Return to the Hot Pepper Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Ideal potting medium for peppers

Posted by pkapeckopickldpepprz z9 a/b FL (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 2, 08 at 20:55

I have a hit or miss success with different varieties of soil/soiless types of mediums. I thought a base of Pro Mix with added bark chips as well as other ammendments worked well for a bunch of peppers but not all for some reason. I started the Lemon Drop seedlings and they germinated fine but all the transplants went into a high peat based medium they all started wilting which was odd. I usually atributed the wilting to have no enough airation and well draining properties. This used to occur in the mixes I had that used a base of Miracle Grow Garden Soil that was very heavy and held too much water. Any thoughts as to why certain varieties love peat and others not so much?

As a side note a friend gave me an unknown pepper plant (looks similar to a Santa Fe) and it was planted in what looks like typical Florida sugar sand. It looks lush and deep dark green and quite honest, healthier than any of mine that I use special mixes and thorough fertilizer / mineral supplementation. Odd that this is the case, although I did notice most of his pepper plants were in qhat looked like heavy shade whereas most of mine are in full sun. Thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

I start and grow all of mine in Pro Mix or a similar product called Fafard.


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

I like the Pro Mix and Fafard by themselves but in Florida heat and full sun they dry out way too fast. I'd have to water twice a day and I am wanting to limit it to once a day at the most which is why I tend to add some heavier mix to hold water a bit better.


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

Before I got lazy I made my own mix from peat, bagged top soil, and perlite. That worked well but was a fair amount of work for the number of pots I fill. I don't know if they required less watering. I think Pro Mix has an edge over Fafard which appears to have more perlite and thus less peat to hold water.


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

I have never seen it but with a search I note that Pro Mix is mostly Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss...I have looked for a similar product here in the South of Spain and see that this is called TURBA.

The only thing is that it is available in two forms - light or black. The light is the more acidic. Can you tell me if Pro Mix is dark or light (apart from the perlite) so I can look for the most similar mix around here?

Thanks
Joseph
z10


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

Never heard of turba but Pro Mix is dark brown when wet and light brown when it dries.


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

Thanks, it's the light one I need then.

(Turba is just sphagnum moss in Spanish, not the trade mark)

Joseph
z10


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

I use the ProMix Bx for regular potting soil and ProMix VFT for seed starting.

Not much problem with drying out unless I have too small a container for the plant size. A good heavy mulch of shredded cypress really helps too. I use an inch or so on the bottom of the containers (most are 8 gal and up) and 2-3" or more on the top.

If possible, pile mulch (grass clippings, leaves etc) around the base of the container. Keeps the containers cooler in hot weather and the roots will grow out bottom of container into the mulch. Setting the containers on landscape fabric will keep roots contained and help with weed or tree root problem.


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

Here is a link showing the compostion.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pro Mix


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

Forgot to post the link.

Haven't checked for a few years, but from memory the ProMix pH starts out about 6.8 and settles in to about 6.4 pH.

Here is a link that might be useful: ProMix


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

Here are some examples of what I mean.

This first picture is the pepper I received from my friend. Notice how nice and green it is and when I received it Saturday it was in nothing more than SAND, most likely sugar sand. I pretty much took it out and for an experiment used this SAND on one of my peppers (shown in next picture below this one). I kept the rootball filled with the heavy and wet sand intact and just filled in with a mostly sandy mix with sparing amounts of peat/perlite.

Here is the after effects of my pepper in a blend of the sand (taken from the plant I received from my friend) and the remnants of the peat mix it was in previously. I will mention the leaves were droopy before in the peat mix and hasn't improved much in the mostly sand mix. I also have moved this into a mostly shade area within the last 2 days.

Here is the reason I started questioning whether a mostly peat mix is good for all peppers. Most of my peppers thrive in a pro mix or pro mix blend, but this particular pepper (which was doing well before the heat has gotten to the 90's and will continue from now until October) stays wilted pretty much all day and doesn't seem to recover during the evening like other plants in full sun seem to do. As you can see it has a bunch of peppers and I took off a lot of them last week as I thought maybe it was wilting because of the maximum fruit load and I removed about half. It is shown in a shady location compared to the full sun blast it was getting previously approximately from 10am to sunset.

Here are the 3 lemon peppers and they are staying quite small as they stay shrivelled up and I guess since I moved the entire pot into full shade they aren't as shrivelled up as they have been since they sprouted. They as well have been moved into mostly shade.



I guess I am wondering at this point if the effects of the wilting (that doesn't occur to this degree on my other peppers that stay out in full sun) is due to heat/sun stress or the peat mix. I am at a crossroads here and would like some suggestions.


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers 2

I am also amazed my friend was able to grow much nicer looking peppers in sugar sand in 80% shade with probably no fertilizer (he is a pepper newbie) and mine look like crap and I use all the pepper head secrets like Epsom salt, fish emulsion and alfalfa pellets and compost along with pro mix or a pro mix homemade blend. I'm quite envious and maybe I need to learn something from my pepper newbie friend which goes counter to everything I have learned since I've been growing peppers as well as the general knowledge here.


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

no updates? I am surprised no one ever offered any advice on this last summer when I posted it. I can say I started all new plants this year and they are thriving. The biggest difference I have found is peppers do MUCH better in shadier places than in direct sun which is counter to what the FAQ state about idea pepper conditions.


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

I experimented with coconut coir for the first time this year. I started some peppers in the coir and others in the pro mix. To note the difference, I started a few of the same varieties in the two different mediums.

The peppers I started in the coconut coir sprouted about the same time, but they stayed stunted for a very very long time. They definitely performed better in the pro mix. I fertized both with organic kelp fertilizer.

My tomatoes on the other hand, performed really well growing in the coconut coir. Some of my flower seeds didn't like it either.

I've been told the coir is more "neutral" than peat moss, so I thought it would be an interesting experiment.

Not sure why the plants would stay so stunted in the coir, but I know for next year not to use the coir to start my pepper seeds.

As an aside, I have potted up my tomato plants with a fair bit of the coir mixed in with pro mix and a few other additives. The coir does seem to help the tomatoes retain their moisture in the pots better than peat moss ever did.


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

I've had great luck with a MG Potting Mix (not soil) & Canadian sphagnum peat mixture.


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

I can't seem to find any pro mix soil anywhere here in So. Cal. I called their company and I can order it but it would cost about $30.00 for a bag. Hey Tn.Veggie Gardner how big of a bag of the MG potting soil and the Canadian sphagnum peat mixture do you use? and by the way This is a great fourm This was my first season growing peppers and I feel that I did ok, now I'm getting ready for next season Thanks everyone.


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

Jesse2008, When I was out in So Cal visiting family I noticed they sell at Lowes, Home Depot and Do-It Centers is a product called Super Soil and I actually prefer that to Pro Mix, I really wish they sold it here in Florida. It seems like the idea potting soil. I think you'd do well to try that. I repotted my sisters plants with that stuff and it worked out great.


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

I saw that super soil at the home depot, I'll read the pkg. this time. Thanks for the tip pkapeckopickldpepprz


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

I tried ProMix this year and I wasn't too happy. I don't think it was the high peat content, but instead a bad batch. It must have been contaminated with herbicide or something. I know it's highly regarded, so I suspect this was an isolated problem. Still, I won't be trying it again.

In Southern California, Super Soil is pretty good but my favorite is Sunland Natural and Organic available at OSH. Fox Farm stuff is great too, but the Sunland is cheaper and really good. I think there's some peat in there, but also coco coir, worm castings, pumice etc...


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

jesse: It just depends on the container size, of course. I'd estimate it was about an 80/20 mix, the 80 being the MG. You want to stir in the Canadian Sphagnum Peat well or else it will block water from escaping the container eventually (as the peat is meant for this purpose, among a few others...to slow down the water drainage). I'd do a big layer of MG, then a small layer of CSP, then repeat until container was as full as you want it. Then, i'd hand stir the mix (ya know, where you grab handfuls & turn it around). I would definitely also only recommend that mix for containers. My peppers continue to do awesome in it. =)


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

HAVE BEEN GROWING BELL PEPPERS AND HOT PEPPERS WITH GREAT SUCCESS HERE IN EAST OKLA...
1. PEPPERS GROW BEST WHEN STARTED SLOW, NOT MUCH FERTILIZER...
2. I MIX IN A LOT OF HOMEMADE COMPOST....MOSTLY LEAF MOLD ETC.
3. MY TRICK IS: I GO INTO THE FOREST AND SCRAPE A LOT LEAF
MOLD AND TOP SOIL FROM UNDER THE TREES...A WHEEL BARROW
LOAD...I WILL PUT ABOUT A 39OZ COFFEE CAN INTO THE PLANTING
HOLE WHEN TRANSPLANTING....THIS WORKS GREAT WITH ALL
PLANTS, ESP TOMATOES AND PEPPERS....THIS SOIL FROM THE
FOREST IS LOADED WITH MYCHORRHIZA AND WILL GROW ROOTS
EVERYWHERE...I HAVE A TIME GETTING MY PLANTS OUT OF THE
POT IN THE FALL BECAUSE ROOT BALL IS SO LARGE...I ALSO
DRILL A LOT OF HOLES IN MY POTS FOR AERATION....PLANTS
NEED TO BREATHE GOOD OXYGEN...AIM AT GROWING HEALTHY
WHITE ROOTS FOR SUCCESSFUL CROP...PEPPERS NEED SHADE
FROM EVENING SUN IN 90 PLUS WEATHER....HOPE THIS WILL
HELP SOME OF YOU GROW YOUR OWN VEGETABLES...MY NEXT
TRICK IS USING BIOCHAR IN MY HOMEGROWN PRODUCTS....
ALL GARDNERS SHOULD CHECK THIS OUT...I MAKE MY OWN WITH
A FIFTY GAL STEEL DRUM....TIME FOR SOME OF US TO CHANGE
....THE MYCORRHIZA WORKS, I KNOW....


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

HAVE BEEN GROWING BELL PEPPERS AND HOT PEPPERS WITH GREAT SUCCESS HERE IN EAST OKLA...
1. PEPPERS GROW BEST WHEN STARTED SLOW, NOT MUCH FERTILIZER...
2. I MIX IN A LOT OF HOMEMADE COMPOST....MOSTLY LEAF MOLD ETC.
3. MY TRICK IS: I GO INTO THE FOREST AND SCRAPE A LOT LEAF
MOLD AND TOP SOIL FROM UNDER THE TREES...A WHEEL BARROW
LOAD...I WILL PUT ABOUT A 39OZ COFFEE CAN INTO THE PLANTING
HOLE WHEN TRANSPLANTING....THIS WORKS GREAT WITH ALL
PLANTS, ESP TOMATOES AND PEPPERS....THIS SOIL FROM THE
FOREST IS LOADED WITH MYCHORRHIZA AND WILL GROW ROOTS
EVERYWHERE...I HAVE A TIME GETTING MY PLANTS OUT OF THE
POT IN THE FALL BECAUSE ROOT BALL IS SO LARGE...I ALSO
DRILL A LOT OF HOLES IN MY POTS FOR AERATION....PLANTS
NEED TO BREATHE GOOD OXYGEN...AIM AT GROWING HEALTHY
WHITE ROOTS FOR SUCCESSFUL CROP...PEPPERS NEED SHADE
FROM EVENING SUN IN 90 PLUS WEATHER....HOPE THIS WILL
HELP SOME OF YOU GROW YOUR OWN VEGETABLES...MY NEXT
TRICK IS USING BIOCHAR IN MY HOMEGROWN PRODUCTS....
ALL GARDNERS SHOULD CHECK THIS OUT...I MAKE MY OWN WITH
A FIFTY GAL STEEL DRUM....TIME FOR SOME OF US TO CHANGE
....THE MYCORRHIZA WORKS, I KNOW....


 o
RE: Ideal potting medium for peppers

Dear butch,
...THIS SOIL FROM THE FOREST IS LOADED WITH MYCHORRHIZA..., but potentially also other stuff that's not very good for our plants.
...PEPPERS NEED SHADE FROM EVENING SUN IN 90 PLUS WEATHER...my (habanero, jalapeno and birds eye)peppers grow perfectly well in 90 plus weather and they are not protected from evening sun. Guess it depends on the type of pepper.
USING BIOCHAR IN MY HOMEGROWN PRODUCTS....since you are not using the carbon for atmospheric carbon capture and storage, but instead as a soil enhancer it's called plain charcoal ;) Be careful as the carbon might disrupt the availability of nutrients for your plants.

Then again, my grandma said:"if it works, it works".


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Hot Pepper Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here