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Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

Posted by mosesong z5 KS (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 13, 09 at 14:42

Hi all,

All my pepper plants have pepper now. I switched to Bloom nutrient when they started to flower. However, now that most flowers turned to pepper, do I keep using Bloom or switch back to Grow? I'm using Dyna-gro brand nutrient.

Also, my bell pepper plant has about 9 pepper per tree, but the pepper seems to be a bit small compare to grocery store size. Is it because I have too many fruit so they don't have enough energy to grow larger? Should I trim them? I'm using drip system and get sun until 2 pm, then get afternoon sun from 4 pm to sunset.

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

In fact peppers (or any fruiting plant) needs more nitrogen again, when fruiting as well as slightly less Potassium. Phosphorus doesn't vary much anyway. So switching (back) to any mix that is in that range is Ok. More sulfur and Magnesium, and calcium is needed as well. Then again one should not make abrupt changes with nutrients, as plants may not actually like it. Just watch nature: in fact nature doesn't switch nutrients when plants bloom or produce fruit...

A stable PH and "clean" nutrient solution is more important than exact requirements an proportions. Plants' uptake is more about what they may absorb in different stages as about what you feed!

As for the pepper size: you can't actually compare any- or your "bell pepper" with what you call grocery store size. What bell peppers have you got, and what fruit size should they reach, - that would be the better question and comparision. There are bell peppers from all sizes, from nearly the double of the size of so called grossery size, to golf ball sized mini bells. If your plants are healthy and vigorous, they should produce the size that is in the range of their genetics. If they are not, they would produce fruits of different (smaller and bigger) sizes. If they lack nutrients or are sick, then they'll generally produce smaller crops. Burned-out plants also produce smaller fruit size...


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

Actually they want MORE potassium when there is a heavy fruit load.

These targets have been used by commercial growers for years, and are known to work well:
N - 200ppm
P - 55ppm
K - 318ppm
Ca - 200ppm
Mg - 55ppm
Fe - 3ppm

You'll notice a 1:1 ratio between N and Ca, and a 1:1.5 ratio between N and K.

Its not just about the total strength/concentration of the nutrient solution, its also very much about the balance and the ratios of what nutrients are in the solution.


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

Oh wow, I feel like I'm back in high school chemistry class again, only this time I'm scratching my head about how I would measure those individual nutrient.

I will double check the nutrient composition of Dyna-gro and see if there is enough potassium. I generally flush out my nutrient tank every two week, and top them off with water from rain barrel in between flushing.

I do try to check PH level every two weeks or so. The plants are healthy, so I'm not completely screw up, I might just have too high of expectation as a first time hydroponic grower.

Thanks again for the tips guys!


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

"These targets have been used by commercial growers for years, and are known to work well..."

Perhaps, but this formula is used for huge green house pepper plants having about 3 times or more pepers per stem as our friend here. He even said that the fruit size was smaller than "grocery size". Also, to mix that formula you need to provide lots of the K by using Potassium Sulfate, which gives you actually some 180-190 PPM of Sulfur all in all. Total concentration is about 1000-1050 PPM then, which is quite high.

This "comercial" formula is even calcuated (especially that high PPM) to stress the peppers to avoid any vegetative groth when fruiting and get maximum yield and profit. Actually, the K- and even S content is artificially high in this formula for this sole purpose. I wouldn't suggest such formula for any normal or medium plants.

Here is what I would rather suggest for medium (actually normal) sized plants:

N - 180 PPM
P - 50 PPM
K - 220 PPM
Ca - 200 PPM
Mg - 48 PPM
S - 85-100 PPM (depnding how much Potassium sulphate is used in the formula to raise K)

Total 740-750 PPM (EC around 1.5 Sm)

If this concentration would seem low, it could be raised up to 1.8 within the same proportions. Easy to do in case you have got a 2 component concentrate.


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

Or we could keep it simple. . . Bloom. Personally, I use bloom throughout the growing of peppers and only change strength. I use Botanicare.

Too much nitrogen leads to blossom drop.

I generally have smaller fruits the more fruit that are on the plant at one time. My strategy is to only let a few fruits grow until they are a decent size. Once they reach that size allow other fruit to set. By the time you pick the big ones the smaller ones are taking off.

Do you plan to let them go to ripening? Expect less yield, if so. that's why ripe peppers are 4 times more expensive (currently $1.99 each for ripe and $.59 each for green at Krogers in IN). When you pick them green you shorten the amount of time between harvested fruits, of course, but you also are allowing those nutrients and water to go to the next flush. I purposely plant separate plants for picking green and ripe, but I alternate their roles. I have two for green right now. I have 6 for ripening, some of which are in the ground. A couple weeks back the ones for green had ripening peppers on them while another 2 plants were the green producers. We eat peppers daily. Ripe and green.

Small peppers that are mature taste just like large ones. If you have two small ones instead of one large, who cares? The peppers in the store have to be large because that is what sells.

Nature does switch nutrients. It occurs with changes in precipitation and temperature. The entire soil food web experiences seasonal changes that influence what nutrients are available. That's why you can plant some plants later in the summer and they fruit much sooner in their life cycle than plants put in the ground in the spring. Rain and humus bring on nitrogen. A lack limits it. Limiting it changes uptake of other nutrients. Hot temps mean less worm castings and certain bacteria and fungi reduce activity. Anyway, the list goes on. No, nature doesn't change nutes in response to flowering or fruiting, but plants flower and fruit in response to changes in nature and certainly thrive when the changes are optimal.

I'm willing to shoot you picks of the peppers I have if you wish. It will have to be later, though, because it's raining and my setup is outside. Won't be taking the camera out until it lets up. Proof of knowledge truly lies in results.


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

Hydroponics, and plant nutrition are exact sciences! Hence, the more you know about it, the better you are able to control and master it!

Contradiction in single observation, experiences and opinions are frequent. They actually tell us about (well known) general adaptability of plants only. Unfortunately they are no real guidelines, no scientific results or prove of anything that helps us find adequate nutrition and solutions.


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

My current blend (due to be changed over the weeks end) has a
Ca:N ratio of .86
K:N ratio of 1.9
P:N ratio of 0.4
originally the PPM was 740(N only=137ppm) w/ EC = 1.2
last week I topped the reservoir and the EC= 0.9. so by interpolation I figure the concentration is around 550ppm now.
several of the plants have 8+ fruits on them all developing fine. in fact I'll be harvesting a few possibly over the weeks end.
Now I'm not growing bell peppers, so YMMV. I am growing sweet frying peppers and so far they appear to be at or near the size I expect them to be.


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

Thanks to all of you, I learn something, especially the fact that too much Nitrogen caused blossom drop, which happened to my egg plant yesterday and some of the pepper earlier on.

Ok, so I checked out my Dyna-gro, here is the formula they have:
Grow: 7-9-5
(7% nitrogen, 9% Phosphorus - P2O5, 5% Potassium -K2O)

Bloom: 3-12-6
(3% nitrogen, 12% Phosphorus, 6% Potassium)

It looks like I should stick with Bloom to avoid too much nitrogen.

I'm keeping my nutrient between 600 to 800 ppm and I would like to have some pepper ripen to red. I have 4 bell pepper plants now so I will try to do Joe's suggestion by harvesting some green and let some to ripe.

Right now I have about 10 pepper per plant, and the commercial farm has 3 times of mine per plant? I just can't imagine how the plant look like, no wonder they call it vegetable "farming".

I suppose if I want to make things interesting, I can mix both bloom and grow nutrient to get up to 800 ppm. After all, I'm doing hydroponic for experiment and learn, and so far I'm liking it, beat carrying 80lb of soil to my raise bed garden every Spring!


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

Well done to point out what we are actually talking about when saying "bloom"... because we were talking about 3 completely different standards and approaches, (PPM content, NPK industrial standard and ratio) that obviously became less and less transparent.

Yet, when we are dealing with industrial Standard percentage of fertilizers, we cannot compare the content as in 7-9-5 with actual ppm of elements, just because P2O5 & K2O are not actual PPM.

Here is how we need to do the maths, to transform this rather confusing industrial standard in real PPM content of each Element. Please note that Nitrogen is always given in actual (elemental) values and remains the same. Please check all calculus, as I am really bad at Maths! ;-)

At the second row, we have a possible (theoretical) PPM content of each element (industrial NPK percentage *25). Red finally shows the real NPK content of both mixes "GROW AND BLOOM" in the same possible mix. In both (G and B) we deal (even after maths) with very high Phosphorus content, and don't the hell know why the manufacturer puts that much P in those formulas. Unfortunately if mixing both, you can't even get close to what was proposed earlier trough some formulas, - neither of them. You'll never reach that "praised" high Potassium content ;-)

About blossom drop and excessive N: there can be numerous reasons for blossom drop, ranging from low/high - night/day temperatures, over calcium and iron deficiency, low air humidity and lack of other 'params' that normally contribute to pollination. Even a lack of Nitrogen can induce blossom drop. Plants who are producing crops, may simply and naturally drop blossoms because they rather focus on ripening existing fruits. Some sources give to high Nitrogen as a major reason for blossom drop, many others don't even mention too high N as reason for blossom drop. In any context it is important to know, that high N will firstly result in overly vigorous growth as well as (too) dark green leaves and possibly delayed fruit ripening, (such delay is going along with too vigorous growth for instance). In some cases plants may as well become more susceptible to pests and diseases.

PS: if you don't like maths, or find it too complicate for your needs - please at least consider that:

When talking about a formula expressed in PPM (obviously using elemental and actual values and content) these data DO NOT correspond to a industrial standard given by manufacturers!

1. P2O5 & K2O data are not actual K & P content of your product or your final solution.
2. Data given in MgO is not actual Mg content either.
3. Sulfur and calcium content in PPM (often present but not mentioned) may correspond to 1/3 plus of the whole PPMs in a solution.
4. If increasing or decreasing total EC, individual Element content will increase or decrease according to the roles of actual P & K content, (as in K2O * 0.83 =K & P2O5 * 0.437=P) and NOT by the assumed NPK-ratio given by industrial standard, as in NPK percentages.

If one doesn't consider these actually wired discrepancies between these outdated conventions (actually false PK percentages) and ACTUAL CONTENT in PPM, - misunderstanding, confusion and wrong calculus are the obvious consequence.

Conclusion: People can always and SIMPLY stick with what works fine for them (and for others), and not care in detail about what they actually use and stick with. Its fine as long as you SIMPLY use the products according to manufacturers instruction only and trust them. But as soon as we get to talk and discuss about such products and try to guess what the actual composition and content is, or even ask why and how - confusion and error is as obvious and guaranteed as the Amen in sunday mass!

Here is a link that might be useful: More about NPK convention and actual content in PPM -in another Thread


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

Correction: when talking about "At the second row" I actually meant 2nd Paragraph!


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

The size of the plant makes no difference. The nutrient strength is the same through the entire crop cycle. If the crop needs more water, water it more often rather than for longer duration.

It most certainly is not mixed strong, nor is it too strong such that it 'stresses the plant.' Anything you do to stress a plant reduces yield and commercial growers don't shoot themselves in the foot like that.

You may not suggest it for small or medium plants, but maybe thats why my plants are bigger and better...

[quote]
Perhaps, but this formula is used for huge green house pepper plants having about 3 times or more pepers per stem as our friend here. He even said that the fruit size was smaller than "grocery size". Also, to mix that formula you need to provide lots of the K by using Potassium Sulfate, which gives you actually some 180-190 PPM of Sulfur all in all. Total concentration is about 1000-1050 PPM then, which is quite high.

This "comercial" formula is even calcuated (especially that high PPM) to stress the peppers to avoid any vegetative groth when fruiting and get maximum yield and profit. Actually, the K- and even S content is artificially high in this formula for this sole purpose. I wouldn't suggest such formula for any normal or medium plants.

Here is what I would rather suggest for medium (actually normal) sized plants:

N - 180 PPM
P - 50 PPM
K - 220 PPM
Ca - 200 PPM
Mg - 48 PPM
S - 85-100 PPM (depnding how much Potassium sulphate is used in the formula to raise K)

Total 740-750 PPM (EC around 1.5 Sm)

If this concentration would seem low, it could be raised up to 1.8 within the same proportions. Easy to do in case you have got a 2 component concentrate.


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

shelbyguy,
What are you trying to tell us here? You're trying to quote lots of what I posted earlier and say it is not correct in two rather cheap sentences!? Come-up with better argument as simply saying that stress does reduce yield and that concentration doesn't change with plantsize.

>>If the peppers become too vegetative raise the EC to stress the plants.<<
Quote of Dr. Howard Resh.

Also, in the approach of University of Florida research, size of a plant MAKES a difference, as they gradually RAISE nutrient concentration for their Formula (tomato) cluster by cluster!

You know crap, but want to compromise what others expressed rather meticulously with a cheap critic sentence. Thats not working Mate, no way!

Here is a link that might be useful: UFL


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

Are we going to also consider this instance of being an insulting jerk because someone disagrees with him as being due to a language barrier? Just curious.


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

Actually, I learned straight language from you Joe. As it worked so fine for you here, I thought I could try it too LOL. Apparently it is only allowed to native speakers or US citizens. How could I forget that detail?

Mobbing in combination with discrimination - well that should have some impact, right!? Go on Dude!


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

"Actually, I learned straight language from you Joe. As it worked so fine for you here, I thought I could try it too LOL."

Okay, that was actually good. But I didn't discriminate at all. Just saying you were full of crap claiming language barriers before and this thread shows it more. You write too well for that excuse. Others might buy it, but I work with too many people all over the planet with much worse of a grasp on English that could recognize your problem has nothing to do with language. You'd have the same problem no matter what your native tongue is. Anyone else curious how what I said was discriminatory?

Oh, and shelbyguy did nothing more than disagree with you. He's not attacking you. You're attacking him. I'm just standing up to the playground bully who gets mad every time someone says he's wrong. Probably stems from getting picked on when i was a nerdy kid. Or maybe because I'm short and have little man syndrome going. We may never know.


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

What are you talking about, Joe??? I didn't do any claims about a language barrier at any time! Right, there was grizzman who pointed out as quoted:
>>I believe the whole misunderstanding came from the fact english is not jean-luc's native tongue.<<
Actually YOU alone were pointing out for the language barrier earlier, - well actually pretended that you didn't believe there was any!

And here is the exact quote of what I added as a conclusion to my explanation about my cultural background:
>> I am not proud of any of it nor claim any sort of special treatment, though! If there is any suspicion that something got lost in translation, the best way is to ask in case of confusion!<<

Right, I Didn't claim anything so far, - on the contrary: I insisted on not wanting any special treatment! What you are pretending here is just ridiculously false and another unjustified offense on top of the others. You trying to frame me here or what? If you do not like me, just say it - but stick with real facts and the TRUTH then!

But anyway all these personal attacks (as in this stupid ad hominem argumentation, that goes on and on) don't make any of the contradictory claims about best formulas (with extremely high P or K content or high concentration) more plausible or credible. And my claims on the topic get neither proven wrong nor false either.

I have no problem with disagreement at all! But if someone quickly stops by and wants to discredit with just one or two critic sentences, what I meticulously worked out and wrote, I simply don't accept it! Personal attacks that are only made up as diversionary tactics to cover for one's own lack of knowledge, are even worse! As to me it is clear disrespect and insult in the first place. And simple Quit pro Quo is the only answer I have got to that! And that is exactly what you can expect from me and generously have gotten now. ;-)

Cheers my friend, have a wonderful sunday!


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

Emm.... didn't know this will turn into such a heated argument. Regardless, I do walked away with some information, that's I still have a lot to learn! I thought Hydroponic is just set up the system, dip the truncheon to measure PPM and switch between bloom and grow nutrient and I will on my way to harvest like a farmer.

Overall, I really think I have too much nitrogen as my plant leaves are dark green, and it seems to take forever for the pepper to ripe.

So, let's move on and close this discussion.

Thanks everyone@


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RE: Pepper plants have fruit, what nutrient to use?

yes sadly people don't always know how to disagree without attacking each others opinions.
But don't let that scare you away. There's a lot to be learned here once you learn to look past the bickering.
Eventually, those folkz tend to drift away to find more fertile grounds.
Hopefully the peace will return soon enough.


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