The Q&A Archives: Peppers

Question: I have good luck with all vegetables but peppers. Beautiful plants, but no fruit. Any ideas?

Answer: Peppers grow well in the same conditions as tomatoes enjoy. They do however need a pretty long warm growing season which may not be easy to achieve in your climate. Look for shorter season varieties that produce quickly.

Do not set them out too early, wait until the temperatures are staying above 50 to 55 degrees and the soil has warmed to about 60 degrees before planting them on the garden. Using a slightly raised bed covered in plastic may help it warm earlier in the season. If you plant them too early they will be stunted.

Then, if your peppers are not blooming, check if you may be oversupplying the nitrogen or undersupplying phosphorus. Take care that the soil stays evenly moist, not sopping wet/saturated and not dried out. If they are blooming but not setting fruit, there may be temperature problems such as nights too cool -- below 55 -- for instance, or days too hot -- over 90 degrees.

You may want to check with your local Cornell extension and see if they can recommend certain pepper varieties that seem to do better in your local area. In the meantime, you may find the following article interesting. You may need to cut and paste the complete url into your browser to make it work correctly.

Good luck with your peppers this year!

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