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I have no idea what is going on, but this is happening to more and more pepper plants each day. They are fine one day, then the next they are wilted, (yet the ones next to them are not so I don't think it's lack of water). Then the leaves fall off and the plant dies. Often times the plant has fruit that survives longer than the leaves.
I water each day. About a month ago I put in Epsom salts. There is no rhyme or reason as to which plant will be next, it's going thorough all of the raised beds randomly.
I do have a small ant problem. Could they be doing this?
Next time one wilts pull it and insept the roots if it pulls very easy and does not have any roots left then it is some burrowing animal ..Now I am guessing but am likely right let us know what the roots look like ..
Thanks, Calalily. I don't understand where it could have come from as I grow all my vegetables from seed. The article in the link you gave said the bacterium survives in the soil for long periods. Any idea how long, is "long?"
I think I read an article from one of the universities that said 3 or 4 years in the soil. I have one area where almost every bell pepper in the row died. I have okra there now (seeds are cheap and if it doesn't make it, no great loss). I was thinking about pouring boiling water on the row before planting next time. Of course I'd have to check for lizards and frogs, they love our garden. Now that I think of it, probably not a smart idea, too many beneficials live there.
The peppers were Big Dipper, not big and not very tough plants. I usually buy seeds only from organic seed companies but these were tempting, on the seed rack at the store. Some day I will learn!
If yours go the way mine did, it kills all pretty fast. The ones left standing usually make it. Watch for changing leaf color, very subtle, then a little wilt in the heat of the day and fruit is smaller and may ripen prematurely. If you pull the plants, don't shake the dirt off the roots.
Reading this, I am thinking to myself: "I bet everyone thinks I spend way too much time looking at my plants!"