How to water peppers

dbstrat(5a Joliet, IL)May 19, 2011

Sorry if this has been posted, done several searches but maybe this will be a quick answer for someone.

I'm really trying NOT to overwater my peppers so my question is this: is it acceptable to totally soak these peppers by pouring water until it is dripping substantially out the bottom vents? Of course I would not leave it in a puddle, but it would be pretty well soaked at this point.

The reason I ask is that I was initially doing this and it was working fine but then several of my plants started turning much lighter green and looking icky so I figured I was overdoing it with the water. Then I started just trying to get them really well with a spray bottle, but now they dry out like every two days or even one day when I have them outside for hardening and then they start to curl up.

I have always waited until they are starting to droop or curl or otherwise show signs of needing water, the difference only being how much water I give them at once.

Any advice? It takes me like 20 minutes to spray bottle the 18 pack (maybe I'm too much of a perfectionist about it) and I feel like I have to do it all the time vs. the pour and soak method.


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That's why I think overall it's better to progressively pot them up. Not that I follow my own advise (though I do sometimes).

Ideally, you would water fully, and the plant will take up what it needs, but, the medium will dry out all the way down allowing air for the roots as well between waterings.

I have at times tried to water lightly while waiting for the plant to grow into it's new home - sometimes successfully. :-)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 4:02PM
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The pouring method will work but you do not want to flush all the nutrients out of the soil. You can pour water in them just do not over fill. Just enough to saturate the soil. I water every other day here in Florida but the larger the conatiner the less often you will require watering.I think twice a week is good start. Use a dip stick or cut a hole in the middle of the container to regulate the soil.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 4:08PM
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Bottom water. Let the potting mix soak up what it wants. Until the plants get close to rootbound, once a week is usually enough.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 7:24PM
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What Mike "wordwiz" said.

I've got 200+ plants in 3" pots in trays now and bottom watering is the way to go. I give them 30 - 40 min to soak up water and drain. They all seem happy.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 9:21PM
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There is so many variables to consider when watering.

Pot size
Soil type
Plant size
Indoor or Outdoor (and current weather)
Potted or inground

I know i have had an issue with overwatering my plants in the past, and i know overwatering aint good for these plants.

Sounds like you have yer plants in an 18 cell starter tray? How big are the cells and how big are the plants in there? I know when plants grow big enuff so that the roots colonize the soil medium in them starter trays they can use up the water fairly quickly, especially if the trays are outside in the sun and wind.

I usually use a visual and weight test to see if my plants need water. If the top of the soil appears dry and the tray or pot feels light, ill water em. If the top of the soil appears to still have some moisture and the tray or pot has a bit of weight to it, i leave em be.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 8:48AM
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