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Old June 26, 2017   #1
Nematode
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Default Pepper productivity, remove first full size peppers when green?

So I have seen in a couple places that to increase pepper productivity, the "first" peppers should be picked just when they reach full size.
So is first, 1 pepper, 3, 5 per plant?
What is this all about, does it apply to capsicum anuum in general, or only specific varieties?
Season here is short, so am leery of losing even the first few peppers.

Fedco,on Feher Ozon:
"Pick first green peppers when they reach full size to increase total yield significantly"

https://www.fedcoseeds.com/seeds/search?item=3776
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Old June 26, 2017   #2
greenthumbomaha
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I, like others are having an exceptional pepper year. Lots of blossoms and small peppers starting. This is a once in 10 pepper year for me, but it is still very yearly for peppers here.

In a normal, less productive year, I don't get a huge yield. I treasure those first peppers. Sometimes that works against me, and I too wonder if I could get better yield by picking the first pepper or removing blossoms early. It certainly would be worth imho, to sacrifice a singe or a few early peppers to see if you can get a banner or at least a better harvest. Not much to loose, but I completely understand the pride of growing that first pepper.

- Lisa
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Old June 26, 2017   #3
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Mr tode I cant give any advice for you where you live my growing season is just way too long.
But if I were you where you live I would pull that pepper and see what happens.,

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Old June 26, 2017   #4
slugworth
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I often pick before they are ripe and get a second crop before frost that is bigger.
Hot peppers are hotter in the fall also.
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Old June 27, 2017   #5
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Fully ripening the peppers on the plant slows/stops flower production. Picking them before they start turning color will allow flowering to continue.

When they ripen on the plant...'Okay, I've done my job, now I can rest' is what the plant is thinking.
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Old June 27, 2017   #6
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Old June 27, 2017   #7
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I haven't really heard anything like that. I know that removing the first pepper is religion to any serious grower, but not when it's full size.
So the idea is obviously that peppers become more productive in time, sort of exponentially, since the number of 'nodes' they can produce from increases exponentially.
So you don't want the plant to lose too much time on that first pepper when the plants are usually small. Now when do you remove it? Flower, formed pepper, big pepper? I think the idea of picking it a bit later than flower has some merit, because the pepper stalk increases in diameter this way, and better supports the plant. Removing it fully grown seems to kinda defeat the purpose in the first place.
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Old June 27, 2017   #8
Nematode
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Went overboard on peppers this year with 50 plants, so there is room for experimentation.
Thanks for the replies.
Mjc, I totally see that some plants stop flowering when loaded with fruit, I will pick some to keep them flowering. They were just planted out last week, so will let them settle in first.

It seems this game should be timed with season end in mind for ripe peppers.
Encouraging fruit set that will never ripen is not a goal, except maybe for jalapeno.

How many days from flower to ripe fruit for different varieties?

Thx
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Old June 30, 2017   #9
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I found through my own experimentation that removing at least the first pepper as soon as it appears will in the long run give you more fruit. If the plant is still very small and has set some peppers I will remove them also. I found that if you allow a small plant to produce a large pepper it will seriously stunt the plant for a long time and reduce overall production. My conclusion is that the small plant just uses too much energy that should go into growing larger to make that first or first few peppers and can't recover easily from the strain. However every year I allow a couple of my peppers to produce those early peppers just so I can have them to eat much sooner. Almost every year the results are the same. Those peppers that I allow to make early are smaller and less productive as the season moves along and they tend to have more foliage and disease problems. I know this is purely anecdotal but it is what I have observed for years.

Bill
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Old June 30, 2017   #10
Nematode
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I can see this already, the small plant large pepper thing.
Have removed some but will trim more agressively on the smaller plants.
Thx
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Old June 30, 2017   #11
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I think it all depends on where you live and how short your season is. I just grow more pepper plants and leave those first peppers alone. For short season areas, I would see more benefit in topping the main stem very early in development before peppers or even blossoms are set, so the pepper is forced to branch out while very young and so has time to catch up in growth and produce more blossoms that have a chance of ripening before frost. Even during summer, far north 80F's can drop into the 50F's overnight regularly, so northern peppers have a harder time coming up with the sustained hot temps they like for rapid growth. You may set more peppers if you remove the first, but will they have have a chance to grow to full size and get ripe? Southern folk don't have this problem.
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Old June 30, 2017   #12
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I don't. a) Still working out the inclination that "anything green is good"; b) I have a looong growing season.

But just to provide advice more appropriate to your situation, I've asked my buds up in MA and CT this question. I'll report what they say.
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Old June 30, 2017   #13
franknmiss
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I agree with Bill.
I planted 8 peppers in a 5X5 bed this year. I noticed one of them had a very small pepper on it when I set it out.
Big mistake. The other 7 plants are 3 times the size and loaded with peppers while the other one had to grow a full size pepper before the plant started growing and adding blooms.
Won't do that again - I'm pinching peppers and/or blooms when I set out next year.
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Old June 30, 2017   #14
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Don't mistake correlation for causality. For some reason plants that are weak or under stress while very young will rush quickly to set some pods. The fact that it set a pod while small - and the others didn't - is a good indication that it has other problems.

OTOH, that doesn't answer the original question one way or the other. My guess is that, like topping, it won't make a difference to overall yield. But with a short season it may. Still waiting to hear from my contacts.
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Old June 30, 2017   #15
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I think I agree with Bill. I'm going to try his method next year. I was so excited to finally have some sweet peppers that I left the plants alone. Now I have these short plants with some big fruits, and they just sitting.

No new blossoms, no turning color, no new growth. Some could be we had all that rain for almost 5 days in a row and only two days of cloudy sunshine and now we back to days of rain.

I'm almost tempted to pick them off even though they not fully ripe yet. Just wonder how the peppers will taste.
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