Sweet peppers are subject to a multitude of diseases and a few insects. I would not let a few bad leaves deter me, but if the entire plant is failing, I would try to identify the cause. If you have one of the pepper viruses, then a resistant cultivar is your best bet. Nematodes are my worst enemy. Other folks have problems with aphids and white flies. If you have good soil and other plants grow well, it is not a nutritional deficiency. Peppers are not overly picky.
Farmerdill, your peppers look as good as the pic of your peas you posted...how are you growing such nice veggies without the rain? We've had success with bells by giving them a bit of afternoon sun, planting on the north side of the beans. One year we had no success at all. You just have to keep trying.
These are in the kitchen garden with water twice a week. Still not as productive as in a normal year, but this is Satsuma a very hardy customer. I do lose peppers from time to to time, never found a Pimeinto cultivar that will grow here. Many bells also succumb primarily to nematodes.
Something learned in the MG class was that peppers are in the same family as tomatoes and when you plan your garden, as well as not planting tomatoes in the same spot as previously, don't plant peppers there either. One of the MANY things learned (and still learning) from more experienced gardeners than I.
Dean, I'm still convinced that what you're seeing on your plants is mite damage. I had the same thing going on with my plants about 6 weeks ago. But after treating them with neem concentrate twice a week for 3 or 4 weeks, they finally threw in the towel (I swear I could hear their tiny little feet scurrying for cover when they saw that green spray bottle approaching.) But I think I can now declare victory. Gave my plants a foliar feeding of Hasta-Gro 2 weeks ago and I'm really getting the peppers! But you have to be PERSISTENT AND THOROUGH with the neem treatments and get both sides of the leaves. At this time of year new generations of mites are produced every 3 days. So a single treatment or two will just thin the population for a few days. You'll know when you've finally won when new growth is the normal shade of green and not crinkled. I also highly recommend giving them a feeding of Hasta-Gro to the roots right away to restore the vigor that the mites have sapped. Paul
Dean, as we've discussed before, that's EXACTLY what I've been calling Mild Mottle Pepper Virus for years. Every time I grow a bell pepper that's what it does, and the non-bell sweet peppers have done the same for me, but not as bad. Hot peppers have hardly been affected at all.
But this year I'm confused because I only planted Carmen, Bounty, and Gypsy non-bell sweet peppers and they're doing great. No symptoms are showing, and they all have heavy crops of peppers.
The trouble is that two variables changed at once. We've had so much rain all season these plants have had at least 4 times as much water as I usually give peppers. Maybe that's what made the difference and I never had PMMV in the soil at all?
However, I've never grown these three pepper varieties before and they're all modern hybrids. Maybe I do have PMMV virus in the soil and these varieties are resistant? I really don't know.
I sure wish I'd planted just one bell pepper this time, to see if it did as bad as they have in drier years. Next year, I'm going to plant these same three great varieties as well as some bells - then I'm gonna water the heck out of them and I'll figure out what's going on.
Since you've got bell peppers in the ground, why don't you try overwatering them? About 4 inches a week would equal what mine have been getting all season and that covers one of my "variables". It might be worth a try.
Paul, I'm in week two of my spraying the neem concentrate. It was not tell now, that I noticed that you were spraying twice a week. The bottle suggest every seven days. I guess I need to increase the intervals. I have also been using the Hasta Gro. It seems that the peppers are having new leaves now.
Update: Here's a photo of how my bell peppers look today. I'm leaning towards nematodes now. I have consistently been spraying the plants with neem to no avail. Is there an easy way to tale if they have nematodes besides uprooting an entire plant?
There are few cures short of soil fumigation. Solarization is supposed to work but takes time, Commercial growers use soil fumigants. They don't like heavy soils and they don't move much. Peppers and tomatoes do very well on heavier soils so selective planting can work. There are of course cultivars which are not affected much by nematodes The next important thing is to determine if those are the problem. If the roots are normal, then you can rule those out and concentrate on the next suspect.
Even though I had a great harvest of sweet peppers this year, I'm back to thinking I've got PMMV in my soil. The symptoms were milder this year, possibly because of all the rain and because I switched to three non-bell hybrid varieties that may have some resistance.
Still, this late in the season I'm seeing PMMV symptoms again now and I'm losing some peppers to it.
If that's what you've got, and I think it is, you're just going to have to work around it. PMMV doesn't seem to bother hot peppers much, and non-bell sweet peppers deal with it pretty well also. The virus is very common, and I think that's your problem.
Thanks Farmerdill, I just sprayed with some Garden Safe Insecticidal Soap so if that dosen't work. I know it's nematodes or a virus as, Ozark, has mentioned. Ozark, I haven't been ignoring you I just didn't wont to believe that I had a virus. I have a Jalepeno in the same row that is doing fine. It's starting to get late in the season to start new plants so I'm trying to save these and get a harvest.
"There are several PMV , PMMV resistant bells on the market and more added each year, so there is a way to work around it."
Yes. There's a resistant bell called Centurion that's been grown commercially for several years, and I've been watching for seeds to become available to home gardeners. I'm sure there are other resistant bells coming out, too.
I switched over to the non-bell sweet hybrids Carmen, Bounty, and Gypsy this year with great success. They didn't show much PMMV symptoms until after I got a big crop in, though I'm seeing it now.
Most hot peppers are almost unaffected by PMMV, but it hits non-resistant bells hard. That's why, when I hear about a healthy Jalapeno growing in a row of sick bells and see pictures like that - I suspect that's what's going on.
Dean, plant some Gypsy peppers next year and see how they do. They're as big as a bell, thick-walled, have great flavor, very productive, and they seem to be resistant to PMMV. I really like that variety, and I bet it'd do good for you.
Well, I haven't given up yet. Yesterday I bought some mulch and mulched the plants like three inches deep. Watered deeply. Today they seem perkier than yesterday. So hopefully this was part of my learning curve. I had mulched with compost back in July, but I guess it wasn't enough.