pepper plant revisited

In this episode: a revisiting of a pepper experiment started on February 8th. The object was to find out whether pruning a pepper plant does something good.

I know pruning helped keep the plant small enough to fit under my grow lights for an extended period without getting gangly. It would also theoretically mean that the fruits are more likely to fully develop with the extra growing time. After planting it in the garden though, things looked dim. The leaves turned sickly yellow, and I thought the idea was a bust.

pruned pepper a few weeks ago

pruned pepper a few weeks ago

But now there’s some healthy new top growth. Not sure why any of this happened, but I’m hopeful.

pruned pepper with new growth

pruned pepper with new growth

To add to the new hopes, my greenhouse-bought peppers are all doing well. I bought two plants each of three varieties. Pruned one of each and let the other alone.

While they’re all healthy and happy, I can see how the pruned plants will have a much lower center of gravity. They form a ‘y’ at the prune point instead of continuing to grow straight up.

two lead branches on the pruned plant in front

two lead branches on the pruned plant in front, unpruned plant in rear

It’s also time to start protecting the cauliflower heads that are forming. When they get to be about the size of a golf ball it’s a good idea to fold the leaves up around the heads, wrapping with twine. That keeps the florets nice and white.

IMG_4876

size of a golf ball

tied up with twine

tied up with twine

And finally, a little more housekeeping, keeping the lower leaves of my indeterminate tomato plants trimmed a few inches off the ground. I believe that this keeps the plants healthier by limiting their contact with spores in the soil and allowing air flow. Could be wishful thinking. I do that.

IMG_4889

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6 thoughts on “pepper plant revisited

    • Well that’s nice of you to say Julie! And the chickies are doing fantastic. I must head out there four times a day just to throw treats in, haha. Unfortunately that means not much left for the compost, but I guess it’ll get there eventually anyway 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Interesting information, thanks! My pepper plants are pretty pathetic this year, they don’t really do very well anyway but this year is especially bad, maybe because of how cool it’s been compared to the past years? I need to do that with my tomato plants, we recently received around 4 inches of rain and the plants look really bad at the ground level. Here too, the plants are slow going because of all this cool weather and then all that rain came and seemed to make things worse. I put down mulch to help retain moisture since it’s been so dry for the past 5+ years around this time, and this year it’s cool and raining…go figure 🙂

    Your pepper plants look very good, I think the pruned ones look better..but that’s just my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, this cool summer certainly doesn’t lend itself to robust pepper plants. I have a few that look pretty pathetic too (but I don’t take pictures of those!). Hopefully the heat will kick in soon and your peppers will take off.

      Liked by 1 person

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