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Mar 1, 2018 6:50 AM CST
Living in my part of Canada, we have almost two months of a growing season. I start my super hot peppers (ghost, Carolina, Trinidad's) in January and do a super long veg cycle so I can start the season immediately in flower cycle. This year I'm doing 100% organic and unfortunately under applied perlite so I made a muddy mess and ultimately overwatered my poor peppers. They all turned yellow on me, :(

I repotted using dry peat with the already wet medium as to distribute the moisture. But I noticed I had poor root formation as a result of overwatering.

I learned that roots will super grow in dry conditions, and my soil is dry now. I want these roots to rip through the soil quickly. I even directly applied mycorrhizae to the roots.

How long can I leave the soil dry, to allow for root formation without over stressing an already temperamental pepper?
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
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Mar 1, 2018 10:20 AM CST
I would think that you would need to check the plants condition every day.
Name: Paul Fish
Brownville, Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Mar 1, 2018 11:16 AM CST
Dry peat will absorb moisture but then it will stay moist for a long time. Peat also has a very acidic pH. A more neutral mix, like a good soilless mix may be a better choice for both water retention and as a growth medium. After the seedlings are up, a little nutrition would also help. There are "organic" fertilizers, but I use a weak dose of liquid plant food so the seedlings will grow. I also have to start peppers quite early in order to get fruit during the growing season. A good soilless mix will have some peat, some other composted materials and pearlite.

I will let the soil dry out to the touch and then water sparingly and check every day or every other day. Peppers like a little heat and do well in relatively dry soil, but still they do like moisture, just maybe less than they were getting.

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