The year in peppers

HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)July 27, 2014

Attached is a photo of my one habanero plant that is doing well. It has given me a couple of pods up to now and I wanted to memorialize it before I harvested many more. This is one that I started last year and kept through the winter. It almost died over the winter, but came back pretty well this year.

Aside from this one, however, I am having a pretty bad year for peppers. I have a south facing, huge bay window that collects a lot of heat and allows me germinate peppers normally. But not this year. This year, it was nigh impossible to germinate a pepper, especially a hot pepper, and especially habaneros. Of those that did finally germinate, many have stayed severely stunted and been unwilling to grow more than a few inches high. Most of the rest are smallish and/or look very weak, with small, thin stems.

I was at an event sponsored by the University of Maryland Extension yesterday that helped me feel some better. The master gardeners have peppers in their demo garden that look about like mine. And one of the major topics of conversation among attendees was how poor this year has been for peppers. So I guess it's not just me. But still: ARGHHHHH!!!! I wanted to preserve a lot peppers this year and this little plant just won't produce enough on its own!

So I'm not looking for help so much as I am looking to commiserate and see if others are having similar problems. And whether others have similar bright spots among the problems.


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I've only started gardening the past couple years, and the only plants of mine producing are producing very little. I've got a ghost, habenero, 2 jalapenos, and an unknown species given to me by a friend. I know how you feel! I've got nothing on the jalapenos, 2 hab pods, and one of my few ghost pods were knocked off by the wind. Last year these plants were pumping out peppers by the minute.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 7:21PM
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So far I don't even have flowers on my Aji Limon - and tomorrow's low is going to be 55. The Hinkelhatz have a few pods, and I'm seeing flowers (or flower buds) on most other plants and some possibly pollinated pods starting on the experimental mini-sweets. The plants look healthy (except for some nibbled leaves - grasshoppers?) just very slow to flower.

Maybe too much N? These and the tomatoes in the soon-to-be tunnel have very lush foliage though the soil (straight decades-old composted horse manure/bedding) tested "Low" in N. But the tomatoes are flowering and setting fruit - just not tons and I've been in there every week since the holiday pruning the tomatoes b/c they've been getting so many suckers I'm worried there's not enough air flow. Heavy rains every week (except for 2nd week) this month aren't helping with what I think is Early Blight. That could be another reason for peppers not flourishing - though their foliage looks good?

At least once I get plastic up I can get another month or so in the season - might get some green pods though at this point I don't know about ripe?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:40AM
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Im due East of you in NJ. I watch the weather closely every day I have noticed you have been getting a lot of rain this year. Twice what Ive been getting on the coast ,The Bay sends it North. Ive only had to water twice since planting,last time was mid June. If the weather changes this Month thing could turn around for you but peppers need sun and Md been getting to much rain with below normal temps. Lets just hope the weather changes, There is still plenty of season left.
Its a good thing to get involved with your extension service they can be very helpful. I think lack of sun and to much water might be setting you back some but it still looks to me your going to get peppers. Did you add perlite to your soil for drainage ? If not add 1/3 next year and also lime if you haven't it helps.Strait potting soil hold to much moisture and prevents enough oxygen from getting to your roots. If that's the case you could move your plant under a south facing overhang to give you better moisture control.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:32AM
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