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Article: Canít Grow Bell Peppers? Hereís a Ringing Endorsement for Some Alternative Sweet Pepper Varieties: Pepper growing secrets

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Forum: Article: Canít Grow Bell Peppers? Hereís a Ringing Endorsement for Some Alternative Sweet Pepper VarietiesReplies: 3, Views: 140
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Lima, OH

March 3, 2008
7:08 PM

Post #4617438

Here are a few pepper growing secrets that might help you. Amend the soil with compost and dig the hole for your plant 3 or 4 inches deeper than you need it. Add 1 teaspoon of agricultural sulphur or rip the matches out of a matchbook (there's sulphur on the match heads). Cover the sulphur with the 3 or 4 inches of soil you dug down extra and plant your plant. When the roots of the plant reach the sulphur they will jump up and down and say "yippee." Well not exactly, but you'll know they reached it.

After you've planted the plant you can also scatter crushed eggshells around and work them into the soil. They will decompose and add calcium and other good minerals to the soil. This also works for tomatoes and helps them not get blossom end rot. Hard boiled eggshells do not work, but let the water cool that you boiled the eggs in and use it to water anything thirsty.

Red reflective plastic mulch is advertised to help tomatoes, but I use it with peppers and eggplant as well. I'm not sure how effective it is on it's own, but I grow tremendous peppers using it and it keeps weeds down.

Finally, mix 1 tsp. epsom salts in 1 quart water in a spritzer bottle. Spray your plants 1 month after you planted them and once a month during the growing season. This also works for tomatoes and eggplant as well. I also spray my plants with an organic foliage feeder like fish emulsion or kelp every month but I wait two weeks after I spray with epsom salts

Good luck!
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 3, 2008
10:27 PM

Post #4618162

Thanks for posting!

It sounds like you are growing some fabulous peppers! What varieties do you grow in your garden?

Egg shells and other organic amendments are probably a good thing to add to your soil, but may or may not help with blossom end rot... I've heard it's due to a calcium deficiency, but I've heard it's an uptake problem, so that no amount of adding eggshells or anything else to the soil will help much... But if it works for you, who am I to argue? :-)

Carolyn has written a good explanation of blossom end rot... there's a link on the resource "sticky" at the top of the tomato forum.

It's also a good idea to get your soil tested... then you'll know if you need to add sulphur (agricultural is probably best, as I'm not sure matches are still made with sulphur) or magnesium (epsom salts), etc.

I appreciate your sharing what works for you! I try something a little different with my garden each year... decide if it made a difference (either positive or negative)... and then try to figure out what I'd like to do differently next year!


Lima, OH

March 4, 2008
6:33 PM

Post #4621929

You are right that eggshells may not help entirely with blossom end rot. They would just address the calcium deficiency in soil, but not the humidity and fluctuating moisture issues. And you're right about having your soil tested. While compost is considered "black gold," it depends on what went into your pile.

The peppers I grow are Burpee 'Crispy' bell and 'Giant Marconi' anaheim. This year I am growing yellow and orange peppers for the first time in several years. I'm also growing jalapeno, serrano, sweet bananna and pablano. The babies are all started in the basement under lights. This way I can ignore the dad-gum ice storm we are having outside!
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 4, 2008
7:49 PM

Post #4622184

I hear you! The best antidote to a cold, rainy day is to spend some time playing with little seedlings... even if I'm in my cold, damp basement, LOL.

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