Spring Training Peppers

seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)March 22, 2014

Some of us in Cali and Flori have no Spring Training problems. But most of us are moving to Spring Training camp.

So there are questions about WHEN and HOW. There are matters relating to HARDENING OFF and subsequently PLANT OUT. The LFD date although a good ball park date, but is not always sure fire. Even a 10% possibility of frost after that, is a reality.


When the LFD approaches, I check all the extended,(10 days), forecasts. If they were favorable I make the move, otherwise hold on.

Another issue is the night low temps. There are people who would not take their pepper seedlings out under 50F. Some do it at 45F. I think 40 is ok (?). What is your low temp ?

Then there are those little tricks of the trade that you may know.

OK> lets get to it and do our homework before it is due.

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I usually sacrifice a goat to Odin and plant in the full of the moon...after April 1st...

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 6:11AM
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the average last frost for me is April 15th. So I look at the extended forecast from there, and decide when to plant. I don't like to miss out on an early spring, but this spring seems to be put off a while.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 10:53AM
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My dogs name is Odin and Im not about to sacrifice another plant to a yellow lab as good as he is my peppers are off limits .

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 4:49PM
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Well, just find a black cock-chicken, and you'll cover most of the weather gods, and have some fried yard-bird too.
Odin, that's an unusual name for a dog. My Rhodesian Ridgeback/Shepard mix was named Canem, which is "dog" in Latin. Had a sign on his house that said "Cave Canem" which means "beware of dog..."

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 6:27AM
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Just sacrificed a pigs ear see if it helps. If not Ill try a milk bone

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 7:56AM
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flipback23(9 SF Bay)

I planted out 8 sacrificial plants about 3 weeks ago since I had multiples of each. Out of the 8 plants 6 are doing very good as far as I can tell they were all topped prior to planting out and now have many new leaves and branches starting. The other 2 dont seem to be doing as well but they are growing but at a slower rate. Our overnight lows have been down to 44 but average 45-50 last 3 weeks. Highs have ranged from 60-79 so far.

I am going to do the second pot up my remaining plants this weekend and begin hardening off the following and hopefully get them all out to their final pots and or raised bed spots prior to April 15th.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 12:46PM
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Mine have been out for 3 weeks now, it was the direct daytime sunlight that really tested them for 2 days while I figured it out. My new hygrometer said the max temp hit 110úF. Sadly, I lost four of the 33.. Otherwise lows have been ~45F

No sacrifices per se, unless you count the nicest/fullest lettuce plant in the yard, that our canem thought would be fun to dig up when i did my first potting.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 1:02PM
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judo_and_peppers(Tampa FL)

wow, 110-45 and i thought tampa weather was crazy.

my last frost date was early february. right now it's 70s during the day, 60s at night seems to be the norm for us right now. though tomorrow it's supposed to dip down to the high 40s. I'm hoping it'll warm up enough to set pods before the summer heat wave kicks in. my second year plants are covered in flowers, but they've all dropped so far.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 1:23AM
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I'm in zone 3. so I don't worry about night temperatures unless there is an actual risk of frost, otherwise I'd never grow peppers at all. Our average night lows in June, July, August, are 49F, 54, and 51, so we get numerous nights into the 40s in all of those months, and some nights into the 30s in June, and sometimes in the second-half of August also.

I think it is warm days and sunshine that cause peppers to grow well. Night temperatures, at least for C. annums, aren't much of an issue unless there is actually a frost.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 2:20AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I agree with Don555.
If I had to wait for the lows to get to 50F(as some have suggested) it would be some time in July. but I want to harvest some peppers and tomatoes by July.
I have planted tomatoes and pepper in the past that night lows had dipped into high 30s.

OK. Finally, yesterday I took bunch of peppers and tomatoes out and started training them. It was a nice day (high around 65f) I put them in defused light and some direct light. And at the end of the day they went under the hoop.
Today it is going to be mostly cloudy and some showers, highs around 56F. Good training day in the hoop.

I will wait another week or so to decide in training the rest of my seedlings.

Good luck ! Have a home run!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 4:46AM
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judo_and_peppers(Tampa FL)

I was given a plant that was started indoors (the so called jigsaw pepper), the friday before leaving town for the weekend. I didn't wanna leave it inside with no light, and I didn't wanna just leave it in the sun to get cooked (completely not hardened off at all when I got it), since our weather forecast was for nothing but sun all weekend.

so I left it underneath my window screen sifter that I use to de-dust my perlite. I figured it was filtered light. when I came back, the plant was quite healthy looking, so I took it out from under the cover, with no ill effects. perhaps this is the lazy man's way to harden off a plant?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 4:07PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Yeah, Judo. The best way to harden off is in defused light (like coming through tree branches, may be now and then some direct sun. In a bright day plants get plenty of light even in the shade. Or at least lack of light is not going to be a problem.

Ok. Today is overcast here , with rain. My rookies are in their hotel (under hoop) . I am going to take them out for some fresh air and maybe some rain too

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 5:43PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

More pepps and some toms are going to the camp today, whether they like it or not.

It is an overcast day, high reaching to 54F.
For the next 10 days, same story: Mostly cloudy, rain . showers, highs in mid 50s, lows around 41F.
Tough cookie . They've got to get used to it.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 7:20PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

The next ten days the weather will be a carbon copy of yesterday;

>>>> overcast, + rain/shoers >>> highs ~ 55F, lows ~~41F

When to plant out ?

I will wait until day highs reach 65F, one day out of 3 days. I can live with lows 41F ++.

Portable Hoops to rescue:

Good thing is that I have designed my hoops as portable and I can move them around on the raised beds as needed.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 2:07AM
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I am in Southern Louisiana, our problem is more the heat than a freeze. Does my area even need hardening? I am really getting the itch to evict some of my plants.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 3:05PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Hi valdo
Right, your mission is hardening off for the heat of Southern Louisiana, where as I am trying to harden off for the cold of Northern Washington . That is a quite contrast and diversity.

But either way, the plants need to be exposed to the environment gradually to avoid stress, shock and even death.

What are your typical temperatures down there right now ?

Ok. Good luck everybody.
Happy hardening off season !

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 4:15PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I have already hardened of some of my peppers.

The next step is potting them up. All of them are going to go in the pots. Now I have to decide what size pot for each, as some require bigger pot than the others. I have pots from 2 gal and up plus some bags (More like 4 gal). I hope they wont fall apart in the middle of season. I might double them up for safety. I know Chilaca, Cubanelle, gypsy , Bishops Crown, Manzano , ... get quite big.

I have already mixed a barrelful of 5-1-1, added lime and CRF (moistened it). Weather permitting, tomorrow is the day to get to work on them. I have a lot more inside to be trained .
and hardened off after I am done with the first batch.

Anybody else is planting out now ?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 11:24PM
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