heat and peppers

At the risk of starting a new thread on peppers (no fruit here ...)
I have some jalapenos and habs that I put in in April (Central Texas). They were a little slow getting started, but now they are almost four feet high, lush and green, and have produced ... nothing. No, I didn't put grass fertilizer on them. Just compost. There are many buds, but they never quite seem to open. Temps have been 70-100 all month here.
Now, I know peppers like heat, but I also know that peppers don't set fruit in high heat. Which sorta makes you wonder how anyone ever gets peppers ...
I had a nice crop of banana peppers earlier in the year, but they've shut down.
Ideas? Am I going to have a tree full of these buggers when the weather gets a little cooler, or is this a losing proposition?
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Where I live the summer temps are in the 90s most days, hitting 100 at times... but I always had a good pepper crop nonetheless. I don't believe all peppers stop producing in the heat of summer. Mine were just the run of the mill green to red Bells.

Have you checked them carefully, especially under the leaves, for insect pests?

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Yes. Funny, but I've had reasonably good luck other years. I don't see any evidence of pests, aside from minor nibbles on a few leaves. It has been an unusually hot summer, though.
It had been my understanding that hot peppers like these are more heat tolerant in setting fruit than others, which makes it even more perplexing.
Could it be that I need some cooler nights to go with the hot days? That is, the lows here have been in the 70s, and the highs around 100. That's one thing that Hatch NM has on me. As well as lower humidity.
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There are so many reasons plants fail to produce but your temps seem ok. What about pollinators this year? Too low humidity perhaps... harming the pollen?
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I'm in central Texas, so low humidity is certainly not an issue for me. I was saying that Hatch NM (chile capital of the US) is much lower than for me.
Pollinators? Hmmm. I don't actually see flowers opening, but there are load of little buds, so I'm not sure pollinators even get a chance.
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Have concluded, regarding jalapenos, the heat/thrive thing is a myth regarding actual jalapeno production of fruit. 2 years ago, we had a severe drought in Central TX, it was also quite hot. That year, the jalapeno crop in my garden was low regarding production of fruit. Last year, the following year, we had lots of cloudcover, relatively low temps, and lots of rain. Jalapenos planted using the same seed, same garden area thrived, and had a tremendous amount of jalapeno fruit.
Not sure if related, during the drought period, there is low visibility of flying, or otherwise, insects. During wet periods, there are more flying insects seen. This may be why the flowers don't turn to fruit.
--
Dave



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On Aug 13, 7:08 am, "Dioclese" <NONE> wrote:

Makes sense. After a little research, I'm seeing posts that refer to peppers reacting to very high temps by not just not setting fruit,but by dropping buds before they open. That's what's going on here. I see little tiny buds, and never any flowers. The little buds are falling off! The plants are very healthy, tall and lush, in well drained soil (peppers don't like a lot of moisture, I hear), though since it is so wickedly hot, I need to water every few days just to keep them from drooping, even well mulched as they are. Maybe too well drained, I guess.
Once we get past what has been one of the hottest summers on record, we'll see what happens.
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That's exactly what I saw the jalapenos doing during the drought/heat wave 2 years ago. This low pressure cell drifting down to TX, even if it doesn't give your area rain, will lower the temps for awhile. Total accumulation for the previous 2 days is 4", more expected today. Live in west Hays county.
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On Tue, 12 Aug 2008 14:21:03 -0700 (PDT), DougL

It's not the daytime temps that are the problem, it's the nighttime temps. If they're above 70 F, poor fruit set can be a problem. If they're above 80F, I think I've read that pollen aborts and the blossom drops. They are, in my experience, less sensitive to late summer heat than early summer heat, but it will still cause some loss of blossoms.
Your compost, was it a manure compost or leafy compost? Peppers are very sensitive to nitrogen, and will go to vegetative growth from even a slight excess of nitrogen.
Penelope
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On Sat, 16 Aug 2008 10:20:05 -0400, Penelope Periwinkle

Glad to see you here again. Are you still looking for the mint? If so, email me.
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On Sat, 16 Aug 2008 11:24:34 -0500, The Cook

Thanks! The job I'm forced to slave away at to support my garden habit has sadly interfered with my free time the last year or so. I appreciate the mint offer, but I got some from a lady who lives locally that made my mother very happy.
Penelope
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On Sun, 17 Aug 2008 12:02:17 -0400, Penelope Periwinkle

I am glad you found some mint that your mother likes. Hope you can post here more often.
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Good points. Nighttime temps dropping to ~75F. Basically hitting the dew point. Compost was leafy, but well composted. It sure looks like they've been over-nitrogenated, somehow, though.
We're headed for a week with lower high temps. It'll be interesting to see what happens when it gets a bit cooler. I water them deeply, but only when the leaves start to droop. That's every three days or so, with highs around 100F. Maybe the plants are just heat stressed enough that they're working hard just to survive, and can't be bothered with supporting fruit. But they're surviving VERY well.
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OK, here's the deal, FWIW.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29881976@N08/2788037566 /
5 foot tall, green, lush, and healthy looking hab pepper plant in Central Texas. Now about 4.5 feet tall. You can see the buds in the picture, and even a yellowed one that is about to fall off without blooming. What you're looking at is the very top of the plant. Lots of buds. They *all* fall off without blooming. It's raining buds!
There are probably fifty buds on the whole plant right now. Never once saw a flower.
Oh yeah, there are three other plants just like this one.
Had a few days of cooler temps but now we're back in the 90s, with nighttime temps falling to 75.
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I looked at your pepper Pic. I have the same problem here! Some fall off before opening and some open, then fall off. And these are plants that are not infested. I did as was suggested and gave them more magnesium which didn't help. The ag agent suggested a side dressing of nitrogen. They got greener but still no peppers setting. And we just had a cool snap. :*(

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