I will be freezing some corn today. Also still working on getting my website domain moved to a site to continue having my website. This has been such a learning curve with how this all works, and all the terminology what it means. I kind of know what is going on in the web hosting business. So far the website is still up and running and I hope it will continue when I get the website hosting work completed.
This has I have been hearing that the peppers this year are doing well. Their growth so depends on the weather, so I guess they like it hot, humid. BUT also, they like moisture so for the ones that have been getting peppers have you been watering?
I have just put in this blog the taking care, harvesting of the peppers. You don’t need to know how to grow because you have been doing that all season. ENJOY your peppers and all your harvest this season. IT is time to reap our harvest.
Peppers should never be allowed to struggle and soil moisture is especially important in this regard. Peppers like a good dousing but should be left to almost dry out between waterings – they need that period of relative dry. Once a week is typical. If the leaves have gone a bit limp, you’ve probably left it a little too long, but a thorough watering should sort things out.
If you’re growing in pots you can gauge whether the potting mix is dry enough by lifting the container to check its weight – it should be noticeably lighter, by pushing a finger into the soil to feel for moisture about an inch down.
If you live in a warm or desert climate, or are simply experiencing a hot, dry summer, watering everyday may be necessary. Peppers are susceptible to blossom-end rot if watering is not adequate.
Peppers will need regular feeding using a liquid feed that’s high in potassium to promote flower production and fruit set – a tomato fertilizer works well. A liquid seaweed with a good range of trace minerals works well, too. A lack of these minerals, together with over watering, is a common cause of yellowing leaves.
After the first fruit set, fertilize with a low-nitrogen fertilizer. (Too much nitrogen can cause the plant to produce foliage instead of flowers and fruit!)
MORE PLANT CARE TIPS
Weed carefully around plants to avoid disturbing roots.
If necessary, support plants with cages or stakes to prevent bending. Try commercially available cone-shaped wire tomato cages. They may not be ideal for tomatoes, but they are just the thing for peppers. Or, build your own garden supports.
In cooler, temperate climates or it gets windy where you live, consider growing your peppers under some form of protection. Peppers love this extra warmth. However, if it gets very hot, this can cause flowers to abort and drop, so move plants back outside when temperatures soar.
Pollination can be reduced in temperatures below 60°F (16°C) and above 90°F (32°C). Too much nitrogen in the soil can produce healthy foliage growth but discourage fruit from setting. Flower drop is caused by high heat OR very low humidity. If the air is very dry, douse the soil with water and thoroughly mist plants.
Spider mites and aphids are two common pests of peppers, especially plants grown under cover. Spider mites – identified by the fine webbing on the underside of leaves – thrive in hot, dry weather. Mist-spray these areas regularly at the first sign of an attack to make conditions as hostile as possible for the mites.
Aphids also prefer the undersides of leaves but are found on other parts of the plant too. Squish isolated clusters, or for more serious infestations, take plants out into the open, away from other peppers, then carefully turn the plants upside down so you can brush Spider mites and aphids are two common pests of peppers, especially plants grown under cover. Spider mites – identified by the fine webbing on the underside of leaves – thrive in hot, dry weather. Mist-spray these areas regularly at the first sign of an attack to make conditions as hostile as possible for the mites
Aphids also prefer the undersides of leaves but are found on other parts of the plant too. Squish isolated clusters, or for more serious infestations, take plants out into the open, away from other peppers, then carefully turn the plants upside down so you can brush or blast the aphids off with a hose.
Pest/Disease Type Symptoms Control/Prevention
Anthracnose Fungus Yellow/brown/purple/black spots on leaves; sunken, dark spots on stems and fruit; spots may develop a salmon-pink, gelatinous mass; eventually, plants rot Destroy infected plants; choose resistant varieties; provide good drainage; avoid overhead watering; apply compost for nutrition; use mulch; practice crop rotation. Find images and more information about anthracnose here.
Aphids Insect Misshapen/yellow leaves; distorted flowers/fruit; sticky “honeydew” (excrement produced by aphids); sooty, black mold that forms on honeydew; large presence of ants on plants Grow companion plants to either attract aphids away (nasturtiums) or repel them outright (basil, rosemary, strong-scented plants); knock aphids off plants with water spray, apply insecticidal soap; put banana or orange peel around plants; wipe leaves with a 1-2% solution of liquid dish soap and water every 2-3 days for 2 weeks; add native plants to attract aphid predators. Find images and more information about aphids here.
Blossom-end Rot Nutrient Deficiency Caused by lack of sufficient calcium uptake.
Symptoms: dark, water-soaked spots on blossom end of fruit (the side opposite the stem) may enlarge and become sunken, leathery, rotted Remove affected fruit; plant at proper soil temperature; water deeply and evenly; use mulch; maintain proper soil pH (6.5) and nutrient levels; avoid excessive nitrogen; provide good drainage; avoid damaging roots. Find more images and information about blossom-end rot here.
Colorado Potato Beetles Insect Yellow-orange eggs laid in clusters on leaf undersides; larvae and adults chew holes in foliage Remove eggs/larvae/beetles by hand; use straw mulch; weed around plants; use row covers; destroy plant matter at end of season; practice crop rotation
Flea Beetles Insect Numerous tiny holes in leaves (as if they had been hit by a tiny shotgun) Use row covers to physically block flea beetles; mulch heavily; add native plants to attract beneficial insect predators. Find more information and images of flea beetles here.
Mosaic Virus (Cucumber) Virus Symptoms vary, but may include: stunting; mottled green/yellow/white pattern or ringed spots on leaves/fruit; distorted leaf growth; warts on fruit Often spread by aphids. Destroy infected plants; choose resistant varieties and certified virus-free seed; use row covers; disinfect gardening tools after each use; keep garden weed-free; use mulch. Find images and more information about mosaic viruses here.
Root-knot Nematodes Insect Roots become “knotted” or galled; plants stunted/yellow/wilted Destroy affected plant matter (especially roots); choose resistant varieties; expose soil to sun (solarize); add aged manure/compost; disinfect gardening tools between uses; till soil in autumn; practice crop rotation
Tomato Hornworms Insect Chewed leaves (initially toward top of plant); rapid defoliation; black/green excrement; gouged fruit Check undersides of leaves for hornworms, remove by hand and dispose of hornworms. (If you encounter hornworms that have white, ricelike cocoons on their backs, relocate them instead; the cocoons belong to beneficial parasitic wasps.) Till soil in autumn and spring; companion plant with dill/basil/marigolds to attract (and trap) or repel hornworms; spray plants with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). Find images and more information about hornworms here.
HOW TO HARVEST PEPPERS
Once the plants begin producing fruits, pick them promptly, the moment they have reached their full size and color. Regular picking encourages plants to produce more flowers and, of course, more fruits.
That said, the longer bell peppers stay on the plant, the more sweet they become and the greater their vitamin C content.
Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut peppers clean off the plant.
HOW TO STORE PEPPERS
Peppers can be refrigerated in plastic bags for up to 10 days after harvesting.
Gluts of bell peppers can be dried whole in a dehydrator or any warm place with good airflow. If you just have a conventional, here are directions on how to dry peppers for storage:
Wash, core, and seed the peppers. Cut into one-half-inch strips. Steam for about ten minutes, then spread on a baking sheet. Dry in the oven at 140°F (or the lowest possible temperature) until brittle, stirring occasionally and switching tray positions.
When the peppers are cool, put them in bags or storage containers or airtight jars. Or, chop peppers up for packing into ice-cube trays. Freeze them then pop them out into freezer bags ready for dropping into recipes as needed.
Look for varieties that ripen to their full color quickly; fully mature peppers are the most nutritious—and tastier, too!
Green peppers that turn Red: ‘Lady Bell’, ‘Gypsy’, ‘Bell Boy’, ‘Lipstick’
…Orange: ‘Milena’, ‘Orange Sun’
…Yellow: ‘Golden California Wonder’
Taken from https://www.almanac.com/plant/bell-peppers
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse Dougherty Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org 641-794-3337 cell 641-903-9365