Proper Growth of Peppers - Knowledgebase Question

N . Attleboro, MA
Question by cruelsun
January 26, 1998
Last year I grew jalepenos and bell peppers for the first time. The peppers only grew to 2 feet and the hot peppers 8 inches taller. The bell peppers produced 4 fruits to a plant, the jalepenos about 10. I think these numbers are considered low. What is the average height of peppers and jalepenos? How can I increase their yield ?


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Answer from NGA
January 26, 1998

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The heights seem about right, give or take a few inches. Too much nitrogen may produce lots of lush growth of leaves and generate few peppers. Try giving them some "compost tea" or fish emulsion when they are flowering. Also when you fertilizebe sure the first number in the nutrient content (as the "1" in "1-5-10") is low or even zero. That's the number that indicates how much nitrogen is contained therein.

Peppers are a heat-loving crop, so do what you can to warm up the soil in the spring. I cover my pepper bed with black plastic--it helps warm the soil in early summer, and keeps weeds down to boot! Protect your early transplants from cool temperatures and wind--if your plants get a chill, it can cause flowers to drop.

How is the rest of your garden growing? Is the soil a nice dark loam? If other plants are growing and producing well, then your soil pH and nutrient levels are probably fine. I know I've had years where my peppers just don't seem to want to produce--or they really get going just before the first frost!

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