Sweet Peppers

smokyken(6b)July 13, 2012

My pepper plants are not growing like they should. I've had pepper plants that were 3 to 4 feet tall and these plants aren't doing much. They have holes in the leaves but I haven't seen any bugs. I'm wondering if they have some kind of disease. I had the similar problem a few years ago, so I planted in a different location. I garden in east Tennessee.

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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I don't mulch in the garden with wood. Have you gotten good results before with wood mulching on peppers?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 7:08PM
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AiliDeSpain(6a - Utah)

I have organic wood mulch in my garden and my plants are doing just fine, even my cajun pepper plant has started to blossom. I think the old myth that wood mulch steals nitrogen from the plants keeps people from using it, but it's just a myth and the effect on nitrogen is minimal.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 12:28AM
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howelbama(7 NJ)


It has minimal effects on nitrogen, but it also takes a looooong time to break down, and can harbor lots of fungus and mold. Also it is usually quite a bit more expensive than using someing like straw which breaks down quickly and helps improve the tilth of your soil quite a bit over time. Unless you are using free stuff from your municipality or something, but then you have no idea of the source of those chips, and what might be in them.

The effects on nitrogen come in to play when the wood chips get mixed down in to the soil, but as long as they remain on the surface they won't cause much of a problem in that regard.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 12:57AM
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smokyken - Did you buy the plants as starters? or grow from seed? I have purchased starter plants that didnt grow, probably due to being stunted from being in small pots for to long.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 6:22AM
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Maybe you just got them out a little late, and then the heat wave hit. The leaf color is good, so maybe they will take off for you soon.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 8:30AM
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Thanks for your replies. I might add that the leaves have been falling off (green). I purchased the small plants ( I don't buy large ones) on May 7 and transplanted into 4 inch pots. I kept these in the cold frame and planted into the yard on May 22. I've also fertilized with a Miracal-Gro for vegatables.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 3:10PM
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smokyken, Our peppers have not done as well this year as we had hoped, but it's only the middle of July. We have noticed an improvement in the last 2 weeks or so. Peppers are a bit finicky... Temps here a couple weeks ago were over a hundred, and that is not pepper friendly. If your plants were purchased from somewhere like Lowe's or Walmart, you can be assured they were stressed, on top of the stress of being transplanted. You can stress a pepper by looking at it sideways! Just keep their feet wet, and watch out for major bug problems. A few holes here and there won't kill them, or cause any long range issues. Our full size sweet bells are the ones that are a bit behind our expectations, our Swet Heat's, compact plants, are covered with fruit. We have 26 plants total, and have been using Fish emulsion for our general purpose fertilizer for the first time this year, and will have to admit being quite pleased with the results with the exception of the stench.. We haven't had any issues with dropping leaves. Perhaps one of the other members can address that one.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 10:01PM
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