I started a Jalapeno plant very late in the season. I am just
beginning to see flower buds. However, the nighttime temps in
Baltimore are beginning to reach between 50 and 60. What are my
chances of getting peppers from this plant??? Right now there is no
mulch, so I was thinking about laying a black plastic sheet around the
plant, hoping to retain some of the daytime heat. Any suggestions?
You might try making a plastic cloche, too, as you're going to have to
protect it from frost if you're serious about getting peppers. I'm far
south of you, in South Carolina, and I've nursed my plants along until
mid-December before, but it was a lot of work, and the fruit
production dropped off to almost nothing. It's pretty simple to get
through the first couple of frosts, or even one hard freeze, but if
there are several nights of freezing temperature in a row, the plant
is screwed without some sort of heat source.
The temperature is certainly a major part of the equation, but
decreasing hours of sunlight and intensity also effect pepper
production. It would be much simpler to dig up the pepper, move it
inside, and put it under artificial lights.
Interestingly, at least to me, was how different varieties tolerated
the cool/cold weather. The Lemon Drops (_C baccatuum_), Chocolate
habs, Limon, Pimento De Cheiro ( _C chinense_), and Fish (_C annuum_)
held their leaves and maintained marginal pepper production up until
the final freeze. The Corno Di Toro, Almapaprika, (C annuum_),
Trinidad Seasoning, (_C chinense_), and most of the others starting
dropping their leaves as soon as the weather turned cool, and only
ripened the peppers they had already produced.
"Late Jalapenos ~
The temperature is certainly a major
Part of the equation,
But decreasing hours of sunlight
And intensity also affect Pepper's Production.
It would be much simpler to dig
Up Pepper, move her
Inside, and put her under artificial spot lights.
Interestingly, at least to me,
Is how different varieties tolerate
The cool/cold weather. The Lemon Drops (_C baccatuum_),
Chocolate labs, Limon, Pimento De Cheiro ( _C chinense_),
And Fish (_C annuum_)
Hold their leaves
And maintain marginal pepper production
Up until the final freeze.
The Corno Di Toro, Almapaprika, (C annuum_),
Trinidad Seasoning, (_C chinense_),
And most of the others start
Dropping their leaves as soon as the weather
And only ripens the peppers
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Reached 6th or 7th magnitude,
First in 1890,
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You can use a LARGE garbage bag for "light freezes", esp. if you secure
the bag around the plant, making sure the plant does NOT contact the
bag. You want to avoid thermal conduction in this case. If the plants
are large, you can try packing loosely crumpled newspaper around the
plant (to keep the bag from touching). Also a couple gallons of
boiling hot water (in closed containters!) under the bag will help.
Without some way to store heat, you won't be storing much daytime heat
for use at night unless you cover the plant with a cloche of some
I admire your ambition.
I thought I was the only one who tried to keep plants going as far into the
season as possible.
I am enjoying a great cherry tomatoe and jalapeno crop now and hopefully for
a while longer.
I have found that fertilizing and watering will help extend the season a
bit. Protection from cold/frost is a must. A little plastic house with a
light bulb as a heat source could help. Just like in early spring, but in
reverse. Bringing it inside may make the most sense, but then you won't be
battling nature, which is half the fun....
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