The Q&A Archives: Why Peppers May Fail to Thrive

Question: All my pepper plants seem to have blistered or withered leaves and never produce like they should. This is the third year at this location with the same problem no matter where I plant them. Tomatoes, sweet corn and every kind of flowers grow great. I lime the soil well at planting time (mixed in) as I use Miracle-Gro a lot during the growing season with no ill effects on anything. The peppers get full sun all day. The neighbors' peppers get sun only 1/3 of the day and do great. What's up?Kelly Dickson Columbus, OH

Answer: Without seeing the plants, it is hard to say exactly, but something that might be hurting them is the lime. Lime will burn plants and should be applied in the fall to act on the soil over the winter. I would suggest having your soil tested this fall to get specific recommendations. You might have a deficiency. Although Miracle Gro will give your plants the nutrients they need, it is really a temporary fix and doesn't do anything to build up the overall fertility of your soil. Try applying wellrotted compost or manure around your plants as a side dressing. You also may be adding too much nitrogen with the Miracle Gro fertilizer and need to cut back.

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