The Q&A Archives: Peppers and Tomatoes Turned Yellow

Question: I started pepper, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and a few herbs in late winter this year ( late feb - early march) and everything was doing great, but the peppers and tomatoes started turning yellow at the tops. I put the tomatoes and peppers outside in a cold frame, taking them inside at night (we had a lot of snow here in New Jersey). The tomatoes recovered and are doing fantastic. The best I ever had from seeds (2ft tall now) but the peppers are still kind of yellow and very stunted, although they have been planted in the garden for 3 weeks now. I used Scotts liquid plant food on them as seedlings (5 - 1 - 1) at a REDUCED strength. Will they recover this summer? Is it too late now to restart pepper seeds? I started some cayenne pepper seedsjust 4 weeks ago and under the same conditions and they are thiving out in the garden.

Answer: Tomatoes have a wonderful knack for recovering from adversity. Peppers, on the other hand, become stunted when the stresses of life put them on the ropes. From seed to fruiting, they need to be kept vigorously growing -- no setback in watering, feeding,temperature, or transplanting. The cayenne peppers didn't struggle with the conditions put upon the earlier peppers. It just may be too late to get peppers started from seed for New Jersey. But plants still may be available from your local garden center.

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