My pepper plants look really droopy and the peppers are getting mushy. I suspect they're getting too much water. I have a sprinkler system and am unable to change the method of watering at this time. The peppers are in the same zone with my squash and tomatoes. I have been giving them 1" of water every other day. Is this too much? How much do they need? Thanks!!!!!
That sounds like too much. I would never put a garden on an automated sprinkler system. Take a rod of some sort (I have a golf club with the head broken off) and push it into the soil. You'll be able to feel if it is too wet. They need to have good drainage and be able to dry out a little between waterings.
That said, this is August in Texas. Nothing is happy. If you can keep the peppers and squash and everything alive until fall everything will perk up and start producing again.
Between waterings, the dirt is hard as a rock and I can hardly get my finger in the dirt. I keep pretty close tabs on the system and shut it off if it seems wet and needs to go another day. But it just gets sooooo hard and seems so dry. Maybe it's wetter further down than the top inch or two. I'll try a tougher probe than just my finger.
It's mulched with organic hay right everywhere but right around the plant stems. My garden is a large area, 40'x80', and we penned 6 head of cattle in there for 2 months with 13 round bales of hay winter before last. Then we let it sit for a year. With the drought, we couldn't plant anyway. We tilled it up this past spring and planted. My dirt still has a lot of clay in it and we plan to add more manure/hay compost this winter. I've been feeding with compost tea mostly, with a little added molasses, apple cider vinegar, and seaweed.
I disagree. With temps in the 100's I think they are not getting enough water. My pepper droop during the day also. Here is a quick test. Apply 1 gallon of water to 1 plant. If it rehydrates and perks back up within 2 hours then they are not getting enough water.
Bob - I suspect that we're both right - they are getting too much water, but they're not getting enough. The trouble is that all of the water that is being put on by the sprinkler system isn't able to soak in or be retained, it is running off the top hard soil. Working on the soil with good amendments, mulching (tossing a bunch of lava sand over it, for example, and starting to work it in), things like that will loosen the soil and let the water actually reach the plants. And then that much watering may be too much.
My peppers, only thing still living in this South Texas heat, get watered only maybe twice a week, at the most. They droop pretty good, but I look in the morning for drooping. If the they are wilting in the am, I'll water with a slow trickle on the ground.
I would be leery of water more often with less water. This will promote shallower roots and more prone to wilting. Slow water seeping deep into the ground will help the roots go deeper after water, and will help the plants go longer without water, due to the higher moisture content down deep.
I've heard this phrase "you can't water too much, but you can water too frequently."
It is normal for most plants to droop in the middle of the day because of the heat. Look at them in the morning and in the evening to tell if they are drooping because of a moisture issue. Also remember that a plant can only show you in so many ways that it's having a moisture problem, turning brown and drooping are 2 of them. If it's droopy in the morning, poke your finger all the way down into the soil and check for moisture. Drooping does not always mean dry. Drooping can mean that it is staying too wet!
If you cannot poke your finger into the soil because it's too hard then you may not have enough compost added to help break up the clay. I think 1" every other day is way too much. I water deeply every 3 days....even tomatoes.
Thanks, Sandi! I think I've determined that they were getting watered too much. They were being watered from 2 zones, so were being watered twice what they should have been. I think I've fixed it, the peppers are not so shriveled anymore. Appreciate all the help!
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