I picked up two Sandia pepper plants on sale. These are
an heirloom Chimayo (New Mexico Red) pepper. Chimayo is
the taste in an enchilada. And they are spicy. Not any of
that milk toast gross sweet bell pepper stuff. Very
yummy or at least the dried one I buy at the Mexican
One of them is happy.
The other looks kind of sad. It is alive, but its leaves
droop more than my other peppers. And it is not as green.
I give it extra water and extra fertilizer. But it is still
sad looking and not growing much.
How do I properly nurture a pepper plant back to health?
I WANT LOTS OF PEPPERS!
if it isn't actively growing it should not
be fertilized much at all..
buying plants on sale. always risky as you
are getting the rejects. i could have been
dropped, fried in the sun one too many times.
the roots may be malformed. the potting soil
itself may not be all that good. etc.
pull it out of the pot and inspect the roots.
maybe it is root bound or diseased...
could be a virus or fungal infection. never
really know without being able to dissect sometimes
so you have to go on intuition. and, well, it is
only a plant... some just don't make it.
At least 50% of my plantings each season are rejects, either from
nurseries, big box stores or groceries. I get a kick out of tending
them and have no worse luck than with my own seedlings or purchased
So far, I am finding that "ugly" and "sick" are not necessarily the
same thing. All of the rejects I have pick up so far are doing well,
with the exception of the one pepper plant. Today, he looks a bit
Man the free eggplant was ugly, but it is going crazy with all the
good loving it is getting!
If you have two identical plant varieties in close to identical
growing conditions and one does not thrive, you, it is infestation or
luck of the draw lousy plant gene.
As with anything that grows - some things do better than others. If
your soil was good to start (whole 'nother topic), you likely would
not need fertilizer at this point in the season anyway. I rarely
fertilize my veggies directly mid-season, and instead just add soil
enrichment around them once in awhile.
Dunno where you are, but here in the east, the last couple of weeks
have been wickedly hot. Perhaps one of your pepper plants - even if
from the same seed source, just isn't up to it.
Check it for any sort of disease or infestation - sometimes these
things are not easy to spot if one is not used to be plant-nosy - and
keep it watered. If it makes it, swell, and if not, cut bait.
If you find you do like the peppers the good plant puts out, save some
seeds for next year. That is really easy to do with peppers.
I think it may just be the plant. It now has new leaves, but they
are small. The recent winds may have messed it up too.
The pot hole the pepper is in has a sunflower sprouting up
in it (my neighbor grew sunflowers last season, this one too.)
The sunflower is going like the wind, so it is probably the plant.
I will definitely save the seeds. Just dry the out and put them
in a plastic zip lock bag?
for us it is the matter of timing. by the
time veggie plants are on sale here it is too
late in the season for most of them (and what
we grow). also we don't make a lot of trips
to buy plants. we have the local greenhouse
that covers everything we usually put in.
the big box stores are all a further away (10
- 20 miles further).
we did get some extra perennial low growing
ground cover plants a few weeks ago from our
that local greenhouse, but with it being so hot
and dry lately we've kept them in the pots.
after it cools off a bit more i can cut them
into four pieces each and then plant them.
i don't know, it depends upon the condtions.
here it has been hot and dry enough that i water
the veggie patches every three or four days. a
container plant in the hot sun might need water
twice a day... (i don't have any veggie container
i would back off a bit to see how it responds.
without knowing the specific nutrients and
ingredients i couldn't say. for me the organic
fertilizers i use are either green manure chopped
and left for the worms to digest or the worms and
worm castings that i put in the gardens under
the plants in the spring when i'm planting. i
don't fertilize after that. by rotation planting
then i may not fertilize a garden for two or
more years later. depends upon what i'm growing
in that space.
also, some pepper plants may not do much
fruiting if the N is too high. you'll have a
great looking plant though. :) that happened to
me last year with the green peppers.
is it still in a pot or is it planted in the
potted plants are sometimes not too bad to
inspect, water it good, cut a chunk of heavy
cardboard with a slit in it that you can put over
the pot and around the plant and then turn it over
and see if it comes out.
if it seems to be doing better lately then
perhaps it just didn't get enough water some
time or a temporary set back.
I hacked holes in the ground, pulled out all the
rocks, stuck weeds at the bottom (your doing by the way),
filled with peat moss and whatever that stuff is called
that came out of the hole to start with. I figured
that since my soil is so poor and hard, I would make a
"ground pots". Not problem with them blowing over and
cheap. They were not easy to hack out. Took forever.
I just water the ground pots with a wand. I made sure
the fillings I put back didn't quite go to the surface
so water would pool up.
All my other plants seen to really have taken to
my ground pots too!
On the bright side, I discovered that swinging an ax
is really good for my blood sugar! Vigorous exercise
has the same effect on a T2 as eating a carb loaded meal.
That would be your liver thinking your are running for you
in time it comes along. i didn't know anything
when i started growing plants as a kid, but i read
and practiced and made mistakes and kept at it.
even now i still make mistakes.
mostly i'm just a very simple gardener and in
doing that and using principles like encouraging
diversity and using cover crops and having areas
that are insect refuges it seems to be working out
i'm also pretty laid back. i don't always get
things done on time or worry too much if there's
a weed here or there.
as far as crop rotation goes, just pick plants
from a different family of plants. as long as
they aren't a heavy feeder you may not need as much
fertilizer (or none at all). i like beans and
peas enough, but plenty of other things work well
too. after zuchinis onions or garlic, beans,
well, glad that things are going ok. i'm
pretty sure i'd want something in there other
than peat moss, but at least it is organic matter
and better than nothing.
next time those holes will be easier to work with.
each season builds upon the last... next year you
can make more holes if needed, but the previous ones
can be planted with some other family of plant. made
a little bigger. keep chipping away. :)
Peat changes my soil from alkali to acid. I have
used local compost for years and got no where
with it. I think the reason it that compost
is a booster and can not help bad soil become
healthy, as my alkali soil demonstrates.
My garlic is such a pretty pink!
So far the best I have done it Dr Earth fertilizer
at the bottom of the hole, a bunch of weeds, then
peat moss mixed with my awful dirt.
Each year I learn something new. My wife says to
keep a journal of things learned.
I think I have won the war with the squash bugs.
haven't seen one or eggs in over a week. Yippee!
I still check though.
My garlic crop was poor this year. I feel so
ripped off that I have to wait another year to try
again. This time I will use peat, weeds and melon
rinds which I am collecting. And remember to occasionally
any organic matter will help over the
long haul (humus is a weak acid).
we have pictures and maps of what went
in when Ma first started gardening here
many years ago. now i just take a picture
once in a while if there is something
interesting or Ma wants a record of a new
decoration or something.
she was going to throw the old records
and scrapbooks away but i was able to talk
her into giving them to me instead.
yay! we never did find two of the three
tomato worms. i guess they went underground
as there hasn't been any more damage anywhere.
too much OM in the soil will encourage
diseases. the crop wasn't all that great this
year here either.
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