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To Grow or Not to Grow(Peppers), that is the question - Page 2 Toplef10To Grow or Not to Grow(Peppers), that is the question - Page 2 1zd3ho10

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Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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To Grow or Not to Grow(Peppers), that is the question

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Post  sanderson 2/16/2014, 3:13 pm

Boz, thanks for posting. I'm off to top my peppers!
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Post  jmsieglaff 2/16/2014, 4:38 pm

meatburner wrote:
jmsieglaff wrote:
meatburner wrote:CC, we cut our sweet peppers grown from seed back to 4 bottom leaves.  It make a huge huge difference.  The plants are way stronger, bushier and production increases dramatically.  We have a nice long growing season here (about 180 days), which may make a difference.
I'm intrigued by this--part of me thinks to give it a try, but I could see myself chickening out.  When do you prune back--after planting out or as soon as they start growing 5th and 6th true leaves?
We prune this way before planting out into the garden.  The plants have been potted up at least once and then pruned this way.  It sounds drastic but works so well.
I'm thinking I'll do two plants with pruning this year and will plant them right next to the same variety without pruning.  I'll do it on one King of the North and one Yummy pepper.  I'll plan on pinching the main stem back as soon as the 3rd and 4th true leaves reach a decent size.
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Post  Goosegirl 2/16/2014, 5:03 pm

I think I will also plant my King of the North peppers NOW so that I will have time to grow and prune them.

GG
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Post  camprn 2/16/2014, 5:25 pm

The middle box on the right are my poblano peppers about a week after planting and shortly before being pinched.
To Grow or Not to Grow(Peppers), that is the question - Page 2 00711

This is 3.5 months later. There are a lot of blooms on the plants too.
To Grow or Not to Grow(Peppers), that is the question - Page 2 01810

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Post  Kate888 2/16/2014, 6:09 pm

Wow!  Lots of responses.  Okay, you've all convinced me to give it another try.  I had started Emerald Giant from seed the last two years.  2 years ago they didn't do well inside and I learned that it was because I kept them in the basement and it was too cold, so I ended up buying starts at the garden center.  Last year, I moved them into the warmer part of the house and they grew much, much better.  I also pinched off the blooms, but I guess I'll try to pruning back method.  I also just ordered some King of the North seed.

Thanks so much everyone!
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Post  meatburner 2/16/2014, 6:24 pm

camprn, did you prune yours back after planting out?  I do that inside after they get several sets of leaves or as they start to bloom.  The main reason is they can get too big inside before transplant time and cutting back really help the main stem bulk up.   think either way would be fine.


PS:  My DW and I were discussing this and we think we stuffed, and froze over 50 pepper for us in addition to what we had fresh and gave quite a few away.  This was from 8 plants of which one produced only one pepper.  That was the first year pruning the plants this way.
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Post  boffer 2/16/2014, 8:03 pm

meatburner wrote:...we think we stuffed, and froze over 50 pepper for us in addition to what we had fresh and gave quite a few away.  This was from 8 plants of which one produced only one pepper.  That was the first year pruning the plants this way.

 praise 

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Post  meatburner 2/16/2014, 8:16 pm

To Grow or Not to Grow(Peppers), that is the question - Page 2 3170584802 .  Boffer, you know how gardening goes, we may not have enough for one meal this year.  It's the way gardening goes.  Thanks man!
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Post  camprn 2/16/2014, 9:30 pm

meatburner wrote:camprn, did you prune yours back after planting out? .
I didn't prune them. I pinched them a few weeks after setting them in the garden. What a Face 

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Post  meatburner 2/16/2014, 10:02 pm

That sounds like a good way to increase productivity and have a healthy plant as well.  Thanks.
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Post  baileyhermit 2/16/2014, 10:14 pm

YIKES! Looks like a tried and tested method, but with our short growing season in the Rockies, I will have to start plants in November/December!  Shocked  I already start them in January in the house, then out in the greenhouse in March/April. Then peppers start producing around August/September.
For those of you that tried this method, if you started from seed, and pruned them, what is the ~ time it takes before you have peppers? 5-6 months or??

I fall in the same boat as most of you, have hot peppers comin' outta my ears, but stunted or only one or two medium sized bell peppers on my plants. We are at 8500 feet.
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Post  meatburner 2/16/2014, 10:32 pm

bailey, I so respect you folk with the short growing seasons.  I bet some of the best fresh produce comes from you folk.
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Post  Boz 2/16/2014, 11:01 pm

Baileyhermit
Last year I was doing some experiments to see what affect  different percentages of Vermicompost had on seed germination, so I started two plants on Jan 5th, a little early. Prior to planting they  underwent two sessions of pruning and removal of all flowers. I think I actually had two crops of peppers last year. The plants were in 1 gallon containers prior to planting. I would post a picture but it is a pain that I don't need.

If I were you I would look for sweet peppers that do well in cooler climates. I don't know what varieties that would be.
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Post  Turan 2/16/2014, 11:03 pm

I at last finalized my garden plans and bought pepper seed. For the first time I am going to try growing a sweet pepper, Syrian 3 sided. We do not like bell peppers but the various bull horn types are pretty good. We also like Shishito peppers. Considering how hard it is to grow peppers here I hope the problems you all speak of with Bell peppers does not also go with the other kinds of sweet peppers.

Seeing Windsor Parker's and Camprn's success with over wintering peppers I have one pot of Poplano pepper dormant in the basement. So far it looks pretty good, a few green leaves but no new growth.

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Post  camprn 2/17/2014, 8:20 am

baileyhermit wrote:YIKES! Looks like a tried and tested method, but with our short growing season in the Rockies, I will have to start plants in November/December!  Shocked  I already start them in January in the house, then out in the greenhouse in March/April. Then peppers start producing around August/September.
For those of you that tried this method, if you started from seed, and pruned them, what is the ~ time it takes before you have peppers? 5-6 months or??

I fall in the same boat as most of you, have hot peppers comin' outta my ears, but stunted or only one or two medium sized bell peppers on my plants. We are at 8500 feet.
In my experience, with a short growing season, the best thing to do with the pepper plants is to pinch them a few weeks after being set out in the garden. This will make the plant bush out. THere should be no excessive pruning the first year. I only prune my pepper plants the second year, in late winter to get the plant to a manageable size and promote new growth.

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Post  Kate888 2/17/2014, 9:43 am

So what do I need to do if I choose to bring them in for the winter?  I saw what was said about pruning, but what about watering or light?  I never heard of bringing them in before.
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Post  camprn 2/17/2014, 9:55 am

Kate888 wrote:So what do I need to do if I choose to bring them in for the winter?  I saw what was said about pruning, but what about watering or light?  I never heard of bringing them in before.

What I do is just before the killing frost I will prune back the plant to about 18 inches tall, transplant it into a pot and bring it into the house. I treat it as I would my geraniums over winter, watering once (maybe twice) a week and just try to keep it alive through the cold dark of the winter. When I see the plants putting on new growth in response to the lengthening daylight hours, I cut the pepper plant back again to 8-10 inches and the allow it to grow  new foliage. Then I return the plant to the garden when the soil is above 55 degrees and all danger of frost has passed.

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Post  Turan 2/17/2014, 11:27 am

This thread has some very good links and experiences for over wintering peppers.

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t14704p15-multi-year-peppers?highlight=overwintering+peppers

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Post  Turan 5/4/2014, 4:35 pm

On April 4th I seeded 3 types of peppers and 5 types of tomatoes.  Last weekend I up potted the tomatoes and noted that 2 peppers had at last sprouted!  I have the soil blocks on a heat mat but my house is never that warm.  When I try covering with bubble wrap or some such it seems too wet and moldy.  This weekend my son came home and reminded me that last year I put the lamp from the chick brooder over the peppers I was sprouting so I rigged up a heat lamp again.  TADA! Two more sprouts this morning cheers

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Post  llama momma 5/4/2014, 5:01 pm

Way to go !!  okay
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Post  GWN 5/4/2014, 6:15 pm

TURAN thanks for bumping this thread up.... LOTS of great info here.
I learned a lot.  CAMPRN thanks for the info on bringing the plants inside, exactly what i am going to do.

One thing I do getting the peppers to sprout, is to put them on wet paper towels and then in a baggy and on top of the hot water tank.  They take longer than anything to germinate, but by doing this you bypass the need for higher temps.
One thing I learned last year was to watch the peppers closely and make certain to up pot them as soon as they quit growing, they seem quite sensitive to pot size.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 5/5/2014, 1:24 pm

I had volunteer mini red, yellow and orange bell peppers from my compost (we bought the Costco bagged variety).  They produced non-stop all last year in my garden and there were two of the plants in my greenhouse that overwintered there and produced all winter long.  

Their fruit got smaller during the deepest of winter but they never stopped producing.  One of the plants reached over 3 feet high.  I was going to prune it back, but I'm thinking I should prune no more than 1/3 at this point since they're already in full swing.  What do you guys think?
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Post  Turan 5/5/2014, 1:48 pm

Why bother pruning it all?  I would not prune it unless the size was unmanageable, the fruit got too small or it has stopped flowering and you think a shock would be good for it.

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 5/5/2014, 3:04 pm

It got very leggy over the winter and I had problems with a black mildewy type issue with the moisture in the greenhouse.  

Neem and being able to open up for air circulation has taken care of the mildew.  The leaves are filling out nicely and there are a lot of blossoms.  I topped it yesterday to force it to fill out better.  At the very bottom there are a couple new branches starting as well.  Here's the plant in question: 
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I picked 10 or so peppers off of this over the weekend for a salad, here's an example of the peppers.  They're about the size of a hot pepper but they're sweet peppers.  They're really handy for salads and snacking.  

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Behind these are a cherry tomato and a Japanese Eggplant that actually produced all winter though the fruit was only 3-4 inches long.  We had enough that we ate eggplant maybe twice over the winter, but it has a huge start on anything else having over wintered.

I put a shade cloth over the greenhouse this weekend.  It's from a professional growers supply and has a 30% shade factor but lets in a lot of light.  We haven't had a hot day since I put it on, but the temps were pretty close to outside maybe 5-10 degrees warmer at the most.  Fingers crossed if this works well, I'm going to strategize what I plant in there for fall and winter crops.  ESPECIALLY want to try keeping my herbs going  Very Happy
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Post  sanderson 5/5/2014, 3:26 pm

Audrey, Do you know the name of the sweet, snacking peppers? How neat!
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