Questions about tomatoes and belle peppers

1) How long can tomato plants live? 2) They seem to like unpacked soil. If the soil gets packed they tend to get yellow leaves and die. Is that correct or what else might make leaves start to turn yellow? 3) I've read that tomatoes should not be replanted where tomatoes have grown before. What should I plant in place of the tomatoes? 4) Is there a plant that might make a great complement to tomatoes, maybe provide nutrients to the tomatoes and get nutrients that the tomatoes do not soak up?
And one question about belle peppers... 1) How long can a belle pepper plant live for? 2) If it dies, what should be planted in place of it? 3) The leaves are not growing as big as they used to. Is this a part of aging? It's going upon 8 or months of age. Or is it lacking in some other like thing (nitrogen)? 4) The main stem is turning woody. I've noticed that when basil starts to die, it's stem starts to turn woody. Is anything similar going to happen with the belle pepper plant?
Thanks much in advance.
-- Jim Carlock Please post replies to newsgroup.
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Both bell peppers and tomatoes are perennial. They can last AGES in the right climate. I am eager to see how large mine grow here. I hope a hurricane doesnt come wipe them all out.
http://www.growingedge.com/magazine/back_issues/view_article.php3?AID 0558
Perennial Capsicum Peppers in the Greenhouse
By Alan M. Kapuler, Ph.D.
In the early 1970s, I was working on an organic farm harvesting green (immature) and red (mature) sweet bell peppers. The 2-foot stocky plants each had 6-10 fruits. After picking the fruits, I looked out at the 1/2-acre field and was overtaken by a wave of sadness as I realized that very soon all these beautiful, young, vibrant plants would be dead from the impending frost and freezes. So without much thought, I got a shovel and a dozen large pots, dug up a plant for each pot and moved the pots into a modest cold frame that I'd had built adjacent to the house we were renting. By the following spring, two plants had survived and by the following June they had grown, flowered and fruited so that we had edible fruits months ahead of all the other local growers.
While involved in saving the pepper plants, I remembered that in the mid-altitude mountains of Bolivia where Capsicum-type peppers are native, they grow to shrubby bushes and small trees as perennials. So while those of us in the United States who love and grow peppers treat them as annuals, in their native environment, they live as perennials for 3-10 years, or more.
Now, more than 25 years later, I have significantly expanded the horizon of my perennial pepper project.
Jim Carlock wrote:

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il 2 May 2005 08:59:20 -0700, "nina" wrote:

[snip]

I have a variegated pepper plant that has survived on my back porch for several years now, despite the frost and cold southerlies that come in winter. Sometimes a bare twigged pot plant will rejuvenate if not too badly damaged although I'm not convinced it has an advantage over a new seedling as far as speed of growth goes. But that may be more due to my lassez faire approach and zero mollycoddling. :-)
--
Cheers,
Loki [ Brevity is the soul of wit. W.Shakespeare ]
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Hi jim , I have have had a pepper plant live for 10 years before it croaked from old age.Yes the stem got very woody . It was grown first in soil , then transplanted to a hydro-ponic system for a few years, then was planted back into a soil system .It was called a bolivian rainbow pepper , small marble sized,... firecraker hot!! All the while it gave a steady supply of peppers. It periododicaly needed to have it leaves trimmed off, dont worry as they will grow back , albeit a bit smaller each time. Welcome to the world of bonsai!! when grown in containers you will need to do a %25 root trimming maybe every other year. if you keep the same sized pot.
Btw Strip the tomatoes of the bottom leaves as they start to yellow, the bottom leaves are not needed as the plant gets bigger, the bottom leaves are a bit more shaded and most of the plants energy is directed to the growning tip and fruit production
So in ending , dig up your pepper plants in the fall , and bring them indoors. You can get it to produce again in the winter if you add some suplemental light in the winter. just set it ( the light) for a 12 hour on/off cycle . Hang a flourescent light just above a south facing window. about a foot or less above the tops of your pepper plants and you'll be allright. then next summer plant them back in the garden.
Jim Carlock wrote:

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I am thinking about bringing in some of my tomatoes and peppers but with the cost of electricity, I can't bare to think of how much it would cost ot run the light for 12 hours a day.

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il Mon, 02 May 2005 01:33:47 GMT, "Jim Carlock" wrote:

Crop rotation is what you're needing info on. Not only does one have to consider the nutrients sucked up by plants, but also the rooting depth. Not to mention will tall plants then shade the short ones. I have yet to work out a successful rotation scheme as too many are similar. I have an old "Mother Earth manual of organic gardening." (editor John Bond, 1976, 0 589 000991 5) that goes into it a lot. But no doubt there are newer books around.
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