see if I can get big peppers again. I've heard of people doing that with tomatoes. I don't know that it'll work, but I've got enough plants to try it with a couple and compare.
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Post  Roseinarosecity 7/26/2012, 12:33 am

@elliephant wrote:The bone meal will help with the fruits and the blood meal with help with the leaves, if I understand correctly. I'm just thinking that since my season is so extremely long that I'll cut them way back and let them kind of start over with a nutrition boost, just to see if I can get big peppers again. I've heard of people doing that with tomatoes. I don't know that it'll work, but I've got enough plants to try it with a couple and compare.

Elliephant, how are you with a camera? Do you think you could take before and after pictures? If you document it and you're successful, we could all follow your method and we could all get more and bigger peppers.


Last edited by camprn on 7/26/2012, 12:02 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : corrected quotation box)
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Post  camprn 7/26/2012, 12:11 pm

@elliephant wrote:
@Roseinarosecity wrote:I'm not new to Southern California; I'm new to Bell Peppers. I'm amazed I was able to get market size bells for the very first time in my gardening experience, but I credit it to using Mel's Mix for the first time growing them but my second year in square-foot gardening.

Elliephant, isn't topdressing with bone and blood meal fertilizing to encourage leafs? And isn't pruning going to expose the bells to sun-scorching? So is it normal to be getting smaller bells as the season progresses? I have only been adding compost every two weeks.


The bone meal will help with the fruits and the blood meal with help with the leaves, if I understand correctly. I'm just thinking that since my season is so extremely long that I'll cut them way back and let them kind of start over with a nutrition boost, just to see if I can get big peppers again. I've heard of people doing that with tomatoes. I don't know that it'll work, but I've got enough plants to try it with a couple and compare.
The term topdressing usually is in regard to adding some type of fertilizing element, a layer of compost to the top of the garden soil or any other amendments.
Dried blood adds quick nitrogen, which is needed for leaf growth. Add too much and you get more foliage than fruits. Bone meal adds primarily phosphorus to the soil and is required for good root growth.

I have a Serrano pepper that I potted up at the end of last season and overwintered in the house. When I took it out to the garden this spring, I cut it back and it really bushed out and has been prolific with blooms and peppers. It has done remarkably well.

If the plant in question is just so large and unmanageable, cutting it back smaller than you want it will in turn allow for new, bushier growth and will give you more peppers. Beware of overdoing the fertilizer. Wink Good luck!

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Post  hruten 7/26/2012, 3:01 pm

Hey my peppers did that. Something was munching on my peppers and had pretty much stripped the lower leaves. I finally got around to protecting them a couple weeks ago and the plants look better than they have all year. Much bushier and stronger after all the munching.
Does this mean I have to say thank you to the neigboring rodents? Shocked
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Post  CapeCoddess 7/26/2012, 3:11 pm

@hruten wrote: I finally got around to protecting them a couple weeks ago and the plants look better than they have all year.

hruten, what did you do to protect them?
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Post  hruten 7/26/2012, 3:55 pm

I don't have a good picture of before, but this other pitiful pepper looks pretty much like before
Bell Peppers - what gives? - Page 2 100_1317
And this is the after shot. They are just in 12 inch pots so I slid an empty wall-o-water around it. It seems my muncher is pretty lazy, since it's only a 6-12" barrier. I also thought about turning the old tomato cage upside down and wrapping the bottom part with burlap or tulle.
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Post  Roseinarosecity 7/26/2012, 5:17 pm

I finally got around to taking a picture of my droopy pepper plant. TOP VIEW:
Bell Peppers - what gives? - Page 2 Droopy10

The plants around it are also bell peppers. Underneath the droopy plant I added a plastic container with a couple of punched holes to allow a slow drip. Maybe I'll trim it back and remove the small bells which are starting to look wrinkled. The poles sticky out are old sunflower stalks that I am using to prop up the plant. The green fencing wasn't strong enough to hold the plant.
SIDE VIEW:
Bell Peppers - what gives? - Page 2 Bellpe10
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Post  elliephant 7/30/2012, 11:12 am

@elliephant wrote:I've been amazed by my peppers this year. Usually I've not had much luck with bell peppers and I've blamed it on the heat. We get into the mid 90s during the day and mid 70s during the night by May and don't get out of it until Sep if we get a good rainy season and Oct if we don't. But this year we have had plenty of 100 degree days and my peppers are STILL producing. I couldn't believe it when I noticed 4 new ones the other day on my healthiest plant. I've already harvested at least a dozen from that one plant!
My first year I only got 2-3 small peppers from 8 plants. One difference I can point to is the drip irrigation, which is really helping the watering situation. Another is adding bone meal to each square.

ETA: Oh, I forgot to mention that the peppers ARE getting much smaller as the season has gone on. I'm thinking of pruning them way back and topdressing with blood and bone meal or something, as we shouldn't get a freeze until Dec at the earliest, and most likely not until Jan.

Oops, it wasn't bone meal...that was the turnips. It was greensand.
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Post  elliephant 8/11/2012, 7:29 pm

Trying an experiment. It's time to put in fall peppers here, but my spring ones are in good shape still, just overgrown, which isn't so good as the plants are brittle. So I tried pruning this one down to just an 18 inch or so stick...not a single leaf. Look at the new growth! So good so far!

Bell Peppers - what gives? - Page 2 Img_3310
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Post  camprn 8/11/2012, 7:47 pm

@elliephant wrote:Trying an experiment. It's time to put in fall peppers here, but my spring ones are in good shape still, just overgrown, which isn't so good as the plants are brittle. So I tried pruning this one down to just an 18 inch or so stick...not a single leaf. Look at the new growth! So good so far!

Bell Peppers - what gives? - Page 2 Img_3310
Peppers are wonderful like that! Very Happy

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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