Saturday, June 20, 2009

Worried About the Peppers

I am really concerned about my peppers in both the SFG and the traditional garden. They have not grown much since I planted them. This can probably be contributed to the cooler temperatures we have had all month. There are three that I know for sure are not going to make it. They have lost most of their leaves and show no signs of new growth on the tops.

The peppers that I know for sure that are not going to make it are two New Ace Hybrid and one King Author. Both are bell type peppers. The Early Jalapeno and Big Chili Hybrid Peppers are holding their own right now. Most show signs of cold damage in the loss of their lower leaves. But some are growing slowly and forming buds. From my research, even if the pepper plants survive cold damage, it can reduce the plants fruit yield. I have also read that they can suddenly take off once the warmer weather hits.

I have to really make a decision right now as the growing season is now on and there is no room for mistakes if I want a good harvest of peppers. But I was torn, I want greater yields, as these will be used for canning salsa in the fall. But I don’t want to kill them and replace them if they are going to bounce back.

So I decided to build another SWC! So far the tomatoes are doing really well in the SWCs. The Super Marzanos are about double the size of those growing in the SFG. I set off early Saturday morning to shop for the materials for another SWC.

Since the three peppers I lost were bell pepper varieties, I was hoping the find a flat of basic bell pepper transplants. The first place I looked didn’t have any pepper transplants left. So I had to head to one of the big box stores. They had a lot of transplants in stock and several varieties of peppers, but these were sold individually at around $3 bucks a pop and there were no bell peppers in the bunch.

Then I spotted one lonely flat of peppers among some other transplants. It was a flat of nine bell peppers for only $3.50! How perfect is that? Six for the SWC and three to replace the ones I lost. They were busting out of their cells but looked healthy. I also picked up small pots of Rosemary and Sage.

I will build the new SWC later this week and post pics of the peppers in their new homes: I will be constructing this one the same way as I did my others: 18 Gallon SWC.


  1. wow! I am glad you decided to get new plants. Just in case the other ones didnt pull through. I am trying to decide what to do with 27 tomato plants. I might have to build another box but that is going to be expensive. I am sure they will do much better than the ones you have. Praying for some warmer weather for you. You can have some of my 95 degree days! *sigh* I'm melting!!

  2. Hmmm. Wonder if weather is the only thing that was causing them to die. How cool was cool?

  3. Bummer... I'm glad you got new peppers, and decided to keep the old ones in case they do come back. How long did it take you to build your SWC?

    Our weather was doing great, my peppers were happy, then it cooled off, and everything stalled... Now with the warm weather back, my bell pepper blooms are confused and falling off! My fresno chili's have been ok through it all.

  4. JenGC, 27 tomato plants! Wow! I am a slug when the temperature is 95 degrees, way too hot for me.

    Ribbit, I assumed it was the cold temps. Do you think it may be something else? Since they were transplanted into the gardens, they have been through some abusive cool nights.

    They were planted after our last frost date and the weather was warmer up until then, but surprisingly the weekend I planted them we had a frost. I covered them and hoped for the best. They didn't die. Since then, the peppers experienced nights in the 40s-50s. We even had another frost advisory during that time (I covered the plants again). The lower leaves began falling off little by little. When the temperatures warmed up, I saw some slow growth on the tops of most of these. Tomatoes had some damage to their lower leaves too as a result of the cold temperatures, but they have since taken off in growth.

    The peppers in both the traditional garden and SFG with Mel's Mix seem to be affected the same way. Is there anything you feel I should look into further?

    Momma_S, The SWC was much easier to build this time around. I think it's because I know what I am doing now :) I haven't filled it and planted yet, but in all it probably will end up to be a 2-3 hour project. Cutting the cover and drilling all the holes takes the longest.

    Glad your peppers are growing well. Hopefully they will make up for the few confused falling buds.