pinching peppers and putzing

I started an experimental pepper plant a few weeks ago, with the goal to see what effects pruning the top of the plant would have on bushiness and yield.

It’s evidently a well-known practice that I’d simply never heard of or even thought of till this winter. It makes perfect sense to me, and as a bonus it would allow me to start peppers earlier without them outgrowing the grow lights.

Scoped out the plant, and it had four nice big leaves below the growing tips to sustain it…


So snip…

I might do the same to a couple more plants when they’re started. It seems like an idea that can’t be wrong.

Since I was in seedling mode, I decided to plant a few extra-early tomato seeds indoors; one hybrid variety, Jet Star, and one variety from saved seed, Moskvitch.


I’ve been doing this for a few years now, planting a few extra early tomato seeds, fully aware that they’ll need double walled protection when they go into the garden. And I’m also very aware that any given year they could be frozen out. Willing to take that risk, and chalk it up to fun if they don’t make it.

By yesterday afternoon I needed a dose of garden, so I hauled out two of my 60 pounds bags of Starbucks coffee grounds and broadcast them over the area where the corn and onions will be growing. Right on top of the green manure crop. Both corn and onions like nitrogen. I’ll be turning the cover crop and coffee grounds under well before planting time so they have a chance to break down and don’t suck nitrogen away from the plants in the process. There are still a couple of bags of grounds waiting for the compost piles.


Thoughts of turning stuff under made me curious enough to drag out the shovel and see if the ground clanked or squished. Neither! I turned over my first shovel-full of 2015 soil, and it was nice and black and not especially soggy.



10 thoughts on “pinching peppers and putzing

  1. I shall have to read up on that bit about peppers (add it to the list). Ours are always a bit weak and spindly. I attributed it to lack of heat, but they are in the tunnel. Have been disappointed by them every year. Interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Firstly congratulations on such fine pepper plants – I wish mine were half the size! Interesting question though. I am always reluctant to pinch out the tips because the main shoot always ends in a flower and thus a pepper and with our summers we are always lucky to get a ripe pepper before October anyway and I don’t want to do anything that will slow up the harvest. But it must mean more shoots and thus more fruits if you have a long enough growing season or summer heat (which we rarely have). But the peppers are coming along well at the moment so maybe I will be brave and have a go too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Geoff. Your logic is sound. Part of my reason for trying this is to get myself a longer season for peppers. In the past, planting seeds too early indoors would result in plants that would outgrow my lights. If I plant later, then they’d bear fine, but ripening was often a problem as the fall weather set in.

      I hope that pruning tops will allow an earlier indoor start without the seedlings getting too tall. Then, fingers crossed, the peppers will have a better chance of ripening before fall.

      I enjoy your blog!


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