Just Peppers

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Bea, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. Bea

    Bea Active Member Premium Member

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    Lots of sweet and hot peppers growing - bushes or seedlings. This is the start of the rainy season so I really MUST get more plastic to drape over the frame that covers the sweet peppers. Otherwise, they become water logged - the only way to describe this phenomenon. The hot peppers seem to do well out in the open. Go figure.
    The biggest problem I have right now is the habanero. The bush is maybe three years old with a height of 3' and spread of about two '. It is cut back maybe once a year, and continues to produce loads of flowers followed by green fruit. The problem is that the fruit drops before it ripens and they are now quite small. I had success two years ago and managed a jar full of dried red peppers but I am down to one! last year I picked one red pepper near the end of the rainy season.
    I also have three plants called Italian Long Hots from a new seed packet so i am quite pleased. These are NOT hot but rather have a delightful, mild spiceness - great picked right off the bush or quickly stir fried. They can be mistakenly named pepperoncini but they are smaller, thinner and have a different flavour. The seeds are also hard to find. I have had a lot of trouble growing these little beauties with maybe one bush surviving at a time and not many peppers. even my own seeds collected from my own ripened and dried peppers wouldnt germinate. The bush is small and so are the peppers - thin and long. Right now they are about 5 inches high, in a raised bed with pintos, alpine strawberries, broccoli, epizote and lots of greens.
    I have seeds from the south american rocoto hot pepper. I collected them from a fresh red one. They are on a scale with the jalapeno but a gorgeous bright red colour and look like a small apple. In fact the mexican name, chile manzano, seems appropriate. Here are some images: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=rocoto&qpvt=rocoto&FORM=IGRE
     
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  2. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi Bea, i dont know specifically about hot peppers but the general symptoms you are describing make me think your soil is infected and a bit run down.
    I'm trying to remember what your fertilizing regime is.
    But your 3yo plant sounds like it is lacking potassium and nitrogen or may have nematodes around its roots which will prevent the plant getting proper nutrition.
    The others that fail to germinate or don't grow well or drop fruit just sounds like starving soil or perhaps fungal infection.
    Calcium helps to hold flowers, fruit and leaves as well as carry nutrition and moisture up the stem.

    So a few possibilities to work through but the first thing to do is apply a heap of quality fertilizer, followed by a soil drench.
    Or dig the plants out of the ground, wash the roots very well to remove all soil then pop into a bucket of weak bleach or copper for a few minutes to kill nematodes and fungal issues. Then pot up into quality potting mix that already has fertilzfer in it.

    Chili plants transplant very well generally. Each plant may need a good prune top and bottom.
     
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  3. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    You're doing well to get three years out of a chili bush - I know that's generally the expected lifespan but I usually regrow a new plant from seed every two years to keep them fresh.

    Personally, we've always had a hard time growing large sweet peppers (capsicums) on our property. The fruit fly love them and so do the caterpillars but if I net them it's better obviously albeit a pain to do.
     
  4. Bea

    Bea Active Member Premium Member

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    thanks to both.
    Funny that the sweet peppers are indigenous here but still difficult to grow. I am thinking that the sweet peppers need to be started over every year and they did OK last year under a clear plastic tarp. They seem to like the humidity but not the rain!!!!. there is a local sweet pepper that lacks the flavour of Bells but, of course, it does exceptionally well LOL
    As for the hot peppers: i looked at the suggestions and I dont think it's bugs in the soil. I did uproot and trimmed roots and top of plant and re-planted. there are some green bits showing already. did the same for the orange hot pepper and it is also coming along. the only fertilizers I use are compost - which i dug into the planting hole - compost tea as a foliar shower all over my yard - except for being poured into the tomato bags - and some seaweed shower again once a season. I just planted new cayenne, thai dragon and jalapeno. Over in another area my Italian Long Hots are really big but no blossoms as yet and an accidental cayenne in still another area has several beautiful long green peppers. Even in Vancouver BC i rarely had problems growing hot peppers - must have been the intense hot, humid spells with no downpouring rain until winter. That's why i was so puzzled by the habaneros failure to ripen. I think i will just do two years from now on. i grew several prolific habaneros on my roof garden here with no shelter and in pots. who knows....
    I add eggshells and cold coffee to the tea and nothing gets the shower until I have filled a one gallon jug with the coffee. Obviously I am not over fertilizing. Just a final note. I posted the problem with the habanero bush then discovered two fruits turning red. they are drying right now. i can only assume that it is because of my using the tea which has been going for maybe a few months. Everything looks better.
     
  5. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Bea you said you had 2 nice bushes on the roof. That would indicate the ones in your various garden spots need any or all of the following:- more air flow through the bush, better sunlight, better drainage, warmer roots.
    Seems the additives might be cancelling each other out a bit too.
    I think coffee is acidic while the egg shells are alkaline.
    No blosoms can mean too much nitrogen or not enough calcium (which is different to the soil being too alkaline).
    I guess you have already grown these types of chilies before sonyou know about this. I've heard some fruits need to be picked before they ripen and change colour.
    Sounds to me you hit the nail on the head when you said best to replant every year.
     
  6. Bea

    Bea Active Member Premium Member

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    coffee=magnesium, strained and cold is less acidic, but its compost. a bit of everything seems to do the trick. I think (?) i mentioned that the big habanero was loaded with blossoms then green peppers. The long hots have roughly the same culture as all the other peppers so it is just a wait and see game. it is also a difficult pepper to grow, so frankly, right now i am thrilled it is growing!!! LOL
    Today i picked a few almost ripe mexican negros, mashed them a bit and added to my beans then wrapped in my fresh tortillas. Sublime. And yesterday I picked a lovely green cayenne and just munched on it - slowly ;).
     
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  7. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    As I stated earlier about capsicums (the larger varieties) being harder to grow here this season has started off just the same.

    I planted several "easy to grow" banana caps in a new raised bed about 6 weeks back and they're looking stressed as anything... I suspect the soil (supposedly chicken manure enriched premium soil) is not what it claims to be. I shouldn't have fallen for buying "premium soil" but I was in a rush to get the beds done before we went on holidays. Normally when building a new raised bed from scratch, I would use ordinary soil as fill and then top up with compost and quality bagged stuff (if required) then fertilise with our own stuff or commercial blood and bone.

    I'm going to take the tops off the beds and fix the soil then replant them hopefully I can salvage the capsicums.
     
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