Should you cull early peppers?

isawyoushineJune 20, 2012

Do you folks cull the earliest peppers before ripe so the plant can get hardier, or do you think it doesn't matter?

I am talking about the very first peppers, well before the plant is full size. I have been told that by removing these early birds, the nutrients are used to make the plant grow rather than the fruit. Any opinions?

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I did for my Jalapeno plant, my Hab was grown indoors in December so it was large by the time I was able to get it out so the first fruits I left on. It all depends on variety and how quickly they can get back into putting out more flowers. Would not recommend for Bell peppers. The slow growing Bhut don't think I would do that to them either.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 10:11PM
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I agree with habajolokia. I pinched the first round of buds and pods when I put them outside for the year. THey are just now starting to put out new pods. I am kind of regretting it now though because I had an issue early on that put me behind. But with a longer growing season, it wouldn't matter. I will still get a good crop out of these but I won't be able to squeeze out two good crops like I did with some last year. Oh, and the lone bell that I have, still hasn't put out new buds or blooms yet so that was a big mistake. I likely won't get any mature fruit from that plant this year. So, don't snip the bell peppers for sure.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 11:10PM
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I made this mistake last year after reading various forums. I do not suggest this for folks living in shorter growing seasons. If your summer season is shorter then you need to keep the first set of pods on the plants to ensure that you get ripe peppers before the season ends. Last year some of the pepper plants did not rebound fast enough and I was forced to pick unripened smaller pods. This year I'm letting them grow and I already have pods growing on them. The plants are physically smaller this year but at least there will be peppers. Who knows maybe I'll get a second betch come September.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 9:03PM
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That is the strategy I will be using next year.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 11:17PM
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I would just let them do there thing unless the plant is extremely small. I have done it both ways and as long as you keep the plant happy it will continue to grow and produce.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 10:35AM
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Agree with Romy - I don't cull anything unless the plant is very small.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 11:19AM
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Interesting topic. I guess the question then is, what qualifies as "really small"?

I have several 7 Pot plants that are (at most) 12" high and putting out flower buds at a pretty good pace.

I have been reluctantly snipping them off since I'm worried the plants aren't big enough yet. But it's a balancing act because my growing season is not super long...

Since I'm in Zone 5 (Chicago) should I just let them be and let them start setting fruit?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 2:55PM
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I would let them fruit. You can always just let one or two pods form. So at least you can guarantee you will get a few pods. Once a plant hits 1 foot that's when I let em go gangbusters:)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Let them fruit. You could end up disappointed in the anticipated growth you might get from culling. We are about to start the big months of the year for growth. My opinion might be different if it were April.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 7:09PM
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