Rain and peppers, too much?

goatlike(5)July 23, 2008

Howdy, in the past 5 days we've gotten about 2-3 inches of rain with more on the way for the forecastable future. My plants are in containers sitting in a mixture of about 1/3rd perlite and 2/3 potting mix. We had a solid 10 days of rain in June and they all survived that deluge quite nicely.

My question is: What do I need to look out for during the damp time? Mold, mildew, leaf color, etc... And what are the remedies? This year my plants are doing better than ever before and I really don't want to lose them.

I can put an "umbrella" over them if needed, but that will take some time to assemble. Think it's needed? We have rain predicted through next Tuesday. I think there might be one dry day in there too.


- Mark (goatlike)

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I have found that once the plants are large enough - they can never get enough heat and rain. They love both. I always find my plants looking bigger, sturdier and happier after a good rain.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 11:15AM
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Thanks. They certainty don't look like they mind the rain. In fact, they've grown so wide they're almost acting as an umbrella for their containers themselves. I'll take a "wait and see" attitude and go from there.

Guess I'm just nervous. These are our best plants in 4-5 years of growing, and I wanna keep 'em that way. We might actually get more than 3 pods per plant! Yay! :)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 3:32PM
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If you have saucers under your pots i would drain them. peppers do not like to sit in water

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 6:19PM
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Not to worry about saucers. The pots are all raised on 3 soda bottle caps. I raised them more to allow airflow under the pots and keep the deck dry, but they seem to be serving double duty this summer.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 8:38PM
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A few of my plants are now starting to drop bottom leaves. Some of those leaves look kinda moldy, but nothing rubs off in my hands, almost as if there's mold inside the leaves. However, the plants that are dropping leaves are also the plants that are starting to bloom.

Is leaf drop normal for a blooming plant? Do leaves get moldy and drop if too wet for too long?

The good news is the big rain ends today. Tomorrow should be dry, then it's isolated storms for the next week. Should give the leaves time to dry out.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 6:54PM
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Update: The Orange Bell that was looking so great is not well. Limp browning leaves are dropping daily. I shoulda built my "umbrella" for them. The two Anaheims are drooping as well, but not turning brown. The Hot Wax, Ancho, and Jalapeños look fine.

Time will tell, but I think 5 straight days of wet leaves has done some significant damage to a few plants.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 12:02PM
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Here's a photo of one of the damaged leaves on the Orange Bell that suffered the most. I'd put this particular leaf in the middle of damage the scale. The ones that were worse have dropped, as have some flowers and buds. There is similar but milder damage on the Jalapeños.

The solution:

From left to right in the black pots: 2 Orange Bells, 3 Hot Wax, 2 Jalapeño, 2 Anaheim, and 1 lone Ancho that we started last December.

Works so far, but it's only been up for 24 hours. Only a few leaves get wet when it rains and they quickly dry. It also seems to give the plants some welcome shade right in the middle of the day. Usually around noon the leaves on all the plants just go limp only to perk up as soon as the sun goes behind the trees. That wasn't the case today. I'm gonna just leave it in place for now and see if it helps for the long term.

The materials, if yer interested, are 20"ish wide by... 15' long plastic sheeting that was leftover from a basement project, sticks that were also leftover project bits, some rocks, and a bunch of staples.

Frankly, I'm surprised it's working as well as it is.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 8:42PM
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The Ancho in the corner is finally setting fruit. Jalas and Hot Wax are a few days away, and the Anaheims haven't even flowered yet. Clearly we need to get things started earlier in the season. The Orange Bell that took the worst hit is still limping along. It dropped all it's blooms and has started over with many leaves missing.

The good news is the umbrella is working. Not only does it offer mid-day protection from the sun, but keeping the rain off not only has been helping the leaves stay dry and healthy but also allows me to control how much water the roots have to deal with. There has been no further leaf damage since the umbrella went up.

I'm hoping that using seeds from each years crop will give me plants that can handle the unpredictable climate up here. I might be pipe dreaming that one. Time will tell, and we don't have much left of that in our season.

Thanks for letting me rant!

- Mark

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 12:06PM
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