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Hervey May 13, 2018 06:15 PM

Culling first green peppers to increase harvest - Fedco advice
This year's Fedco catalogue states, "Pick first green peppers when they reach full size to increase total harvest significantly." I hadn't I heard this before and have never done it. What say you?

Zeedman May 13, 2018 07:03 PM

Provided that your ultimate goal is ripe peppers, and that your season is long enough, that's not bad advice. Pinching off the first blossoms for several weeks, or pruning the tip to promote branching, will have similar effects. All of those techniques allow the plant to get larger before setting its full load of peppers, but push back the DTM for ripe peppers by several weeks.

In a short-season area (such as mine) anything which lengthens the DTM would be risky. I've pinched off the first blossoms some years (if the transplants began flowering before I was able to cage them) and usually get away with it... but if the frost comes early, it means a larger crop - but only of green peppers. :(

brownrexx May 13, 2018 08:50 PM

The OP is not talking about pinching off blossoms but picking the peppers as soon as they are full sized and yes, allowing any plant to retain mature fruit will slow down the production of new fruits.

The goal of any plant is to produce seeds and if there are mature fruits then its job is done. If you remove the mature fruits then the plant will be triggered to continue producing new fruits.

Zeedman May 14, 2018 12:02 AM

Funny, I thought I directly answered the OP in my first sentence... the fact that I listed alternatives to reach the same goal should not be cause for criticism. The important point being that the impact of removing the first full-sized (green) peppers will be to increase production, but at the cost of delaying the harvest of ripe peppers until later in the season.

Of course, if the original goal was to harvest the peppers green, then the same process would be carried out inadvertently... so the advice by Fedco seems intended for those who want ripe peppers.

dustdevil May 14, 2018 09:57 AM

Pick your first green pepper when it turns red, so you have viable seed for next year.

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