pepper death sentence

judo_and_peppers(Tampa FL)January 6, 2014

we are getting our first freeze tonight. well, sort of. weather channel says it's getting down to 32, which means there MIGHT be frost. but it's getting down to 30 tomorrow. I have limited space on my porch (which will be covered with plastic). so today is the day to accept that some of my plants are gonna die. I cut down 2 bhuts and a brain to mere twigs, in part so I could trim the root ball down and get them into better soil, in part because they were too massive to fit on my porch. these might be the only ones to survive (not including the seedlings, which will of course be saved.

I had been considering cutting the rest down and tossing them in the dumpster and saving the pots. but I couldn't bring myself to do that. after all we've been thru together, I'm sorta attached to these plants. so I am glad the winter weather will kill them for me.

the plants being killed today are:
-serrano (not quite mild enough for use in salads and stuff, but not hot enough to keep me interested)
-tabasco (I loved this plant, he produced like crazy for me, but recently he started looking like crap, and is losing leaves like crazy. I see it as putting him out of his misery).
-one of the thai plants (more or less the same situation as the tabasco, except the pods aren't very tasty, so no tears will be shed for him).

there's 2 other thai plants that aren't terribly healthy so I don't plan on keeping them for next year, but they do have a bunch of almost ripe pods. so I'm gonna pull them inside for this freeze, but as soon as their pods ripen, they're goners.

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Just for perspective we are at -15 air temp with a wind chill of -45...and it's sunny >:(

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 2:55PM
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Wrap them in black plastic trashbags a/ move close to house as poss.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 3:11PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

Earlier we had temps down into the 20s. About a dozen plants were designated for recycling and there were another half dozen "volunteers" still in the ground. I stacked the dead men under the volunteers - all well away from the house, covered the lot with plastic, and left them. Some branches that were in close contact with the plastic got bit but no root damage and overall the plants were all fine.

Close to the house they get shelter from the wind and some radiant heat, or if your house is anything like the Tampa house I slept in while working the World Challenge races back in the 80s: unsealed and uninsulated: - there will be plenty of leaking semi-warm air to help them along. So long as they're covered your plants should be fine.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 5:17PM
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I survived several nights into the upper 20's this year without doing anything. Results seemed different depending on the type of pepper. My orange habs were toast right away but my Fresno plants made it through no problem. You might luck out.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 8:16PM
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Agreed. We've had a couple of light freezes here also and I have 3 plants still looking pretty good. The rest, I just pulled because they weren't going to worth the water, ferts, and care to keep them going Even the Naga in the GROUND is still going. If you have them in containers, just move them next to the house. The radiant heat from the house should carry them through those couple hours at dawn when it is actually freezing.


This post was edited by woohooman on Tue, Jan 7, 14 at 0:52

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 9:02PM
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judo_and_peppers(Tampa FL)

this is how I set it up. I've gone over it with more tape since the pic was taken. it's still quite warm in there. I may go light a few tea candles, but I don't really think that's necessary.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 10:14PM
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judo_and_peppers(Tampa FL)

here's the fellas that are getting saved. the ugly ones up front are the thai peppers that are only being saved long enough for the peppers currently on them to ripen. the ones left outside are the ones I want to let die. I figure the cold is more humane than going straight to the dumpster. gotta make room for all the awesome varieties I'm growing this year, while saving some of the better performers from last year.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 10:18PM
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judo_and_peppers(Tampa FL)

and the low temp for last night was... 33.

the low temp for tonight is supposed to be 37. I'm keeping the plastic up anyway til tomorrow.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 6:09PM
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I got to 18 last night w/ high today of 25, in GA! Hoping the GH kept em alive while i am out of town in DC. Luckily it is going to start warming back up to low 50's/60's here (GA) in next 2 days.

I have found that ~3 days of anything 40 a/ below, for exposed plants, is going to freeze the plant. As long as it can keep soil temp >40 you will survive for 3-5 days.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 8:23PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Saving plants at low as 28f or so is not hard. Just throw a sheet on it. When they say low will be 30F, that does not mean that it is going to be 32F all night long. Night lows last for just couple of hours (Normally) UNLESS the weather man issues a frost warning on top of that. That is when real cold front is going to be pushing in all night. I have experienced on like that , in late April, years ago in GA. The plants that were not covered were toasted and the low was only 28F.

Anyway, glad to here that Judo , with all his EXTRA steps sailed thru to safety. .

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 9:40PM
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If I only had the problem of what to save, all was lost 3-4 months ago. Monday woke up to 25 below before the wind chill (-55) was factored in and the high for the day was 16 below. Tuesday woke up to only 21 below. This am it's only 9 below. By Saturday they are predicting a high of 33 and staying above zero at night! This cold snap needs to end.
On the bright side, last Sunday, I started a few of the super hots I received seeds for!


    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 7:02AM
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I left 3000watts worth of heaters on 24hrs a day from Sun til now a/ they all look like winter wilt dehydration. Was outta town a/ forgot to set thermo.

Besides the two days of

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 4:57PM
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