First year growing peppers not good

Peter1142(Zone 6b)July 31, 2014

I planted numerous varieties of peppers, both hot and bell types, and they are doing lousy. I'm in the NE in Zone 6b.

They don't seem to tolerate the wet season we have had, which isn't uncommon here. Some went out early and didn't tolerate the cold nights and seemed to have gotten stunted. The ones that went out later didn't have enough time to mature. They got mildly fed on by pests and they seem overly sensitive to it. I let a couple form a fruit while they were smallish and they completely shut down growth and put all the energy into the one small fruit. I gave them a small amount of fertilizer and they got burned. I followed the farmer's almanac advice of letting two plants live together as one and it was bad advice, one plant just dominates the other.

Growing peppers has been tough!

I had hopes of a bountiful harvest to make homemade hot sauce and roasted red peppers and it looks like neither are going to happen.

Does anyone have any suggestions for hot and bell pepper varieties easiest to grow best suited for mild and wetter conditions? I tried Bonnie's Orange, Red Bells, Jalapenos (this plant isn't doing terrible, nothing awesome though), hot banana peppers, and Burpee Red and Orange bells I started from seed a little too late. If all I am going to get out of the bells is immature green peppers I may not bother next year and plant something else.... If I do grow any next year I am going to start them indoors very early, they don't seem to get leggy like the faster growing stuff, in a large pot they won't get rootbound in, and I will put them out and bring them in at night until June.

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I'm nawth of Bawstan, nice ta meet ya!

There are many questions to ask if this is your first attempt at gardening, bed preparation, fertilizing, amount of sun that reaches garden, how big/healthy (Properly hardened off?) seedlings were at transplant, etc.

If you're an experienced gardener but only peppers problematic that's a horse of a different color!


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:35AM
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Using an iPhone so just re-read post.

Peppers are warm climate plants so they do not like their feet cold, transplant after soil temps remain above 50 overnight.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:43AM
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Peter1142(Zone 6b)

Hi, I'm North of NYC. Yes this is my first year gardening.

Sun is about 6 hours. It is from about 10-4.

The soil is a nice loamy soil. I amended with some bagged humus & manure, tilled, and made raised rows for planting.

The plants I purchased weren't overly big and were healthy. Maybe about 8 inches tall. The ones I started indoors were hardened off but grew so slowly they were very small going outside.

Cucurbits are all did great except for the PM that is slowly taking them down but I have nearly mature winter squashes already. Carrots had a nice harvest, beans, lettuce, spinach did well. I purchased poor quality onion and potato sets that produced but nothing special. The eggplant is doing well albeit crawling along, but I finally have some fruit growing. They sat for a while but eventually started growing when hot out. Even the okra is growing. The peppers just didn't take off and I don't think a single plant has grown more than an inch or two since planting.

It was cold when I first put them out at night, but I sincerely doubt the soil temps ever dropped below 50.

This post was edited by Peter1142 on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 11:09

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:08AM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

Soil takes a long time to warm up.

Is this also the first year for the dirt you're growing in? Did you do any amendments?

Try growing peppers in pots. Easy to control the environment. Once you get the hang of what they like and how they grow, how they do in-ground should make more sense.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 1:14PM
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Peter1142(Zone 6b)

I think I might try the pots next year yes.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:32PM
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esox07 (4b)

Like DMForcier, I was going to recommend the pots as well. Much easier to control moisture and nutrients. Although, if you have the right soil with good drainage, planting in soil can be very productive. If you start seeds indoors or buy starters, you should have a great growing season in 6B for peppers.
My guess is that the excessive rain is your problem and containers with well draining soil should help a lot.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 8:51PM
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sjetski(6b NJ)

Personal observation: I don't feel it was the greatest year for peppers in the northeast.

I would still plant in ground next year, you can always plant a few extra in containers to compare their performance. Be sure to amend your ground soil next spring by using both compost and fertilizer.

Good luck,


This post was edited by sjetski on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 22:28

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:06PM
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