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Old June 17, 2017   #31
Redbaron
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I have had far more problems with sun scald on bell peppers than on tomatoes. I tried shading my tomatoes one year and found that I got spindlier plants with less fruit. Our sun is pretty intense here but we only get above 100 now and then but we hover just under 100 for months some summers. But what makes it bearable is the near 100% humidity that goes with it.

Bill
Ironically that statement is true. Peppers can take the sun better as long as the humidity is high. But bell peppers will still scald here in OK too. I grow sunflowers here and there to help.
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Old June 19, 2017   #32
b54red
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I have found only a few varieties of tomatoes that are really badly prone to sun scald and the worst is probably Red Barn but it does put out some dense foliage. However if you have to prune a lot of diseased foliage off a Red Barn it is just better to go ahead and pick any fruit totally exposed or cover it somehow. Last year with the heat very high from May through late summer and with a drought going on most of that time we had some relatively low humidity for here and I had more peppers with sun scald than I did that were free of it. Even in good year I would guess close to a third of my peppers have some degree of sun scald on them when I pick them so I just wanted to experiment and see if the shade cloth helped or hurt. I also wanted to try the early pruning of the main stalk to see if the more dense bushy shorter plant handled the sun better.

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Old June 22, 2017   #33
b54red
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I have noticed that the plants under the shade cloth that are at least three weeks behind my first bed of bells that was set out are now at least as large and most are taller then the first bed getting full sun even though we haven't gotten much sun the past couple of weeks. The plants under the shade are setting some but I'm not sure how well. This is an interesting experiment so far. I planted some more peppers that are OP varieties that are supposed to be more tolerant of fusarium in both beds so I will see how those do as well as my usual hybrid bell peppers.

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Old June 22, 2017   #34
jillian
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Bill, can you give an update on the pepper plants you pruned? I am curious, I have a few that are getting very tall.
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Old June 22, 2017   #35
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Some will get really tall. Is there a reason you want to cut them back? (Can't reach the new pods? ) You can do it, but it will delay production some.

Bill would have a good reason to do it if just to keep them under the cloth.
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Old June 22, 2017   #36
jillian
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Some will get really tall. Is there a reason you want to cut them back? (Can't reach the new pods? ) You can do it, but it will delay production some.

Bill would have a good reason to do it if just to keep them under the cloth.
I was referring to his post #11, in which he described his reason for cutting them back to see if it would result in a bushier and sturdier plant. I know that there are lots of people that prune peppers in this manner.
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Old June 22, 2017   #37
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Yeah, they do. There's a thread about is somewhere. Down here, though, we're well into the growing season and it seems kinda late for topping.

There has been considerable sentiment pro and con, so a pepper group I'm a member of did a semi-controlled test a couple years ago. Members topped some plants and let others of the same variety grow un-pruned, meanwhile tracking production. The overall result was that topping delays production some, but that plants catch back up after a while. Over the growing season there is little to no difference in production.

Besides keeping them under the shade cloth, another reason that might be compelling is to make them less susceptible to wind damage. OTOH, it brings the pods down closer to the bunnie .. er .. varmints.
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Old June 24, 2017   #38
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Bill, can you give an update on the pepper plants you pruned? I am curious, I have a few that are getting very tall.
The plants were pruned when they were small. I cut the main stem off just below the first fork. I would say the pruned plants are several weeks behind because they had to grow new main stems from the leaf nodes left below the pruning cut. The pruned plants are now about half as tall as the plants that were not pruned. They are now setting fruit while I have already picked some ripe peppers off the un-pruned plants. I will post more about this experiment as the season continues.

Bill
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Old June 25, 2017   #39
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The shade has really helped with the production of the sweet peppers, but now I am wondering about ripeness. Do they need to get a big more sun for the fruits to go to their final colors or do we just keep under shade and hope they turn at some point?
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Old June 25, 2017   #40
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Nope. It's a natural chemical process that will occur at some point in the plant's maturity cycle. Think of pods that are in deep shade under leaves. They ripen just fine.
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Old June 25, 2017   #41
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Nope. It's a natural chemical process that will occur at some point in the plant's maturity cycle. Think of pods that are in deep shade under leaves. They ripen just fine.
Thanks! I'll leave them were they at then. I so excited to actually be going to have some actual sweets to eat this year. Oh ya!
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Old June 25, 2017   #42
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I'm growing Ajvarski and they are loaded. Can't wait to try one. Just picked my first Corno Di Toro. Btw the Comfrey you sent is doing great! Thanks again.
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Old June 27, 2017   #43
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I'm growing Ajvarski and they are loaded. Can't wait to try one. Just picked my first Corno Di Toro. Btw the Comfrey you sent is doing great! Thanks again.
Funny thing about that pepper. I usually grow cowhorns. It is one of my favorite hot peppers. This year I saw Corno di Toro and since it translate as horn of the bull I figured it must be like a cowhorn.

oops

Turns out it is a sweet pepper!
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Old June 27, 2017   #44
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Yeah I don't typically like sweet peppers but I'm trying to find one I do.
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Old June 27, 2017   #45
b54red
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It is still way too early to determine how much the pruning or the shade cloth affect production. We have had an unusually rainy spell for the past three weeks so the shade cloth hasn't had much of a chance to help with sun scald yet. The newly transplanted peppers that are less than a week old look much better under the shade but that is also way too early to mean anything yet. Both beds got hit hard by flea beetles the past two weeks so I ended up spraying then both to get rid of those pesky things.

I'm not looking forward to the hot weather in the upper 90s but I'm sure it is coming soon and that will be the time to see if the shade cloth works to the benefit of the peppers or not. I have two plants in the first pepper bed that look like they may have TSWV which devastated my peppers last year. I am watching them closely and if they don't look better in a couple of days I will be removing them. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

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