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 Post subject: Too early for peppers?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:58 am 
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Is it still too early to start peppers? I see them for sale in many stores. If it is too early what will happen? Slow growth?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:05 am 
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Sorry I live in north Texas. I haven't checked the soil temp but assume it is still too cold to transplant some peppers


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:51 am 
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When I've planted tomatoes and other similar (tobacco family includes peppers & eggplant) plants too early they languished. Stood there not growing because the soil was too cold and sometimes just withered and needed to be replanted.

That said, it occurs to me that using something like floating row cover over your small bedding plants might help warm the surface of the soil by holding in a little of the warmth of the sunshine, and you can leave it on for a few days at a time. This is just speculation on my part, something I would try if I was planting this soon.

Cold soil isn't the only early-season hazard. Over the past couple of years I've discovered a lot of cutworms in the soil. The first year I ignored them, not knowing what they were, and came out the next day to find all of my tomatoes chopped off at the soil level! I dug around and found the culprits, and realized I'd seen quite a few. After that I made sure to use beneficial nematodes ahead of planting time, and I typically put a little Bt in the watering can when I water them in the first time to knock out any that are still around. I wonder if the cutworms are less of a problem later in the spring, having pupated and departed the garden?

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My across-the-street neighbor is an old time gardener who swears you shouldn't plant your tomatoes before Easter. Considering how cold the winter was and how cool the soil is, I suppose that advice isn't bad. I won't wait that long, but one of these days if I find the Super Fantastic variety that I prefer, I'll buy them and keep them in the greenhouse until it feels like the right time to plant.

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Last edited by northwesterner on Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:40 am 
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Thanks for the advice. I've installed the Nematodes and will just wait to plant the peppers.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:52 am 
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should I stake my peppers? I planted them this last weekend. soil temp 70 degrees in my raised bed. The wind has pushed them all over the place. I have thought about using a wind break but this only slightly helped because the wind swirls where I have them planted.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:02 pm 
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I've tried putting tomato cages around them. Later on when the plants are large the cages are more of a problem than a help. But maybe put them in place for a little while, taking them off when the plant has a thicker stalk but while it is still safe to remove them.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:01 pm 
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The hail storm beat them up pretty bad. Did well in the wind but couldn't do much for the hail. I'm going to give them a few weeks and see how they respond. I may replace them if they don't recover and look healthy.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:03 pm 
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As inexpensive as bedding plants can be, you'll get a longer growing season if you simply replace them now and let the new ones grow from healthy plants instead of waiting to see if the damaged ones make it. Or add some to what you have now and replace fewer later if it comes to that.

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