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Container Size for peps

Posted by seysonn 7b WA/HZ 1 (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 8, 13 at 6:12

I want to know what is the smallest possible container/pot for a short compact pepper plant with small fruits (like, Hab..)?

The reason I am asking this is that I don,t have too much space and I don't want to spend too much on container and potting mix for a few peppers.
I really want them to stay dwarf.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Container Size for peps

I think the type of plant is more of a indicator than container size. My habs in my 15 inch pot didnt get real big just bushy. But to answer your question I had success growing 16 different varieties in 8 inch pots this year. I would not go much smaller than that just because you need to water them and feed them a lot more when they are in smaller pots. At one point I had to water them everyday and they don't like that much either so your in a catch 22. The plant thinks and shows signs of being over watered but the soil is bone dry and the plant is wilting at the same time. Also the taller varieties get top heavy and can fall over if you don't stake them. 8 inches worked fine for me but the plants in the 10 inch and 15 inch pots did better and where much easier to take care of. It sounds like we are in a similar situation. I have a very small back yards and using a combination of 8 inch 10 inch and 15 inch pots I grew around 50 plants this year and have more peppers than I know what to do with. Good luck


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RE: Container Size for peps

Up to two gallons if i'm reading you right, but it all depends. Produces a stunted plant with some actual pod production. Must be watered more often and given occasional nutes. The hard part would be the smaller pods you mentioned, because that calls for slightly starving the plant which lowers pod production a lot.

Certain pepper plants, like tabasco, will try to grow wild anyway.

Below is a link for a Hab plant in a 2 litre pot.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: 2 Liter

This post was edited by sjetski on Sun, Sep 8, 13 at 8:18


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RE: Container Size for peps

Seysonn,
this season my largest C. chinense has been grown in the smallest container....about 1.5-gallon, wider than deep. I'm so impressed that I'm going to try smaller containers next year.

I also grow my Black Pearl in a #2 nursery pot, which is a little less than 2-gallons. It even overwintered in that container, outdoors in a cold-frame.

Josh


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RE: Container Size for peps

I've seen pics, I've heard things....

1 gallon, 3 gallon...blah, blah, blah

To me, the bigger... the better. What good is having a small container if the canopy outgrows the diameter of the pot?

In my opinion, I believe it depends on the variety. I think that larger podded varieties like a larger container.

I've done the experimenting over the last 3 years. 5 gallons is fine, but in my 10 gallon and 2-3 plants per my half barrels, they do just as good as my in-ground plants ... or "almost" as good. There's a DEFINITE difference( of the same variety) of one growing in a 5 and then one growing in a 10 --- pod production, size of plant, and foliage.

Perhaps people with short seasons can get by with small containers. I just know that in December or jan, when I pull the plants from a 5 gal, they're totally rootbound.

I'd be willing to bet that 5 TEN gallon plants produce more than 10 FIVE. At least in my location.

To save money on soil mix, make your own and buy in bulk. The 5-1-1 mix has been said to last for years and years.

JMO

Kevin


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RE: Container Size for peps

Thanks all.
I think I got a pretty good idea. I will not do it in smaller than 1.5 to 2.5gal(8" -12"). anyway. But 5, 10 gal.? No way. I don't need a ton of hot peppers and I am not growing any bell or similar in pots, anyway.
I have found this 2.5 gal. plastic buckets in Dollar Store. They are just like plastic pots but no drain holes. You Guessed it, they cost $1.00 a piece. You cannot beat that. They are pretty sturdy too.

woohooman,
Sure, bigger pots will grow bigger plants and more/bigger fruits. But like I said, I do not care about production. Even if the canopy over grows the top, I can always prune them, if needed. If they get root bound, probably they will stop growing foliage and grow fruits instead, thou smaller ones.

NOW: Please suggest the plants that can be grown in those pots.
Appreciated.


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RE: Container Size for peps

Good score on the $1 2.5 gallon pots. The plants that can be grown in them you ask? I'd say anything because it's just big enough for some pod production with regular watering and nutrition. Now the question is which plants will be more stunted in them. Make a 2014 an experimental year in those pots, throw in a few types that you're familiar with, and throw in some new ones too. Just remember to keep notes on them and take pics.

Oh, btw, scored a dollar store surprise myself, i recently bought 4 bottles of concentrated nutes, Nature's Creation Liquid Plant Food 3-3-3, Ingredients = Bird Guano, Seaweed, Fish Emulsion, Potassium Sulfate and a bunch of different Myco's. 1 Tablespoon per gallon ratio. It's some discontinued product that was never popular, but for a buck i'll take it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Same concentrate product, different bottle


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RE: Container Size for peps

My 2 cents. On a number of my plants I could have used 5 gallon buckets, BUT they would have struggled in the spring for me. So, my largest buckets are 4.5. Most are 3 gallon, some 2.5. My habs, garden salsas, czech black, and black birds eye did excellent in 2.5.


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RE: Container Size for peps

Thanks Sjetski, Naturemitch

Yeah . We will make a 2014 experimental on POTTING them PEPPERS. I am not concerned too much about root bounding, b,c they are just annuals.AND in most of the peppers I tend to grow, I am not looking for lots of production, big champion fruits, etc.

I've never seen any garden deal in $ stores in my area lately. But things like 3-3-3, fish emulsion, etc are good catch for all purpose use. I Have been looking for cheap POTASSIUM. A lot of times, I just need "N" and "K". I have pure N(Ammonium sulfate 29:0:0) . So for greens I do not need "P", any way.

Anyway, I think small hot chilies don't need big pot. The miniturized ones are just as good.


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RE: Container Size for peps

This summer I bought white vinyl reflective grow bags that are 5 gal size. They cost about $11 with free shipping from amazon. I am pretty impressed even though I am new to growing but they seem to be out performing my more expensive 7 gal fabric bags which I bought 5 for $20. Also the cool thing about these is that you can fold them down to smaller size same thing with the black ones in the photo. Another benifit could be an easy transfer to a bigger pot or grow bag by just cutting them (At least for the Vinyl it would not be a real loss at about $1 per bag).

Just my 2 cents, I will do a new thread after the season comparing. In the photo you can also see the 20 gallon bags I used for the maters, next season if I can over winter I will put one in there to see what happens or start new. But the 20 gallon grey fabric bags were awsome for the tomatoes this season in bad weather and they come in all different galon sizes. 20 gallon was around $10, I believe 10 gallon is around $7-$8, 5 gallon about $5 and such.


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RE: Container Size for peps

Thank Mr. Beno,

My reason for growing in small pots is two fold:

==1) it is space saving. Otherwise I would just plant them in ground. But I do not have the real estate.

== 2) Potting soil/mix is TOO expensive. I don't want to spend $10 on potting mix and get 5 bucks worth of peppers..

Also, bigger pots cost more. So by the time you add the cost of seed/seedling, potting mix, pot, fertilizers, ...economically it does not makes sense to me. Sure, part of it is hobby. That is why I don't put Dollar value on my time and efforts, because this is the hobby part.

This post was edited by seysonn on Fri, Sep 13, 13 at 0:13


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RE: Container Size for peps

I use between 1.5 and 2 gallon pots and I plant more than one pepper in each one. Usually 3. I didn't use all potting soil. I mixed potting soil and garden soil - the garden soil is heavy, cheap and holds onto the water. The peppers didn't care - I fertilize them regularly anyway. Some of my plants have hit the peak of my little green house - 7'6" and the ones I hang around the deck reach about 3 feet.
I too try to fit as much into my little bit of real estate as possible.


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RE: Container Size for peps

Thanks Lori

IMO, soil (potting or garden dirt) is just a medium. What plants need is the nutrients and water.
If I was going to plant a pepper as perennial and keep it for years, then I would think about bigger containers. But I am growing them just as annuals . By the time they are root bound, their time is up and got to go. Even in root bound condition if you give them what they need, should be fine.


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RE: Container Size for peps

I wanted to refreshed my findings about the container size. So I dusted off this thread.

I was watching a video on You Tube. This guy had tens of hot peppers, ALL grown in 1 gal.pots and all were good size plants and loaded with ripe pods in September(2011). Now I am pretty sure that I can plant two seedlings in a 3 gal. pot. My list of varieties keep growing and right now it stands at 14. So I figure I will probably plant in average TWO of each. In this case I will have to double per pot and have some of them in smaller pot. I have already started 8 varieties that are not supposed to get very big ti April.

About the potting mix, I will use Pine bark based mix, a version of Al's 511.

I like to hear from those who are planning to do container planting; It is good to exchanged ideas.


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RE: Container Size for peps

I spent most of my budget (and beyond) on my greenhouse and irrigation systems so pots had to be thrifty on the pot purchases. I reused 1 gallon hanging pots that I had and 1.5 gallon pots that I bought cheap for last year's crops - three to a pot. Everything was just fine. l found some square pots at the dollar store this month that are probably 2 or 2.5 gallons and bought all 6 that they had in stock. I will be using these in place of some of the 1.5's Until the plants get bushy, I will be able to put them right next to each other and then when the hanging pots go outside, they can be spread out to accommodate their foliage.
I suppose I could use bigger pots but I really see no reason why.

The small ones work, are cheap, use less dirt and utilize less real estate and frankly, I felt badly having to terminate most of the plants in the late fall- that's just how well they did.

And here is something VERY INTERESTING. There was a lot of dirt left in the pots after shaking out the roots -which to me says that they weren't so very root bound as I was told was guaranteed to happen in small pots!

I hung onto a couple which are right now growing a new crop, slowly mind you since the sun is so low.

I don't think I will ever convert to large pots unless maybe I won the lottery and got a nursery sized greenhouse! And then I could afford a strong young man to move the plants around for me.. :)


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RE: Container Size for peps

I scrap all my pots. I have found most landscapers throw them out anyway If you just ask most will save them for you as long as you pick them up.My eyes light up when I see a large shrub going in I stop and ask for the pot.75% of the time it goes home with me.I just saved more then enough to not worry about the cost of soil. Also nurserys don't have the room to store empty pots so by using them you are saving our landfills . I also do perennials and scraped over 150 pots last year that would have been part of our landfill.Pots are free if you keep your eyes open and your also helping the environment.Its a plus plus all around just keep your eyes open and don't be afraid to ask.Most people are more interested in there new shrub then the pot it came in and feel good about it being used as something other then fill and your helping the environment at the same time. Please if your going to grow in pots scrap them its free and save them year to year.


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RE: Container Size for peps

5 gal. pails are free in dumpsters at almost all drywall sites. They should say readymix on them not Home Depot or Lowes.90% of these pails will end up in our landfills as pepper growers part of our job is to bring those numbers down. Recycling can not only help our environment it can save you $.


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RE: Container Size for peps

depending on your situation, one disadvantage of smaller pots is they tip over in the wind once the plants get any size to them. Something to think about...


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Yes, tsheets.
Tipping over is always is possibility with top-heavy smaller containers. But in my case, being near the PACIFIC we usually have calm weather , no strong winds storms or anything like that during the summer..

However, there are ways to deal with that. Like driving a short stake next to the pot and tying.

All in all, I have learned quite a bit about container gardening before hands. I think I can economize by cutting down on the costs of soil and pots.


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RE: Container Size for peps

If fabric pots do punch above their weight, then you might coax more production out of them per gallon size compared to plastic pots. Walmart has their .50 cent woven polypropylene bags that were tested to be virtually chemical free. They are 4.5 gallons but can be folded down to a more manageable 2 gallon size to help save on potting mix.

The walmart fabric bags are also square shaped, which means you can save space compared to round containers.

I have a dozen more that i'll be using in 2014. Maybe i'll fold some of them down to a 2 gallon size to see what happens. I could save $$ on potting mix and i have tons of extra nutes this year that i could feed them with. The plants going in these will just be "extras" anyway so they don't need anything special.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: Walmart bag example pics

This post was edited by sjetski on Mon, Jan 6, 14 at 9:37


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RE: Container Size for peps

Thanks Steve,
You can't beat 50 cents per container ( Walmart bags). The other advantage of those bags is that there will be no winter storage hassle. I think a lot of grocery stores offer similar deals. I have to check the quality and sizes.


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RE: Container Size for peps

Indoors in the winter I grow hots in 6" pots (tiny fraction of a gallon) and they need watering usually every 2 or 3 days. But there is no wind, temps are cool, light is by shoplight only. I would never try that outdoors, as they would dry within hours.

Outdoors I use much bigger 16" pots (5 gallons? 10 gallons?) and plant anywhere from 2 to 4 plants per pot, depending on variety. That means that even in the hottest weather (and I'm zone 3, so my "hottest" means low-90s F at best) I only have to water every 2-3 days.

If you stay at home during the growing season, you could go with a small pot as long as you can address the frequent watering needs and top-heavy tipping that goes with small pots when they are outdoors. If you want to be able to go away for the odd weekend and leave your peppers unattended, then go with bigger pots in the multi-gallon size.


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RE: Container Size for peps

Oh for heaven's sake!Those shopping bags could be made in any size and as you say, they will store so easily in the winter. I am sooo stupid- I own industrial sewing machines and could make those in a snap. I guess I'd better source some plastic and make some up. Ohh, I could do some very nice colours too!
Thanks so much for the heads up


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RE: Container Size for peps

NP Seyson and Lori !! Just note that in early 2013 someone had a bunch of those woven polypropylene grocery bags tested, and some of them had trace chemicals from some treatment process presumably, the blue Walmart bags were found to be clean. So be careful when selecting bags or material, traditional felt or undyed-white woven polypropylene may be better.

 photo walmartgrowbag3_zps54691931.jpg

^ Here's what i did to get a larger ~ 7 gallon size. I cut the bottom out of one bag, then hot glued it into a second one. Don't let your eyes deceive you, these bags were glued together straight ;P

Their tags say they are machine washable too btw, cold and delicate. The wash may bust a seam, but a little hot glue or needle and thread would fix it right up.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: Standard Polypropylene and food safety info

This post was edited by sjetski on Mon, Jan 6, 14 at 12:07


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RE: Container Size for peps

This cayenne got MASSIVE later in the season in just this #2(1.5gal) container. Even when this pic was taken early in the season it is full of pods! In miracle gro potting mix.

 photo 004-2.jpg


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RE: Container Size for peps

I got some smaller ones from Fred Myers, @ 80 cents. Since I am going to grow peppers in them, the size is right. Also got some 1.5gal. plastic pots from FM for $1.50 each. So I think I am all set. Thanks everybody for sharing ideas.

seysonn.


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RE: Container Size for peps

For free I ask local sub shop for used mayo buckets. 3 gal, food grade plastic. Want to ask chinese rest for soy sauce buckets, they're 5gal.


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RE: Container Size for peps

I also like Lorei's idea , planting more than one per pot. I am growing my seedling just like that, 2 per pot. Of course I am talking about smaller varieties not some huge sweet peppers.

As far as potting soil, I will make my own BARK-BASED mix , consisting of SMALL BARKS NUGGETS, BARK FINES, HOME MADE COMPOST, MANURE. maybe some garden soil too.
Skip the perlite. with bark nuggets there will be enough drainage. Plus perlite is costly.

TWO MORE MONTH ...maybe then I can utilize my cold frame then.


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Oh my - I would love to hear about your cold frame. I am just now getting the stuff together to build my own - small ones because I have a small yard but I am just tooo excited!


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I thought I could do 2 per pot. I quickly regretted it. they became root bound very quickly. if you have weather conditions that will only allow for one harvest anyway, it's not as big of a deal. but if the goal is huge productive plants with multiple flushes of peppers, don't do 2 per pot.


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The only way I've been successful with 2'fers is to plant the two seedlings tightly TOGETHER.......as if one plant......otherwise the plant canopies fight each other ........

doug


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RE: Container Size for peps

I'd say a minimum of 3 gallon pot. A 5 gallon would be a lot better. I grow most my peppers in 3 gallon nursery pots (really cheap) and I make my own potting mix with equal parts peat, perlite and compost. This year though I am gonna tweak it a little and add some worm castings and maybe some pumice for more aeration. My plants are pretty productive and I get lots of pods. I grew a Serrano once in a 3 gallon pot with mostly clay soil ( wouldn't recommend it) years ago. For the most part it grew ok, I got lots of pods and it grew 3 years before I pulled it out. I don't recommend stuffing 2-3 plants in like a 3 gallon you will get a low yield of peppers. Not only will the plants be crowded but they will compete for water and nutrients. If all you want is to sample a few peppers then go this route. If you want productive plants, plant a single in a 3 gallon with good potting soil.


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RE: Container Size for peps

Last year all I used was Walmart bags. Excellent growth, drainage and production.
Soil I used was peat moss, pine bark, bat guanno and quick release lime. Throughout the season I fertilized with ironite, fish emulsion, calcium acetate, kgrow, seaweed extract and some random others.

Check out the link to see them in Walmart bags mid season.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/pepper/msg0813151519641.html


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RE: Container Size for peps

Lori,

Here is a picture of my cold frame:

Dims: 6 ft long ; 3 ft wide : height : 18" front, 36" back.

IOW, the top is slanted @ 45 degrees. The top is made of 3 sections. The center is fixed and the right one opens to right and the left one swings to left.

I have made it from 5/8" thick cedar and have insulated inside by 1/2" hard foam.

BTW: the picture was taken before placing it in the permanent location. and the top was not yet hinged.

I have used CF in the past (back in GA). It is very dandy and useful in early spring.


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I had been trying to visualize the tuftex corrugated roofing used for a cold frame and now that I see it, it makes good sense.Thank you for the picture.


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IT IS POTTING ACTION TIME.
Finally !

I started this thread back in SEP last year. I am glad I did now I am ready to get to work and start planting my seedlings.

I have about a dozen #2 nursery pots (just under 2 gal), some 2 to 5 gal. plus some shopping bags. I am going to make a visit to the Dollar store , looking for some good deals.

OK. Pots are all planned out and I also have over 8 cubic foot of 5-1-1 potting mix. During the winter months I also studied all kinds of potting mix options and came up with picking 5-1-1. It costs me less than 40 cents per gallon. The most expensive part of it is PERLITE, about 4 times as expensive as the other components ($18 per 2 cu-ft). Luckily, that is about 15% of the total volume.

For the next few days I be doing potting and planting full throttle.


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RE: Container Size for peps

  • Posted by jutsFL 9b (Orlando) (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 10, 14 at 7:25

Seysonn, my local dollar store always has these 3gal buckets. I picked up a few a while back and have some holes drilled already in them. I'm going to put my tobascos in these with this go round. I also found these oil drip pans at the dollar store too. Picked up 16 of them for when it gets really hot here and I won't have the time to water everyday. I'll just fill'em and place the 5 and 3 gal buckets on top to keep a reservoir for a few days. They're about 4in deep, and way sturdier than the thin plastic drip pans found at the nurseries.

Jay


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