peppers with a problem

My peppers are just sitting there.
Years past they have done extremely well here. I do rotate them. The tomatoes tomatilos beans broccoli herbs garlic flowers and berries are all doing fine.
Yes I have been putting lots of coffee grounds from Starbucks into the soil this year.
Should I assume that the peppers have a problem with that? Is it too much nitrogen? Too acidic? I also put in a whole bag of lime to cut down the acidity. Is it the lime? What's your guess?
Thanks,
Ross
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They prolly just don't like that corporate coffee muckie muck.... : D
-j

soil
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You didn't provide enough information.
1) Where do you live, and what have temps been like for the past few weeks?
2) A whole bag of lime? How big a bag, compared to a 5 lb bag of rice? And, into how much soil did you put this lime?
3) Coffee grounds into where? The pot in which the peppers are growing?

soil
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OK, sorry- Garden size 20' x 20'. The bag of lime was about 20 pounds. Hydrated yes I think, they were smaller than pea size granules.
I've been building up the soil with composts manure, straw, and leaf mulch for 5 years.
Location Chicago, 1.5 miles from the lake. Weather has been good since the peppers went in June 1. Only one or 2 nights below 50 degrees. Lots of rain and sun. 70 to 85 degree days, some wind.
The plants look worse now than when I planted them.
Sounds like it was the lime?
Ross

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Without knowing the pH of your soil, my first guess would be the lime. If you don't want to buy a test kit and check the soil CAREFULLY yourself, there may be a cooperative university extension that will do the tests cheaply.
If you had NOT applied the lime, my next thought would be temperature. Although peppers are sold as sun-loving plants, there have been years when my peppers produced very little all summer, and then went gangbusters as the weather cooled in September. As a result, I now plant some in the sun and some dappled shade.
All the organic stuff you're adding is fine, but you still have to be aware of the soil's pH.

are
to
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In article snipped-for-privacy@rvdstudio.com says...

In my rather limited experience, peppers are a fickle plant. I have 5 growing in containers, 3 of which are chili peppers, all planted from seedlings at the same time. The largest chili pepper is three times the size of the smallest. They're in the same container using the same soil all taken care of identically. This happened last year as well.
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Mark Anderson wrote:

I grow Peppers every year and yes, they can be fickled. They do best (for me) during really hot, dry summers. I've tried to grow them in various areas of my garden and found that they do their best when planted in front of a (painted) white (south facing) wall. I have grown some in containers but, for me, the ones planted in the ground have always done better (more Peppers per plant).
--
Bill R. (Ohio Valley, U.S.A)

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Well THANKS Doug and all the others. And can you believe I just joined the Farm Bureau who offers discounted soil tests - and now I lost the papers on it....
The guy at the botanic gardens said it may be partly from the cool nights we have been having here too.
Ross

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I say it could be from heat, the guy at the botanical garden says from the coolness, and we're probably both right. As someone else said in another message, peppers are finicky. To add to the confusion, many of the seeds and plants we buy as consumers were bred for commercial use. They're often field tested only in the regions where they're most likely to be grown. This could mean California, Florida and Mexico, but not places like upstate NY. The same peppers you're having problems with may perform like a champ in another part of the country. And, there are even MORE random factors. I'm in Rochester NY. Since early May, we've had about 5 days of what you'd consider true summer weather. There's been plenty of sun and a perfect amount of rain, but plenty of nights down to 40-45 degrees.
I'll break the law here and plagiarize a bit from the first chapter of the late Henry Mitchell's "The Essential Earthman". He gardened in Washington DC.
"It is not nice to garden anywhere. Everywhere there are violent winds, startling once-per-five-centuries floods, unprecended droughts, record-setting freezes, abusive and blasting heats never known before. There is no place, no garden, where these terrible things do not drive gardeners mad."
Great book, by the way.

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the
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