Remove early fruit from 6 inch tall nursery plants?

yrdling(U:7B A:9 S:33)April 10, 2010

I have a few pepper plants I bought at a local nursery that I planted two weeks ago. They average around 6 to 10 inches high now, depending on variety.

Some of them are already growing fruit, but the plants are still very immature. Out of about 40 plants of various kinds, one Hungarian hot wax, one sweet banana pepper, one Anaheim, and one Jalapeno pepper plant have one fruit each on them. Other plants are flowering, or have little buds.

Should I allow them to set fruit at this stage? Should I pluck the little buds and flowers off?

I wonder if allowing these fruit to grow while the plants are still so small and young will stunt their growth?

In the case of the Anaheim, I had to remove the pepper anyway. The pepper was four inches long, while the plant was only six inches tall, and the end of the pepper kept poking down into the dirt. I thought that might cause it to rot, or attract insects, so I ate that very immature Anaheim with my eggs this morning.

This is just my third year to grow vegetables, so I still have a lot to learn. The last two years I had prolific pepper production, but I planted from seed, and I didn't have any of this early fruit setting. This year I bought nursery plants, mainly because I didn't start my seeds in time.

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yes it would be a good idea to pinch off the buds, i recently ask the sme question and most told me to prune the uds,flowers and peppers, it can in som cases stunt the growth of the plant depending on species, some ornimentals like explosive ignite flower and fruit at a very compact size, my ignites are only 3 inches tall and ae loaded with flower,this is normal for this one, one the other hand, anahiem and jalapino, get larger, my anahiem was 3 foot tall and the fruits were 7 to 9 inches long, jalapinos i seen grow to a height of 2 feet sometimes a bit more and depending on it species give some robust sized fruit, in short these peppers should be taller and more "stocky stemmed" so the can support more and larger fruit, in short, the fruit can over take the plant and break it killing it sometimes, its not unususal to have to prune, i do it offten with my plants i have in the house, there going out soon, there small yet so therefore i prune them,

my red savina habs,aji,had buds i took off just yesterday

hope this helps
thanks your friend joe

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 1:16AM
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yrdling(U:7B A:9 S:33)

Thank you joe. I will munch on a few immature peppers today as I tend my garden.

I forgot to mention, two of my cayenne plants are also setting fruit. One has four two to three inch long peppers on it, and the plant is only 7 inches high! I usually don't pick cayenne until it is red, but I will harvest these too.

I see you have some Red Savina habs. I wanted to get some this year but waited too late. Well, it may not be too late yet, so perhaps I will. I have some seeds from a pepper a friend gave me last year that he said was Dorset Naga, but darned if I can find where I put the seeds after I dried them! I don't think they are true Dorset Naga, though, as the pepper was no hotter than a regular hab. I would be nice to have some real Dorset Naga though.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 2:56PM
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If your peppers are growing in good/normal environment, ie they get sun, nutrients and water,
they should figure it out themselves what to do.
A medium rich in "P" can encourage early blooming. That is what MG banks on
selling their bloom booster fertilizers.
After my toms/pepps/eggps are established I give them some extra dose of
"P"hosphorus to get into action.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 4:17AM
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met365784(z5 MI)

I would definitely pick the pods on the small plants. If you don't the plants growth will be some what slowed / stunted. As for picking blossoms, I wouldn't bother, most of them will drop anyways on their own. The biggest thing is just keep on eye out for pods and pick them. I know a lot of people pick the blooms too, but for me, I have a lot of plants (Probably close to 100+) and that would be to labor intensive, especially for something the plant will do naturally on it's own. Just pick the pods, I haven't noticed a size difference on the ones that I picked the blossoms on, but I do notice a difference on the ones that I pick the pods on.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 10:33AM
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I pinch of buds before transplanting, but not after as the fruit setting window is so short (it ends in early May) If i pinched off the new buds I wouldn't get fruit again until the fall.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 12:24PM
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yrdling(U:7B A:9 S:33)

I have to say that this is really killing me. I hate to pick these little pepper buds. There are so many of them; so many potential peppers if I let them grow. I've harvested a few immature peppers and I've eaten them. None were mature or had appropriate heat for their type, but they tasted good.

Jalepeno: 16 plants, about 12 peppers
Cayenne: 4 plants, all 4 have 4 to 6 peppers each
Anaheim: 2 plants, 2 peppers
Hungarian Hot Wax: 2 plants, 5 peppers
Banana Peppers: 2 plants, 3 peppers
Poblano: 2 plants, 1 pepper (walnut sized already)
Whopper Peppers (Bell): 2 plants, 1 pepper, several buds

Super Chili: 2 plants, no flowers or peppers yet
Serrano: 4 plants, no flowers or peppers yet
Habanero: 2 plants, no flowers or peppers yet

My tallest plants are only 14 inches tall. The amazingly prolific (considering their youth) cayennes are only 7 to 12 inches tall.

It's wet today, raining off and on. I don't want to "harvest" while the plants are wet. Tomorrow if there's no rain, I guess I'll go pick all those peppers and numerous little buds off. But it really hurts. I feel like murderer.

If I don't pluck the peppers off, will it cause my plants growth to be stunted?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 6:55PM
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You could try an experiment since you have multiples of each plant. Only pick the fruit / blooms off half of them and keep track of which ones do better by the end of the year (produce most fruit, grow the best, etc..).

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 10:29AM
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yrdling(U:7B A:9 S:33)

Yes, I could do that. Even so, my test data set would be small and it might not be possible to draw statistically reasonable conclusions due to individual plant differences in such a small sample.

But I bet this experiment has been done by other growers here too. Would anyone who has tried this be willing to share their experience?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 11:30AM
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Looks like aijoe caught this one. His advice is good, so i'd follow it.

- Steve

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 12:56PM
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Yes, I could do that. Even so, my test data set would be small and it might not be possible to draw statistically reasonable conclusions due to individual plant differences in such a small sample.

Actually half of a population is more than sufficient to draw a conclustion.

There could be following outcomes:

-- all of those left alone became inferior.
-- there were no differences in the long haul.
-- Only a pecentage of those not pruned were inferior and smaller plants than their counterparts.

Then you can make a pretty good analysis of the experiment results.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 11:19PM
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Yeah, I'm not a statistics guy, but, if you're concerned about negative impact by removing ALL the fruit at this early stage, it cuts your risk by half. Ditto if you are afraid that the plants will only set a couple pods because that's all they can support being so small. Just seemed like a way to minimize the risks and make things interesting in the process.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 10:06AM
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yrdling(U:7B A:9 S:33)

I just went ahead and removed the all from all the plants. Itty bitty ones went into the compost pile. Any pepper I thought worth trimming, chopping, and tossing into a skillet for breakfast went to the kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 11:18PM
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I just read this and was wondering how those plants turned out?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 10:37AM
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