My blooms are falling off my peppers, any advice? think it could be all the rain? they turn yellow before they fall off, so I know they are not getting knocked off. tyvm
Too much water or too much fertilizer can do that - either or.
thanks annie, I found tons and tons of aphids or mites under the leaves. I sprayed them with SEVEN and I swear it almost appears it tripled the bugs! it could be there is so many....it may take a few times?
It also could be that the nights are still too cool.
Peppers set fruit best when nighttime lows are over 60 degrees (and when daytime highs are 80 or lower). When the nighttime lows are colder than that, the blossoms often drop off without setting fruit.
If you are in northeastern Oklahoma and your soil temperatures are still pretty low (below 55 degrees), that could be the problem.
Also, sometimes peppers drop their blossoms because of low soil fertility. If your plants are growing vigorously, though, I wouldn't think that a lack of soil fertility would be the problem.
Later on in the summer, it will be high temperatures that cause the peppers to drop their blossoms. They'll set fruit pretty well over 80 degrees, but once the highs start exceeding 90 degrees, pepper production really drops.
I think you are right about the cool temps. What are these mite looking creatures on the plants? I sprayed them once and there is still tons of them, so I sprayed them again today. I am not sure its even safe using that much spray...its SEVEN. any suggestions? I have my peppers in a container and its new soil but the mites are all over the soil. I am not sure if the mites are coming from the soil or the plant.
Sevin is pretty strong stuff. For aphids I usually just use a blast of water from the hose to remove them. Also, Safer's soap is a milder product to use for aphids. I've had a lot of lace bugs lately on some of my garden plants. I thought they only liked my azaleas, but oh no, they love other plants, too! LOL! However, I garden organically and pesticide free. You should be getting lady bugs any day that will help you in your battle against aphids. I always just let the aphids alone so that the beneficials will come into the garden to eat them. If there is nothing for them to eat, they won't stop by - LOL!
thanks susan! where do you get safer's soap? any gardening center?
Are the tiny little critters crawling only, or can they fly? If you have been keeping the soil too wet, they could be fungus gnats. The fact that the leaves are yellowing is often a sign of excessively wet soil and fungus gnats are also a problem with excessively wet soils, so the two in combination might suggest you are keeping the plants too wet.
I grow about 200 pepper plants from seed every spring and I let their soil dry out COMPLETELY before I water them. I don't let them wilt, but I let them get as dry as possible without wilting. If you overwater OR overfeed (and I am not saying that you are because I don't know that--just suggesting you MIGHT be), you will create a lot of problems for yourself, including the possibility of yellowing leaves, soil fungal and disease problems and fungas gnats and other pests. (Plants that are overwatered are stressed and pests are more attracted to stressed plants than those that are not stressed.)
I don't know how long you have been gardening, but it is very common for fairly new gardeners to "love their plants to death" either by overfeeding, overwatering or both. In general, you want to water your plants and then let the soil dry out before you water them again. When they are allowed to dry out in between waterings, their roots stretch and grow a little as they seek water, and that is a good thing,
As far as how often to use Sevin or any pesticide (chemical OR organic), read the label instructions and follow them exactly. Too much pesticide use is dangerous for the plants and for you. Also, do not expect Sevin or anything else to be an instant-kill product. It isn't like you spray or dust the plants and -- BAM! the bugs die. Most pesticides work much more slowly than that and can take days and even, in limited cases, weeks to make a difference in the pest population.
Finally, I'd rather use organic solutions myself when at all possible (and in some limited cases there are NOT good organic solutions and I am the first to admit that) and I'd like to explain the most logical reason why. Let's ignore the whole issue of chemicals vs. organics in terms of which is safest for you, your family, your garden, the wildlife and the ecosystem. Let's focus instead on one very narrow issue and that is the issue of good bugs and bad bugs.
EVERY insect or bug in the world eats something, and every insect or bug is eaten by something. That is how the food chain works. So, in a healthy garden, you will have a mix of good insects (often referred to as beneficial insects) and bad insects (pests). In general, the good insects WILL keep the bad insects pretty much under control, but it takes time.
When you use a pesticide you kill ALL the insects, both the good ones and the bad ones. Guess what happens next? The bad bug population rebounds first, and there is a reason for that. The bad bugs tend to eat plants, and there is a ready supply of plants for them to eat. The beneficial insect population CANNOT rebound until you have a lot of bad bugs in the garden that will provide their babies with a lot of food. So, the beneficial insects rebound more slowly, and while their population is growing and beginning to take care of the bad bugs, they are starting out "behind" and, in the meantime, your plants are being damaged. By using a chemical pesticide, you are setting up the bad bugs for continued success and you are setting up the good bugs to be destined to be "behind" and to fail at keeping the bad bugs under control. The result is that you become more dependant, not less dependant, on chemical pesticides. I would like to think that understanding this part of the process would make a person think twice about reaching for pesticides.
When I started to reply to this thread, I had no intention of turning it into a discussion about why pesticides can be bad for your plants, but I couldn't help myself. I gardened with pesticides with my parents and grandparents when I was growing up, and as a young wife and mother. Yet, I always had insect problems and I wondered why. As I began to read and research, I began to wonder why modern-day gardeners have so much trouble with insects, even though people have been growing food (successfully, or mankind would not have survived) for thousands of years. That began my conversion to organics.
Let me give you one more example from my garden. Every year, the aphids make their appearance. I could panic and spray for them, but I don't. I don't do a thing. Within a week or two, the ladybugs appear and begin eating aphids. More importantly, the ladybugs begin laying eggs and the larvae that hatch out then eat and eat and eat aphids. Those cute little gray and orange alligator-looking ladybug larvae are aphid-eating machines. The aphids are quickly devoured and the ladybugs will continue eating all kinds of pests all summer long. It is a natural process and is the way the ecosystem operates.
My gentle suggestion is that you think twice before reaching for a chemical pesticide, because the end result of using a pesticide is that you start a vicious cycle in which your garden has more bad bugs and less good ones, and that is not a good thing.
thank you so much Dawn! It takes alot of your time to respond to all of these post and I have to tell you...I appreciate every word of it. I am a very new gardener and agree to let nature take its course although I am not totally organic now. (I am weaning myself) I dont like the thought of homegrown vegetables contaminated by pesticides. The bugs look like a mite (white or light yellow) they crawl, not fly. The leaves of one plant were covered and some on my other plants (peppers only) I suppose its too late for ladybugs now???? since I have drenched the plant with SEVEN. wonder if its too late to replace the plant? the leaves started curling which I assumed it was from aphids, not sure. thanks again Dawn, for all your help...I love gardening and all this help makes it so much easier.
Without seeing your plant, it is hard to know. And, most mites are so very tiny that you can't tell if they are a bug or a speck of dirt. How large are your little mite-type bugs. Curling leaves are a sign of various problems, and could be from too much moisture or other stuff.
STOP (and I am smiling as I say that) using the pesticides now (if you can) and your plants will be safe for ladybugs in several weeks. If you don't have ladybugs, you can buy a net bag or a cardboard carton of them at a nursery and release them. The best time to do that is usually sometime in May because that gives the "bad bugs" time to build up to sufficient levels to feed the baby ladybugs.
Hang in there and we'll hold your hand and walk you through every step of the process.
Early in the season when the weather is still cool, you can use insecticidal soap or neem oil to knock down pests.
I promise that sometime this weekend I will post a list of good organic remedies, esp. if it rains and I can't get out into the garden. LOL
The HARDEST thing to do is to NOT PANIC. During my early years as an organic gardener, there were a couple of times that I got into a panic over one bug or another and ran out and bought a pesticide. Sometimes I used that pesticide....and, no, it was not a quick fix and, yes, I then felt guilty. And, sometimes, after I got home, I calmed down and never even used the stuff I bought. So, it is hard to go "cold turkey" and give up all the chemicals overnight and I remember that well. I am confident you can transition to organic gardening successfully.
I agree with Dawn on the subject of organic, pesticide-free gardening. In fact, I don't even use the Safer soap anymore. I have discovered the synchronicity in gardening, living in harmony with the good and the bad. Like I said earlier, if there are no bad bugs in the garden, the good bugs will just ignore your garden because there is nothing for them to eat.
Funny story. Yesterday my daughter and I went to Walmart. While we were checking out my daughter said to me, "mom, do you know you have a ladybug on your collar"? No, I didn't, but I didn't mind having a friend along to shop with. I said, I'll just leave her there and people will probably think I have on a ladybug brooch. Heehee!
I usually have lots of ladybugs, lacewings, and yes, even will put up with the praying mantids, even though they love to chow down on my butterfly caterpillars and butterflies. I get some monstrous sized PMs in the yard, too! Probably because I butterfly garden. Last year I even had a brood of yellow jackets that came to feast on my aster flowers. I snapped tons of photos of them and they weren't the least bit interested in me as they busily sipped nectar from the flowers.
BTW, I raise butterflies and moths, Trish. So if you're ever interested in doing that, let me know.
Oklahoma is a major corridor for the Monarch migration in spring and fall. Much of their habitat has been converted to commercial development, or destroyed by pesticides. I plant milkweed and a lot of other people do, too, to provide them with food for their caterpillars. It would be a shame to see these butterflies disappear from earth one day. I belong to Monarch Watch, an organization devoted to preservation of the Monarch butterflies, and am a certified Monarch Waystation. I plant lots of milkweed and nectar plants for them.
I also raise other butterfly caterpillars like the Black Swallowtail, Giant Swallowtail, Pipevine Swallowtail, Question Mark, Red Admiral, Gulf Fritillary, Variegated Fritillary, Cloudless Sulphur, Sleepy Orange, Buckeye, etc. It is just such a miraculous metamorphosis to behold that I am pretty much a fanatic about it I'm afraid. That's why I don't use pesticides at all. I don't want anything but mother nature to help maintain a balanced garden.
u can also purchase ladybuggs. I know "lowes" has them (seasonally) and u can also order them online it takes about 11 days if ordered online and cost $10-$20 usd release them at night and lightly spray them w/ a coke product.. the sugar makes there wings sticky and they cant fly for 2 or 3 days guarantteing they stick around. Also it doesnt take many. Order $10 worth and share with 5-10 friends hope this helps