Vegetables and Fruit forum: Pinch first flower buds on sweet peppers?

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Antonina
Jun 1, 2015 7:43 PM CST
I'm debating with myself whether or not to pinch the first flower buds on my sweet pepper plants. Since the weather here has been so erratic with cold temperatures, I have delayed planting them into the ground until tomorrow, June 2nd. The peppers are a nice size, about 10-12" and very healthy and just showing their first buds. I want them to take hold and bush out some before they start producing fruit but I'm worried that if I pinch it'll take forever before they flower again thus delaying the pepper show.

The peppers are a variety of sweet non-bell types that I grew from seed.

Any advice and opinions greatly appreciated. Thank You!

Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Jun 2, 2015 2:20 PM CST
I never let the flowers that are on the seedling stay, I always take them off. I want the plant to establish some good roots and branching, and not take energy to start producing right away, otherwise you don't get as many peppers. IMHO Smiling
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Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
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farmerdill
Jun 2, 2015 2:21 PM CST
That is an age old question. To pinch or not to pinch. I prefer to nature takes its course, but lots of folks pinch with success. It really comes down to your personal choice.
Name: Mary K
Safety Harbor, FL (Zone 10a)
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p1mkw
Jun 2, 2015 5:41 PM CST
I'll relay my experience, then you can choose for yourself.

My peppers were infested with aphids this year. I have never had a problem with pests on pepper plants so I guess I wasn't playing as close attention as i should have. I finally got rid of the aphids and was hopeful the plants would recover. Regardless, one plant in particular was really looking sad. I remembered that some people always cut back their pepper plants to make them more bushy. Now, mind you the plants were all in an earthbox, planted at the same time and approximately the same size at that point. So, as much as it pained me, I did snip that plant back to about 4" .. took off probably 2/3 or it. I figured I didn't have anything to lose at that point. Well, it recovered, bounded ahead of some of the other plants and now is loaded with peppers. I was so impressed with that one, that the later plants that I've started I have cut back as well .. I hope they do as well as that one from earlier in the season. This might not work for everyone, but I'm now a firm believer in cutting them back once they get established and have some growth on them (I cut the newer plants back once they reached about 10 - 12").
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
Jun 2, 2015 9:28 PM CST
farmerdill said:That is an age old question. To pinch or not to pinch. I prefer to nature takes its course, but lots of folks pinch with success. It really comes down to your personal choice.


I've often read that you "should" pinch those flowers... but I never do it myself. Like Farmerdill, I'm more in the "let nature take its course" camp. And I get lots of peppers, so that doesn't make me want to do anything differently... Shrug!
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Antonina
Jun 3, 2015 2:25 PM CST
Well, I pinched them all and they're finally in the ground now. I hated doing it but I've seen the benefits with popping the heads off annuals and getting bigger, bushier plants so I'll see if it works with peppers too. I started my own tomatoes and peppers from seed this year after taking a few years off and ended up with way more than expected so the garden is crammed with 16 tomatoes and 10 peppers. That's a lot for a regular city yard! I still have 3 peppers left over and the only space left is in part shade. I don't think they'de like that? I love my flowers so half of the prime real estate in full sun is dedicated to various annuals which I'm still trying to get in at this late date because of the cold days we had in May. I also lost a maple tree, butterfly bush and a hydrangea this year. The past two winters sure took their toll. I can see the damage in some of the neighborhood trees with lots of dead branches and sparse leaf coverage. Strange year.

Thank you everyone for good, knowledgeable advice. I started with Daves Garden years back and noticed a lot of familiar names have moved here now. I look forward to learning more from this fine community of gardeners. :)





Name: Mary K
Safety Harbor, FL (Zone 10a)
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p1mkw
Jun 3, 2015 3:06 PM CST
I know what you mean about hating to pinch or cut them back. But after seeing the results I had, I'm a firm believer it in now. Please keep us posted on how they do.
Mary K.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Jun 4, 2015 7:41 PM CST
Antonina said:... so the garden is crammed with 16 tomatoes and 10 peppers. That's a lot for a regular city yard! I still have 3 peppers left over and the only space left is in part shade. I don't think they'd like that?


I wouldn't guess that peppers would like part shade very much, but have you tried growing them in buckets? Maybe you could find some under-used sunny spots where you could fit a bucket but not a bed.

It might be too much work to drag the buckets around each day t6o follow the sun ... or not!

And having peppers in pots might prompt you to bring them indoors for the winter, then get a really early start next summer.
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Jun 5, 2015 7:38 AM CST
"Part shade" can vary. I've read that as few as 6 hours of direct sun counts as "full sun." And our full sun in Maryland seems similar to part shade in Texas.

But peppers do fine in pots! 16-18" diameter is good for 1 plant.

I'm going to pinch the tops off my peppers when they get just a little bigger. My neighbor put hers out too soon and had them nipped back by frost. Now that the soil has warmed, they are growing like anything!
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Name: Mary K
Safety Harbor, FL (Zone 10a)
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p1mkw
Jun 5, 2015 9:02 AM CST
I agree, Jill, .. I have grown peppers in containers (pots) in the past with good luck. I have some of mine in an Earthbox this year as well as some pots ... I keep finding more peppers than I want to try. Beth Boyd of Peppermania grew hers in buckets in Texas and they obviously did well. Mine aren't getting as much sun as I would like, but they seem to be doing OK. I mentioned in an earlier post on this thread that I had cut one of my peppers back earlier due to damage from aphids ... here is a picture of the plants now ... the one on the left in front is the one I cut back ... I'd say it's doing just fine Smiling It's a Numex Suave Orange.




Mary K.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jun 5, 2015 3:36 PM CST
Mary, have you looked at the peppers sold by Franchi? They have any Italian specialties and heirloom varieties. They take their food very seriously in Italy!

http://www.growitalian.com/categories/Vegetables/Peppers/

Pepper Quadrato d'Asti Rosso
Pepper Marconi Rosso (97-95)
Pepper Giallo d'Asti (97-1)
Pepper Dulce Italiano (97-114)
Pepper Corno di Toro Rosso (97-7)
Pepper Corno di Toro Giallo (97-14)
Pepper Rosso Dolce Appendere
Pepper Topepo Rosso (97-91)
Name: Mary K
Safety Harbor, FL (Zone 10a)
Vegetable Grower Container Gardener Region: Florida Tomato Heads Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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p1mkw
Jun 5, 2015 3:52 PM CST
Oh, don't do that to me, Rick lol. No, I haven't looked at their peppers, but I definitely will. I need more pepper seeds/plants like I need another hole in my head ... but that won't stop me.

Thanks for the link.
Mary K.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jun 5, 2015 4:00 PM CST
You're very welcome. Franchi is currently my favorite seed vendor for non-Asian seeds. (Kitazawa and Tainong are my favorite sources for Asian Brassica greens.)

At least Franchi doesn't sell plants (I think). So it wasn't a terribly EXPENSIVE bit of enabling!

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