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Old March 16, 2017   #1
Starlight
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Default pH for sweets?

My goal this year is too grow sweets. Don't matter the color or shape I just want something to eat. I grow the hots and super hots and have for years and have to give them away. Tender taste buds here.

I have no problem growing productive hots, but can't get a decent sweet to grow for anything. I realize, I think anyways, that since most sweets are larger peppers that you don't get as many fruits, but I know I should be getting more than a couple, two three per plant. Than again I look at some folks pics here on TV and they have lots of fruits on their sweets, so I know I'm not doing something right.

I been studying several pepper seed sites and see that they suggest pH of 5.6 to 6.2. Is this right? Do sweets need a lower pH? A couple of years ago I grew about 20 plants of sweet varieties and didn't even get enough peppers to fill half of a five gallon bucket. Was a bit depressing. Truth, it was a whole depressing. Even the few peppers I got were not a decent size. Puny things and odd shaped they were. The problem I believe is with me and lack of knowledge with them.

I been raking my brain trying to figure out where I going wrong. I grow in containers. Peppers will get 3 to 5 gallon containers. They get the same as hots for water and ferts. I use MG 6 days a week than one day clear flushing, Tomato Tone will be used on sweets for first time, since I only learned about it last year, and I use Epsom Salt.

Would somebody please, who grows sweets tell me how they do theirs. I went shopping for sweets this year, got some from trades here and some from MMMM swap and while I can handle losses from seed I bought, I don't want to lose seed from TV'ers and their hard work.

I've got the seed to experiment with different methods to try and find how to do it right, just need help in methods to try.
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Old March 16, 2017   #2
ilex
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I've got 8.5, my recommendation is that you mostly forget about ph. Sweet peppers can be any size or shape. Growing conditions are the same as hots, in fact, most are easier than chinense or pubescens peppers. If you can grow hot peppers, you can grow peppers in general.

Bell peppers are somewhat tricky, specially if you want them red. Solution is simple, grow other varieties that can be used the same way. The question is ... how do you want to use them? Frying, fresh in salads, oven ...
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Old March 16, 2017   #3
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I'm not going to get in any pH arguments but I feel it is important.
In my soil a pH of 8.5 the plants would just sit there and do nothing.
Soils differ as to what plants will grow in as far as pH from what I have read.
I have no other experience but my own to offer.
Pepper plants of all types like a pH on the acidic side just like tomatoes.
Growing big giant sweet bells mystify me I have no idea how these people do it.

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Old March 16, 2017   #4
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Ella, I can send you seeds of Spanish sweet pepper Najerano Rojo (excelent) , only I do not know if it would had grown up. It says that peppers must be on the sun and must have a wet feet
If you're interested so write.
Vladimír
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Old March 16, 2017   #5
ilex
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Please note that "like", "prefer" ... don't mean "require". Most plants will grow in a wide ph range, even if they would choose another if allowed to. As long it's not extreme, most things will grow perfectly.

Ph is not everything. Depending on what is high or low in the soil, limits will move. Also, soil life affects ph and nutrient availability at root level.

I would just try, and only after having problems, start to tweak soil. It's not true that tomatoes and peppers need acid soils. Don't believe everything you read. Some books say we can't grow orange trees, luckily, we never let our trees read those books.
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Old March 16, 2017   #6
PaulF
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I grow only sweet peppers and my pH is 8.2-8.5. There is no problem growing great plants and getting peppers. My problem is the short growing season where mostly I get very few ripe fruits. Lots of green and a few yellows and reds. The flavor is very sweet depending more on the variety than the soil condition, I think.
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Old March 16, 2017   #7
slugworth
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A cousin had giant bell peppers and I dug up his plants before the frost hit them(with permission).I overwintered in the house and planted them in my garden the next year.
In my garden they were just regular size,so ph or ground quality must be a big factor in pepper size.
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Old March 16, 2017   #8
garyjr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulF View Post
I grow only sweet peppers and my pH is 8.2-8.5. There is no problem growing great plants and getting peppers. My problem is the short growing season where mostly I get very few ripe fruits. Lots of green and a few yellows and reds. The flavor is very sweet depending more on the variety than the soil condition, I think.
Paul, Curious how tall yours get? I have a longer growing season than you but I even had trouble getting them to ripen before the frost. In my case I think it is either not quite enough sun. They get about 6 hours per day and/or they are just too tall. In other words they put so much energy in plant growth and not enough in fruit growth. I have seen a number of videos on-line recommending to top pepper plants. I think I will give that a try this season.
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Old March 16, 2017   #9
PaulF
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Depending on the variety most are in the two to three foot tall range. They usually fill a small tomato cage easily. More sun may the answer. I get lots of peppers, they just do not ripen until just before frost. Purchased shorter season peppers this year just to what happens.
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Old March 17, 2017   #10
rdback
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
...I have no problem growing productive hots, but can't get a decent sweet to grow for anything...

I been raking my brain trying to figure out where I going wrong. I grow in containers. Peppers will get 3 to 5 gallon containers. They get the same as hots for water and ferts. I use MG 6 days a week than one day clear flushing, Tomato Tone will be used on sweets for first time, since I only learned about it last year, and I use Epsom Salt.
Star, I think the paragraph quoted above may give a few clues. Here's what came to mind:

If you can grow "hots", you can grow "sweets". With your sweets, I think you may be experiencing flower drop. As hot as it gets in Alabama in the middle of Summer, the peppers are going to shed blooms to help the plant survive. Try using partial shade or sun-cloth during the hottest part of the day. Your "hot" peppers are probably c.Chinense, which usually originate from more temperate climates and can tolerate the heat somewhat better than c.Annuums, which is what most "sweet" peppers are.

3 gallon containers are a little small; 5 gallon will work better; larger would be better yet.

Watering every day is WAY too much for a pepper plant. Peppers do NOT like wet feet. Rather, let the plant tell you when to water. If the dirt is dry to the second knuckle or if the plant begins to wilt are a couple of ways to tell. If your plant wilts every day, either the sun is too hot for it or your planting mix is a problem.

Fertilizing every watering is WAY too much fertilizer. I fertilize at plantout and then side-dress during mid-season. That's it. Tomato Tone is a great choice for peppers.

Hopefully, if you consider some or all of these things, your success with sweets will improve.

Best of luck and hope you have a great growing season!

Last edited by rdback; March 17, 2017 at 01:48 PM. Reason: typo
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Old March 17, 2017   #11
AlittleSalt
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Star, I agree with rdback. Especially the shading and watering.
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Old March 18, 2017   #12
Starlight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulF View Post
I grow only sweet peppers and my pH is 8.2-8.5. There is no problem growing great plants and getting peppers. My problem is the short growing season where mostly I get very few ripe fruits. Lots of green and a few yellows and reds. The flavor is very sweet depending more on the variety than the soil condition, I think.
I been trying to keep my pH for the peppers around 6.2 to 6.5. Maybe I am too low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBig46 View Post
Ella, I can send you seeds of Spanish sweet pepper Najerano Rojo (excelent) , only I do not know if it would had grown up. It says that peppers must be on the sun and must have a wet feet
If you're interested so write.
Vladimír
Thanks Vladimir. Will send pm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slugworth View Post
A cousin had giant bell peppers and I dug up his plants before the frost hit them(with permission).I overwintered in the house and planted them in my garden the next year.
In my garden they were just regular size,so ph or ground quality must be a big factor in pepper size.
I bet when you dug them up you were all excited, then wondered Huh? when you got smaller ones.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rdback View Post
Star, I think the paragraph quoted above may give a few clues. Here's what came to mind:

If you can grow "hots", you can grow "sweets". With your sweets, I think you may be experiencing flower drop. As hot as it gets in Alabama in the middle of Summer, the peppers are going to shed blooms to help the plant survive. Try using partial shade or sun-cloth during the hottest part of the day. Your "hot" peppers are probably c.Chinense, which usually originate from more temperate climates and can tolerate the heat somewhat better than c.Annuums, which is what most "sweet" peppers are.

3 gallon containers are a little small; 5 gallon will work better; larger would be better yet.

Watering every day is WAY too much for a pepper plant. Peppers do NOT like wet feet. Rather, let the plant tell you when to water. If the dirt is dry to the second knuckle or if the plant begins to wilt are a couple of ways to tell. If your plant wilts every day, either the sun is too hot for it or your planting mix is a problem.

Fertilizing every watering is WAY too much fertilizer. I fertilize at plantout and then side-dress during mid-season. That's it. Tomato Tone is a great choice for peppers.

Hopefully, if you consider some or all of these things, your success with sweets will improve.

Best of luck and hope you have a great growing season!
You may be right. That could be part of the problem. Didn't think about our heat and humidity or realize that sweets can't take the heat as much. I had them out with the hots and they were out in the hot sun from about 8 am to 6 pm when the normal shade from trees would cover them in the evening.

I have a shade house area. I'll try that with them. Usually about end of May and beginning of June we already hitting the 90's and by July, Aug and Sept. High 90's to over 100F with 100 % humidity.

Once a pepper plant wilts isn't it ruined? I thought I read that somewhere, never to let them wilt.

ilex Guess the quote didn't work. I will eat a sweet pepper any which way. Stuffed, fresh, fried, on pizza especially, soups. Plus the kids and seniors I grow and feed, they can't do the hots either, so I really want to have a decent crop of sweets this year.
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Old March 19, 2017   #13
ilex
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Peppers can grow in much shadier arear than usually thought. In fact, grow better with some protection.

The only difficult kind is red bell peppers. Other smaller sweet peppers are usually very easy and very productive.

I've got some very rare Spanish varieties available. I can trade, mostly for Spanish varieties, or under domestic SSE conditions (3$ each, no need to be a SSE member )
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Old March 19, 2017   #14
BigVanVader
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My bells always prefer shade, I noticed that I wouldn't get any peppers forming until fall, then I'd get a hundred at once. It was because it was cooler. Once I started growing them in partial shade they produce all season. Where the pepper is originally from also seems to be a factor. Hungarian peppers for example don't like high temps in my experience, where as a South American pepper thrives in heat.

Last edited by BigVanVader; March 19, 2017 at 07:21 AM.
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Old March 19, 2017   #15
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You water sweet peppers when they need it...not by any schedule. Stick your finger in the soil. If they're dry, you water then. If you live in a hot environment and grow in pots, you might end up watering daily.
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