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Hello Guest!
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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Post  tegaan 8/6/2011, 12:55 pm

Why do all my pepper flowers die and fall off? I know I have too much peat/filler in my mix but will adding some good compost help this or is there another reason? We had a cool wet spring and have just now started summer 32 C/86 F.



Is there anything I can do?



I also have teeny carrots and my tomato plants are not doing well. I have 6 plants in regular bag mixed soil that are doing great, lots of flowers, hopefully some tomatoes soon. Kind of makes me think this Mel's Mix is not what it says it is.



Very discouraged, Kari
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Post  quiltbea 8/7/2011, 12:28 pm

Too much peat lowers your PH. Not a good thing unless you're growing blueberries or potatoes.

That may be the reason. I think you need more good compost in your beds or some aged cow manure.
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Post  westie42 8/7/2011, 1:02 pm

I solved nearly the same problem, mine was really poor store bought compost. I got some good home brew compost and put a 2-3” layer over the entire box. It takes a while for the nutrients to wash down to the plant roots so a little stirring and watering will help. Just don’t disturb the existing roots very much while lightly mixing it in. As late as it now is and the plants are mostly mature this mite be late. Your fall crops and next year will do a lot better. I also got a healthy weed growth from the new compost but welcomed them as a good omen.
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Post  NHGardener 8/7/2011, 2:24 pm

I'm having problems with my peppers too. In fact, I have no baby peppers.

I just looked at the package. For one thing, they're California Bells. I'm wondering if maybe they need a warmer climate than here in New Hampshire.

The other thing the packet said was that if there is too much nitrogen in the soil, the blossoms will fall off. I have them next to the green beans, which I believe add nitrogen to the soil - I'm thinking that soil might be too nitrogen-rich for the peppers. Or maybe, like I said, it's the variety, or maybe it's because I grew them indoors as seedlings and they were interrupted in their growth process at some (or many) points.

I've never had peppers be so fussy. None of my pepper plants, in 2 separate boxes, are producing.

Maybe next year I'll just buy local (organic) transplants rather than trying to grow my own from seeds.
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Post  westie42 8/7/2011, 3:36 pm

Cal Wonder Bell have been my main crop pepper for years. I just picked about 45 of them to freeze. Usually I like that many at once to make a years worth of frozen stuffed peppers which is a day and a half project but makes 80-100 of them so I deem it well worth the agony. This year time is at a premium so I just halved and froze them for later use, disappointing but all I could manage now. Sometimes I start them and sometimes I buy plants it don’t seem to matter a bit if what you plant are relatively the same stature. Your climate sounds to be similar to mine for peppers and more. So far mine are all in the ground except one exotic a Trinidad Perfume growing in a wicking bucket in MM but it is doing very well. Guessing there is another cause for flowers dropping off. Next year this old sceptic my try several in their own SFG box and go from there.
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Post  tegaan 8/7/2011, 4:14 pm

I have both grown from seed and bought transplants....both doing just as poorly. I guess I need to amend my mix, but I can't do my own compost. I am thinking of just adding worm castings, think that will work?



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Post  NHGardener 8/7/2011, 4:40 pm

I don't imagine there's anything that worm castings can't help. Smile

Maybe compost will solve this problem then. I'm going to overwinter all my boxes with all the compost I have, finished or not. I'm really thinking next season will be more productive, if I can just get my own compost in there. I don't trust the bags so much.
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Post  camprn 8/7/2011, 5:36 pm

you know, it may be just one of those years and the weather, as Boffer often reminds us. About 1/3 of my blooms on my poblanos are giving up the ghost and falling off, the other 2/3 seem to be doing well. Have you tried topdressing with compost around the base of the plant?

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Post  NHGardener 8/7/2011, 6:29 pm

I was a little afraid to use my compost because I haven't tended it so it's only partial. I heard you can spread even partially-finished compost tho.

But no, I haven't done anything to it. At this point I may just let it go and start over next year with the peppers.
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Post  floyd1440 8/7/2011, 6:38 pm

I have both bell pepper and hot peppers in MSFG. The bells are rotthing on the vine and have not found any worth keeping. My hot peppers are doing just fine though. So my question is is their a different nutrient requirement for different peppers?
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Post  westie42 8/7/2011, 6:55 pm

Not sure about different nutritional differences. Do you have sunburn on the part most exposed to midday sun or blossom end rot (BER) at the bottom end. BER is a calcium deficiency that could be solved by lime or gypsum side dressing. I can usually cut off part of those peppers and at least eat some of it.
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Post  NHGardener 8/7/2011, 7:34 pm

One thing about my pepper plants is that the joints are black - you know, where the stems come out of the main stalk. I noticed that last month. I wonder if that's a sign of anything. I just looked at them, and no, no peppers, no babies, just some blossoms as always.
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Post  Tril 8/7/2011, 8:21 pm

My jalapeno and other hot peppers have either died or just not grown/produced this summer. My bell peppers, however, are doing great. One plant has 4 large peppers and another has 3. They're gorgeous... and I planted those on a whim, since I had the space. What I really wanted was hot peppers! LOL All of my pepper plants came from Lowes.
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Post  tegaan 8/7/2011, 9:56 pm

I have the black stems too. Thanks for the replies, it made me feel a little better that it's not just me having issues.



Hoping all our plants have a nice growth/fruiting spurt.



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Post  camprn 8/7/2011, 10:11 pm

NHGardener wrote:One thing about my pepper plants is that the joints are black - you know, where the stems come out of the main stalk. I noticed that last month. I wonder if that's a sign of anything. I just looked at them, and no, no peppers, no babies, just some blossoms as always.
normal, as long as the stems are firm and whole. Do you have bees?

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Post  westie42 8/7/2011, 10:12 pm

In reading a couple other forums it seems the black bands are not a problem to worry about but no real explaination was given for them. Last week I picked about 75 total peppers of all varieties well except cayenne and a couple exotic 80+ day varieties. This is about the least problematic year for peppers as far back as I can recall. I think only one or two at most had to be tossed out and very little trimming on others was needed. I only have one pepper plant growing in MM it’s in a wicking bucket and it is doing outstanding for this date.
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Post  NHGardener 8/7/2011, 10:25 pm

I've seen a lot of bee activity in the garden, mainly bumblebee. Haven't really seen any honeybees. I was thinking about starting some hives next spring, but it sounds like a really big commitment - don't know if I can stretch that far.

edit: 75 peppers??? Waaaa. I really miss having peppers.
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Post  WendySue67 8/7/2011, 11:56 pm

I'm just curious how many pepper plants do you have to get 75 or more peppers? This is my first year growing them and with two jalapeno plants I have gotten 5 peppers (very nice, good size) but my three green pepper plants haven't produced a single pepper. After reading this thread, I believe I am probably lacking in compost and too high in nitrogen...gonna try and fix that tomorrow and hope to improve things soon.
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Post  westie42 8/8/2011, 12:56 am

Forty something peppers and over 50 toms. I have cut back considerably from past years. Hoping to get SFG production up to a decent level so I can cut back more. I am blessed with natural garden soil that will take MM some practice time to out produce. And to correct a previous post I also have 3 peppers in a SFG they will do something but are later varieties.
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Post  NHGardener 8/8/2011, 7:33 am

Why are so many of us having problems with our peppers this year? I hope it wasn't a bad year for seeds.
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Post  Goosegirl 8/8/2011, 2:22 pm

I think it is just a bad weather year for peppers.

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Post  floyd1440 8/8/2011, 7:39 pm

On my green bell peppers I have bottom end rot, but my hot peppers are doing fine so I don't seem to understand why they both don't have BER as they are similar plants.

Floyd :?:
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