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Peppers Dying off

Posted by EZCyclone Iowa (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 12, 11 at 14:15

Hello there, I started around 1500 peppers of different sorts from Feb till now. Everything had been great until about a week ago, out of no where all the peppers seem to be sick or dying. The leaves are yellowing then drying out, curling up and the the plants wilt over and that the end of it. I have them all in a green house running CFL's 18 of them I think. 100 watts each. They are on a 16 hour cycle, and like I said had been doing so very well. Most are still in peat pellets and Im rescuing all I can at this point up grading them to 8oz cups. The plants I had in 48 plug trays do seem to be doing better for sure, so I wonder if its not partly the plugs issue. I wonder if I may not have let them get to dry and then over watered them. I have lost hundreds of plants at this point and sure would like to know what I can do to save the ones I have left.

Here's two pics:
http://www.evanzerbyfoods.com/gardenpics/IMAG0491.jpg
http://www.evanzerbyfoods.com/gardenpics/IMAG0493.jpg

Thanks,
Evan


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Peppers Dying off

Wow! Those are some unhappy peppers!!

I don't really have a definite answer for you. But, those look really big to still be in peat pods. That may just be me, though. It could be a watering issue, but, I don't think that's your primary issue.

BTW, your website gets a 'thumbs down' - playing music right off the bat - yuk (and I couldn't figure out how to turn it off! Further, in Firefox nothing worked (links, etc.). I know, a little off topic, but, thought I'd throw that in there since I'm typing anyway.


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RE: Peppers Dying off

Yeah nothing works in any browser, yet anyway. Viewing the pics does not play music anyway, only if you go to the main site, which wasn't the point anyway. :) As far as the peppers, I'm transplanting them now, there is still probably six or seven hundred that I think will make it. It's odd, from the same flats I'm pulling some that the peat is bone dry, and others that are so wet when I squeeze them they POUR water out of them, both the plants wet and dry look the same. yet some peppers as a whole, like the red habanero, all look fine other then they are starting to yellow, but no wilting what so ever. I started a few hundred more yesterday and today, but I worry they will be to far behind.

Has anyone direct planted peppers in the garden?

E


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RE: Peppers Dying off

EZCyclone:
First let me give you my disclaimer: I am also pretty new to growing peppers. However, if you read about soils and such for peppers, you will quickly find that peat is generally not recommended for starting peppers and pretty much the same for growing them in general. That being said, I think you waited way too long to transplant them from the peat pellets to larger individual pots. You said some of the peat pellets were bone dry and some were soaked. That is common as there is usually a bottom below the compartments to catch draining water. Sometimes that water flows to one side or corner and saturates the pellets sitting too low on that end. Then some of the pellets dry out around the outsides and the interior ones tend to stay wetter since they are shaded more and get less air circulation. My advice right now is to get them (live ones) transplanted right away into some other type of soil. There are several different mix recipes available but I would shy away from any using peat. I think if you work quick, you can salvage quite a few. I would also suggest that you in some way either remove or slice the little netting around the peat pellet so the roots can easily grow into the new soil. I am sure they are all root bound right now.

I think the sudden turn for the worse is a result of the plants simply outgrowing the peat pellets.

Good luck and let us know how it all turns out.

PS: I assume from your location and your nick that you are a fellow ISU alum. It is hard to imagine anyone from ISU having trouble growing anything...hahahha. Mooo U.


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RE: Peppers Dying off

You are correct I am actually a ISU "current". Truth be told I started some in starter mix and then transplanted into plug trays and they are doing great. Actually the peat pellets did great for me until this week, so I guess I just missed the transplant date, I will have them all transplanted by tonight so we will see how many I save. It's been tragic lol.

Still wondering about sirect sowing, anybody ever done that?


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RE: Peppers Dying off

  • Posted by esox07 4, S. Cent Wisc (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 12, 11 at 22:05

Cyclone:
as a student, how in the heck to you find the time to tend 1500 seedlings? Sheesh!

As far as direct sowing, I think it would be tough. As tough as it is to get a seed to become a full fledged bearing plant indoors under very ideal and controlled conditions, I would think it would be very tough starting them outside. That being said, I would consider it an impossibility for most varieties of peppers if you are doing it in Iowa. The growing season just isn't long enough imo. But I am not an expert and there are probably some quick producing varieties that would work but I think most peppers are native to warmer climates. Just my inexperienced opinion though.


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RE: Peppers Dying off

I was wondering about direct sowing seed also (I'm a total newbie). I had them in seed trays and they had been moved to harden outdoors when a storm came in and blew them to smithereens. Rather than put in seed trays again, I direct sowed more seeds a little over a week ago and am not seeing any signs of life :( I was wondering if they would come up at all or whether I should just start some more in a seed tray?


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RE: Peppers Dying off

Looks like your GH may have gotten too hot or too much sun(those rays can still scorch through a GH or window). Many of the plants look sun-scalded. Also they should have been potted up...and, they need a little fertilizer and a little less water. If the weather won't allow you to plant out, pot them up, protect them from direct sun and water less. If you do plant them out in the ground(or containers), harden them off first.
Direct sowing would be hard in your area. Pepper seeds need warmth to germinate best and a long season as has been mentioned. I pre-sprout my seeds in a folded, moistened coffee filter placed in a baggie, set in a warm place. When I see roots sprouting, I plant those in cell packs or small cups and keep them warm. When the plants emerge I place them under the lights. A lot of fussing, but I don't have much room(apartment dweller). I only start peppers and toms this way. Other stuff is direct sown(weather permitting)or winter sown(flowers and stuff, and some toms). HTH


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RE: Peppers Dying off

Actually I live in an apartment myself. the "greenhouse" is just the area my seedlings are in. ill post pics soon. the only light they get is from 18 100watt 2700 k cfls. today Im upgrading to 5000k. bulbs cause I can no longer get the 6500k bulbs. I was told by the guy at lowes that the gov. is regulating the 6500k bulbs because of too many were using them as grow lights for marijuana. so lowes was forced to pull all of there good bulbs and all they can sell now are the 5000k ones and below.

donno about all this but its what I can do. so with this new info, do you still thinks its A photo bleaching issue?

E
P.s. sorry if the message is a mess I'm on my phone and autocorrect hates me.


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Pictures

Sorry folks, I havn't had the time yet to figure out how to upload pics onto the forum yet.
But here:
These two are pics of the peppers them selves. Clearly the one is damped off bad, but is the one where the thinning of the steam is at the top still caused by damping off? Dang, learning curve!
http://www.evanzerbyfoods.com/gardenpics/IMAG0497.jpg
http://www.evanzerbyfoods.com/gardenpics/IMAG0499.jpg

These two here are of the "greenhouse". Primative, but it's what I have.

http://www.evanzerbyfoods.com/gardenpics/IMAG0500.jpg
http://www.evanzerbyfoods.com/gardenpics/IMAG0501.jpg

Next year will be much better, I will make room for four racks this size, and much MUCH better lighting. As a electrical engineering student I feel as though some massive LED arrays are in my near future as a project...

Hopfully next year the curve will be somewhat flatter...


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RE: Peppers Dying off

Actually I live in an apartment myself. the "greenhouse" is just the area my seedlings are in. ill post pics soon. the only light they get is from 18 100watt 2700 k cfls. today Im upgrading to 5000k. bulbs cause I can no longer get the 6500k bulbs. I was told by the guy at lowes that the gov. is regulating the 6500k bulbs because of too many were using them as grow lights for marijuana. so lowes was forced to pull all of there good bulbs and all they can sell now are the 5000k ones and below.

donno about all this but its what I can do. so with this new info, do you still thinks its A photo bleaching issue?

E
P.s. sorry if the message is a mess I'm on my phone and autocorrect hates me.


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RE: Peppers Dying off

Here's the set up after the upgrade to the 5000K bulbs.

http://www.evanzerbyfoods.com/gardenpics/IMAG0502.jpg


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RE: Peppers Dying off

Clone:
looks like your peppers have taken over the living room. You sure are a determined apartment dweller.

I dont see any problems getting those 6500K bulbs around here. At least the Long ones. I know I have some 6500K twist bulbs too but I bought a couple 6500K bulbs just a few months ago. Why are you using the twist bulbs instead of the long T12 or T8 ones with shop lights?


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RE: Peppers Dying off

I read somewhere that the long tubes didn't put out enough light to keep the plants going past a few inches tall and that these put out more light. I currently have about 2200 lumens per square foot.


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RE: Peppers Dying off

Hmmmm...maybe too much heat. My light set-up is much smaller but similar. DH was given a used grow hood many years ago when a client decided to build a GH. I have 8 regular 26W CFLs in it and even though there are openings in the side, it still gets hot under there for seedlings. I have to keep it well above them at the risk of them getting leggy, but the hood reflects a lot of light(I don't understand lumen math). I keep a small fan on most of the time and have to water often, depending on the size of the cells/cups.
Maybe try a potting mix with less peat and I still think a little fert(nitrogen)is in order. I use very weak MG(1/4 tsp/gal water)once the plants have a couple sets of leaves.
The plants just outside of the lights look good...did you do anything different with them?
Here is my little set-up...fencing keeps curious kitties out. Right now I have 3 trays of pepper and tom seedlings under the light reaching well outside of the hood area, but my camera's currently out of commission.
The third photo is from a previous season in the living room before DH put the shelf up for me in the bedroom(ya gotta do what ya gotta do!).
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket


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RE: Peppers Dying off

Nice setup. I have been fertilizing them. Everything is officially transplanted now. Really loosing stuff that I transplanted. :( As for the plants that were off to the right of the setup, those are in cell packs the 48 to a flat kind. Everything has been the same for them, other than they were out of the GH for a while. I transplanted even them today, into 5oz cups. We will see how that goes.

E


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RE: Peppers Dying off

EZCyclone


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RE: Peppers Dying off

Photobucket


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RE: Peppers Dying off

You've got a lot of plants going, so even if you lose some you'll be ahead and you'll have gained knowledge for next year. Be sure to make notes on which ones you'll have to pamper(I'm fussing over a couple of rocotos right now).
And keep us posted on your progress! We want to see some harvest photos! And, really be diligent about your labels with that many plants, LOL! It's really frustrating waiting for the first fruits to see which plant you lost the label for.


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RE: Peppers Dying off

Oh I know, I will have a few beds that are going to be Either A or B. I got a few things turned around, a few were transplanted and I forgot to label in the very first round. I have Birdseyes and Cayennes in the same two flats and when I put them in not wanting to leave a few empty cells I filled them and put label sticks in, but it was only a few sells and at the time I was like " Oh I'll remember which was which Well Duh! That was dumb, not a big deal, I just wont harvest seed from those.

Sadly I have lost at least half of my Cayenne crop or 100 plants, most of the Corno di taros, red and green bells, the orange bells never did well to start with. The Jalape�o crop is all but a loss. I have replanted some red and green bells, we will try and pull a late crop from them. I have read on here where sometimes the later planted plants will catch up to the early ones, we shall see! I also will be doing some test plots of direct planted seed just to see how it goes. I know there were a few on here wondering that.

I will definitely keep you posted. As far as pin pointing my mistake on these peppers will be so hard. The one in the photo that turned out looking great were treated so differently. I had said earlier that everything was the same other than being out of the GH for a bit". the more I think about it the more that's not correct.

Those are the cayennes and the birdseye's (which I'm very excited about!) but they have had a different life from the get go. I'll explain:

I first started everything in peat pellets, as the tribe grew I decided 40 of those things at $5 each was to pricy. I then bought a large flat tote from wally world. I filled it with seed starting mix about four or five inches deep. I places the seeds in it every one inch.( I have since packed them in a bit closer) When the peppers came up I put four florescent lights above them about two inches up. I let them get about 2" tall, but they never got anything more then the cotyledon leaves. I then used large tweezers to slice down into the soil and pluck the plant and about one and a half inches of root/dirt combo. ( I wouldn't call it a root ball at this stage.) They were placed into the 48-Cell packs all the way down so that just the leaves were above the soil and then put back under the florescents. Once they got a inch or two on them they were moved into the then newly constructed greenhouse. At the time it was running the 2700K 100 watt bulbs. They got a few more inches on them and some nice leaves and then I needed room. I transplanted my tomatoes from peat pots into 20oz dixi cups and wanted them to have as much light as to miniumize the shock. So the best looking peppers (being those in the cell packs) were removed and set next to the greenhouse as to get SOME light. 140 Tomatoes takes a lot of room lol. These peppers grew much bigger leaves while outside the greenhouse and of course got a bit lanky.

They always received more water because they were bigger and they are very happy, of course they had more soil to contend with this water.

I do have to wonder if the time outside the green house where I observed the spike in leaf growth was not a case of the plant trying to maximize surface area. If so this may be something to look into.

Sorry for the rambling, but somewhere someone may learn something from it.

I tell you this much, next year (and now) I will only start my plants in starter mix and leave the peat pots for the lazier among us.

E


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RE: Peppers Dying off

I fixed the uber large pic, it was annoying me messing up the layout of the forum. Here are the others so folks can see them rather than go to the other webpage.

Ezcyclone

Ezcyclone

Ezcyclone

Ezcyclone

Ezcyclone


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RE: Peppers Dying off

Different peppers are sick now. I have some NuMex Twlights and Explosive Embers and they are sick all of a sudden. The first pic will be of them. The leaves are kind of spotted, I'm wondering what that is. I will say this they are pretty dry.

Now onto issue two( or is it 44 by now?) The big beautiful cayenne and birdseye plants I transplanted are now sickly, wilted over and some are spotted. They are not dried out at all. These were the healthiest plants of them all, and now they are sickly. Pic two if of one of them. Sorry they turned out a bit fuzzy!

HELP OH GREAT ONES!

E

Photobucket
Photobucket


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leaves falling off

I should also add that massive amounts of leaves are falling off, leaves that three days ago were big and lush, are now on the floor, still green and full, just, not on the plant anymore.


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Dying off

Here is a pic of the whole flat, three days ago they all looked like the one circled, now, well you can see.

Photobucket


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RE: Peppers Dying off

It just hit me, I also just switched to 24/7 lighting, exactly three days ago now. Could that be it?


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RE: Peppers Dying off

  • Posted by esox07 4, S. Cent Wisc (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 19, 11 at 19:22

Clone:

Yah, I would certainly drop down the lighting. Probably down to 10-12 hours. At least for a while. Man, I hope someone on here can help you out though. Those plants are looking and sounding sick. Sounding like you are really having a rough go of it this spring. But someone on this forum will probably have seen those sickly colored plants before and should be able give you some good guidance. Good luck and I am going to keep track of this thread to see how things turn out.


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RE: Peppers Dying off

Besides repotting and backing off on the light and excess water, the next time you water them, use some filtered water with some crushed genuine aspirin (Bayer etc). I've thrown in one whole aspirin into about 1/3 gallon water with no ill effects (you can use that as a rough guide). Mix the aspirin until it is thoroughly dissolved, throw it into a spray bottle and spray away. The less sickly plants will spring up in a few hours, and the slightly more sickly plants will need 12 hours or more before they begin to recover. I would repeat the aspirin treatment after 3 or 4 days.

I'd throw away plants that look fully diseased because they will infect neighboring plants, and clip off the occasional diseased looking leaf. By "diseased" i mean spotty purplish or brownish looking leaves. Leaves that are lime green colored are probably not diseased but those leaves will fall off eventually. Do not leave any leaf litter laying around because they can be a source of disease also.

I personally dislike peat pellets for this exact reason, there's no leeway for the sloppy/lazy/amateur gardener (which i am totally guilty of btw). Free draining potting soil is a lot more forgiving.

Good luck, and keep us updated.


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RE: Peppers Dying off

What disease do they have? I'll get on it first thing in the am. This sucks, things were going so well.


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RE: Peppers Dying off

Well they are looking better. I never got the light turned back to less time but things seem to be getting better. some of the yellow ones are green again. in fact the first one sick is now DARK green and very pretty. I lost a good amount but nothing that will stop me this year. I also turned the temp back up to 75 and cranked up the fans.

Here's a few pics, as sickly as they look now, they sure look better!
EZCyclone
EZCyclone
EZCyclone

I put together a fun little video for the garden, thought some of you would enjoy it. Make sure to watch the credits too!

E

I tried to embed the video, but Gardenweb got angry so here's the link. Just click the icon.

EZCyclone


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RE: Peppers Dying off

Clone:
You act like you are from Iowa or something. Sheeesh! I am gonna go cower in the corner now.


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RE: Peppers Dying off

Lol, what in the world are you talking about?

E


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