Anyone Set Their Peppers Out Yet?

susanlynne48(OKC7a)March 25, 2012

I just wondered. I picked up a few at Horn's today, in 4" pots, Mucho Nacho, Spicy Jalapeno (oddly enuff, it is milder), a green bell and orange bell.

I don't know whether to leave them out under tress where it creates a microclimate, on the open porch (closed on 2 sides), inside the house, or what.

Help me, please!


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Mine are outside in the daytime, inside at night. I dont have any summer plants in the ground yet because I dont have many back-up plants and dont have the time watch them closely, also my ground is so wet I cant plant anything.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 2:58PM
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I am harding off tomatoes, and will start on peppers after that. I got another week on the tomatoes. I don't risk it when it comes to the tomatoes and peppers.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 3:48PM
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The weeds in my garden have root rot. The peppers might stay in pots or put in a raised bed several feet above ground level. My eggplant leaves on the underside are turning purple. I think it's getting too cool at night. My soil is still VERY cold. I'm growing impatient with my silly soil.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 8:17PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I am in the midst of tomato planting, with 53 plants in the ground and a whole lot more to go so I am not even thinking about peppers yet, and I have a tough schedule this week that makes finding any garden time at all almost impossible.

I probably will start thinking about planting the peppers next week after I finish planting all the tomatoes, but am only partially through the hardening-off process with the pepper plants now. I am not in a big hurry with peppers because exposure to temps in the low 40s can permanently stunt their growth and affect their productivity throughout their lives.

Many people put peppers into the ground at the same time as tomatoes, but it really is better to wait another week or two until overnight lows stabilize. Having said that, if you look at your 10-day forecast and see no low temps below 45 degrees and your soil temperatures are at least staying at 55 degrees or higher 24/7 at planting depth, then I'd say it is alright to plant them now.

If they're going into containers, why not plant? You always can move them inside or at least up onto the porch if a cold night threatens. Somehow, this doesn't seem like the kind of spring where we are going to have to worry about many more cold temperatures below 45 degrees.

Just be careful about keeping them inside too much or in shade too much. I assume they already were fully hardened off when you bought them and if that is true, they need to be kept out in the sunshine daily so that they do not 'regress' and lose that hardened-off state. If you put hardened-off veggie plants back inside or in a very shady location for more than 1 day, they can regress and then you have to start hardening them off all over again. It is like all of us humans at the end of the summer. We have a great tan (at least a gardener's tan or a famer's tan) and do not burn too easily--right? Put us inside the house for the winter, and what happens when we start spending long hours out in the garden in winter or spring? We sunburn. With plants, the time frame is much shorter, but the premise is the same. The can lose their tolerance to intense sunlight really quickly.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 10:04PM
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jdlaugh(Zone 6)

I planted my peppers last weekend in Tulsa -- four jalapenos and four bell. They seem to be doing fine so far, despite the torrential rain last week. Only obvious problem is 3-4 have lost leaves to that pesky rabbit that lives under my shed....

You never know with Oklahoma weather, but I suspect we've seen the last freeze this year, fingers crossed.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 10:16PM
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Dawn, I probably don't need to tell you this, but check the forecast before you plant your peppers next week. I know I said that beyond 7 days is kind of "fantasy land" in the world of weather computer models, but a few of them have been persistent with a possible cool down the first week of April. It doesn't look like freezing, but low 40s for lows might be a possibility (err, I guess maybe that sometimes does mean close to freezing where you live...). A lot could change, but it's something to keep an eye on.

My sweet pepper seedlings are still ridiculously tiny. Like, they all still only have one set of true leaves. I knew they'd take awhile to germinate, but they are way behind my tomatoes at this point, and I started them all at the same time. I think they have a solid three or four weeks to go before I can put them in the ground, at least.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 11:40PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Heather, Thanks for the heads up on the weather dropping into the 40s. I am not in a hurry with the peppers and can hold them a lot longer if needed. Some friends were visiting the greenhouse this evening and eyeing those pepper plants and I would have given them some but they aren't fully hardened off yet.

I am sure there is another freeze ahead in my low-lying microclimate, or at least a frost. I am as prepared as I can be with all that floating row fabric stuff. It helps me stay calm knowing that I have it. I used to have to worry if I could round up enough sheets, blankets, buckets, etc. to cover up everything if cold air temperatures threatened, but I am more relaxed now. Had I known that buying a big roll of Agri-bon would relax me so much, I would have bought it 10 years ago.

Now, don't start throwing around words like 'snow' or 'sleet' or I might start hyperventilating.

I actually am considering planting almost all my pepper plants in containers this year, but it is more an issue of space. Actually, at this point, everything is an issue of dry space. About half my garden is raised beds and the other half is grade level. The raised beds are almost full. The grade level soil is still wet and mucky and has that soured smell of soil that's been wet too long. I am practically beside myself over the really wet soil, and we still have our rainy months (well, normally they are rainy) of April, May and June ahead. This weekend I built one new, small, raised bed that is 4' wide by 8' long so I could finish a second planting of early corn. So, now I have early-early corn and then the second-early corn, but where will I put the main season corn? I expect that I will start building more raised beds. I know that sooner or later El Nino will return and will give us a gloriously wet year, but in order for it not to drive me insane, I need to turn all the grade-level area into raised beds.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 12:29AM
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Dawn "Sleet and snow"? My two kids are sunburned and so am I at the moment. Seems strange but in Oklahoma it could happen.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 3:08PM
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Dawn I can only imagine what your soil temps are running. On my bare ground in the afternoon I'm above 70 degrees at 4 inches and in the morning around sun up usually the low 60's. The ground under the floating row covers have less swing. Seem the row cover moderates the low and high end a little. The radishes and sugar snaps under it are coming up. I'm really tempted to plant sweet corn this weekend but keep telling myself that I have enough to do to wait another week. My plan is to set the WOW's up in the next few days and start putting plants out the next weekend. I have some plants that will be ready. I will be that or pot up again. I had a mishap with one tray so will be starting a few late seeds today. This is my first year to start TPS and it is surprising how well it is doing. I had my doubts if the plants would get big enough to set out.I plan to set the last of the onions I started out today also. I have been setting them in of a night and out during the day. I may cover them for a while with row cover or may wait and pull it over if the temps look threatening. The other onions under the cover are doing great. Jay

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 3:30PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


I am sure my soil temps aren't bad, but we've been mostly cloudy this week, so I don't think they're anything special. However, I have no idea what they are. We are having fire training almost every day this week so I've only been home for a few hours each morning while preparing food for that afternoon and evening, and I haven't even stepped foot in my garden since Monday morning. I've barely managed to get the greenhouse doors opened and vented and watered the plants in it, if needed, so I have no clue what is happening in my garden. Isn't that terrible?

I've got the next two days to be at home and in the garden before one more big day at the training ground on Sunday afternoon, so maybe I can see what's happening with my garden soil. Hopefully while I've been away, it has been drying out some. I expect to just about work myself to death in the garden tomorrow trying to catch up on everything.

I know the temp has been hitting the low to mid-90s in the greenhouse, despite open doors and vents, 50% shade cloth and a fan running, so it must be warmer here than I think it is while I am away.

I started out this week trying to carry the peppers out of the greenhouse to harden off, but couldn't maintain a schedule and gave up on it. It seemed like as soon as I got them outside in the sun, it was time for me to leave for a few hours, so I put them back in the greenhouse. I can't leave them out unattended or they'll be bunny or deer chow by the time I get home at night.

I feel "behind" with the peppers, but then most years I don't have them in the ground at this point, so I know I am not behind.

Tomorrow will be all about getting more tomatoes into the ground. I always try to finish up my tomato plantings before I start transplanting peppers anyway. I am probably a week away from putting peppers into the ground even if everything goes perfectly for the next few days. They all may go into the containers anyway. Usually I have to pick and choose only the most favored plants for the big molasses tub planters because I only have 8 of them, and then everything else goes into progressively smaller planters. Tim picked up 36 molasses feed tubs for me at a friend's house one day this week, so I am going to have a lot more planting options for peppers and container tomatoes. Those options will be limited only by how many dollars I am willing to spend to fill up those molasses feed tubs with a soil-less mix. Obviously I won't be able to fill up all of them this year. I think instead of planting each pepper plant in a 4 or 5 gallon container, I may plant 2 or more in a molasses feed tub.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 11:53PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I forgot to say I am insanely jealous of your progress this week, Jay, while I've been unable to get into the garden at all. :)

You can tell the weather is warmer and the plants are loving it because the pepper plants in the greenhouse have grown a lot taller and wider this week.

With this heat, my snap pea plants are looking worse and worse every day. I don't think they're going to do well and I likely will yank them out late next week and plant pole beans by their trellis if this heat continues.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 11:57PM
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Dawn, our internal clocks are really off this year with the early spring, or should I say summer?, temps. I keep thinking I am running soooooo late on everything, when, in fact, I am early. It's equally difficult when I see things like the Lavender blooming! Yikes, I start getting this sense of in hurry up, Susan, hurry up!

To make matters more extreme, when I am at Jess's every day during the week, I am not getting anything done in the garden. Not complaining because they come first, but juggling everything and my "elder" brain, are not co-existing at optimal levels.

My peppers are outside....for now. At what temps should I bring them back inside to avoid potential problems? They look beautiful!

The tomatos I purchased have lots of buds and/or flowers, e.g., Juliet, Goliath, Red Beefsteak, Black Prince (grabbed from the rack of Black Krim, got home with Black Prince, oh well), Big Beef, and Better Boy. I went with a few hybrids just in case....

Others I purchased are Sunsugar, Chocolate Cherry, Cherokee Purple (if Indian Stripe gets going good, I wanted to grow the two for comparison), Red Beefsteak.

We'll see how it goes....


    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 6:30AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Susan, You are SO right. My internal clock is totally whacked out. I am starting to wonder what the heck is going on with our weather, and it is making me crazy. I have that overwhelming feeling of "doom" and that I simply cannot get all the planting done soon enough. (sigh)

I don't worry about peppers as long as the air temps are staying above 44 or 45 degrees. It is exposure to air temps in the low 40s and lower that can adversely affect their productivity. If peppers are in the ground, I cover them up on any night the temps could drop below 40 because frost sometimes can occur at 37 or 38 degrees and they can be damaged.

I have a lot of hybrid tomatoes myself, although in the second seeding episode (called "Dawn Goes Wild Planting Tomato Seeds"). I added back in a lot of heirlooms too. Hybrids in general give better overall yields particularly in hot weather, so I am growing more of them than usual because last year they outproduced most of my heirlooms.

This weather is making me crazy.

The above-ground cool-season crops like lettuce, spinach and snap peas are not terribly happy with this weather either. Well, the lettuce has been pretty happy but we are headed for 90 degrees on Sunday and it won't be happy then. We are already harvesting lettuce because it is growing so well, but I fear it will bolt early if we keep going up into the upper 80s and 90s. The kale and mustard are huge, and the broccoli and cabbage are alright, but I don't know how much more heat they can take. The cool-season root crops are fine though, since their most important plant parts are underground.

I understand how very hard it must be to juggle your schedule because of all the time spent at Jess's house taking care of her and the kids. What else can you do, though? They need you more than your garden does right now.

We had an unexpected opportunity to spend a lot of time doing county-wide (actually, firefighters from two counties are involved) fire-training in a large section of old lake cabins at a nearby state park because those cabins are about to be demolished so park improvements can be made. It is a very rare and extremely useful opportunity to be able to tear up buildings teaching various firefighting techniques so we couldn't let this chance pass. I love being with all our firefighters and have enjoyed the whole week tremendously, but it also kills me that I've missed a whole week of garden time. I feel more behind than ever before. I hope to make up a lot of lost ground today, but you know how it is...a fire pager can go off at any time and wreck the best-laid plans.

I am definitely still far ahead on planting. If I reach my goals today and tomorrow, all my in-ground tomato plantings will be complete before April arrives. That's awesome! So, why do I still feel so far behind????

I have so much to do and so little time to do it. Much of tomorrow will be spent grocery shopping and cooking food for Sunday's final fire training session, but Sunday would be too hot to transplant anything anyway. We're expecting highs around 90 here and I won't transplant on a day that warm if I can avoid it.

We haven't had a big hail storm yet here this year. I am sure the hail is waiting for me to get the whole garden planted so it then can arrive and do the maximum amount of damage possible.

Happy planting!


    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 10:15AM
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