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Old July 30, 2017   #1
agee12
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Default I Am Considering Planting Peppers and then Overwintering Them

I am planning on planting a few pepper plants for which I have plenty of seed in the next week or so. I am not expecting to harvest any peppers this growing season but hope that the plant will be established enough that I can overwinter it and then get a harvest next summer.

Is this a workable idea? I successfully overwintered a jalapeno and it is doing quite well but my understanding is that plants don't always survive overwintering so I am not expecting 100% success.

Which are better candidates for overwintering, hot peppers or sweet peppers or does it make a difference?

Last edited by agee12; July 30, 2017 at 02:27 PM.
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Old July 30, 2017   #2
Worth1
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I would think the hot peppers would have the better chance.
Any of them would if they didn't get frost or froze below soil line.
This year after a long time of waiting I pulled a verity of hot peppers and many of them had started to grow again at the roots.
Then consider availability in the stores too.
I wont even grow a jalapeño here it isn't worth it.
I have one pepper plant that has seen 10F and still lives but it is native to here.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiltepin
Every home should have the Texas State native pepper gowning there.
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Old July 30, 2017   #3
SacFly
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Are you talking about overwintering in the ground? or bringing it inside? I don't know what a Georgia winter is like, but it's pretty easy to bring them in.

Cut off 90% of the foliage, cut the rootball to about 2 gallon pot size. Throw them in a pot in the corner somewhere and water lightly every 2 weeks or so. Mine don't go completely dormant, but growth slows way down until the days begin to get longer in the spring.

I would say that 80% make it. I'm talking about chilies here, never tried with bells.
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Old July 30, 2017   #4
Darren Abbey
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I've been thinking about doing the same thing. I was inspired by the seeds I planted in spring all failing to germinate (probably because I didn't have them warm enough) along with the plants I overwintered doing spectacularly.

I overwintered a mix of bell peppers and hot peppers. I haven't noticed a difference between them.
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Old August 4, 2017   #5
b54red
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Since you are in Georgia I wouldn't bother. For one thing aphids are a real problem with overwintering and with our warm winters it is easy to start seed in early to mid December and have them ready to go out as soon as the weather permits. I like to wait til the nights are in the 50s to set them out because they just do better once the cold snaps are over. If you can keep some pepper plants alive outside they will do okay but every time I compare production on an overwintered variety as opposed to a new plant they don't usually perform as well over the course of the whole season. The overwintered plant will however give you some very early spring peppers that are much earlier than the new ones. I may try starting a few bell pepper seed as early as November and hope they don't get too leggy and tall before spring gets here.

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Old August 4, 2017   #6
agee12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SacFly View Post
Are you talking about overwintering in the ground? or bringing it inside? I don't know what a Georgia winter is like, but it's pretty easy to bring them in.

Cut off 90% of the foliage, cut the rootball to about 2 gallon pot size. Throw them in a pot in the corner somewhere and water lightly every 2 weeks or so. Mine don't go completely dormant, but growth slows way down until the days begin to get longer in the spring.

I would say that 80% make it. I'm talking about chilies here, never tried with bells.
I plant mostly in containers so my initial thought was to bring inside but now I am starting to re-think that because of space and gnat control.

My question is if they are brought indoors do they need to be in a well-lit area?

Our past few winters have been pretty mild so I am starting to wonder if I can just leave them outside but be prepared to bring them if there is a severe cold snap. I don't want to keep them in my main growing area, I am hoping I can move them to a more discreet area.

I guess I am trying to figure out what the needs in terms of light, warmth and water. I would like to put them in a dormant state, which you indicated you did and is what I did last year with my one jalapeno plant..

Another thought if I go the outdoor route is I wonder if I can put them in a giant crate with leaves and a tarp but I am not sure if it's worth the trouble to do all that given that we only get a handful of very cold days.


Quote:
Originally Posted by b54red View Post
Since you are in Georgia I wouldn't bother. For one thing aphids are a real problem with overwintering and with our warm winters it is easy to start seed in early to mid December and have them ready to go out as soon as the weather permits. I like to wait til the nights are in the 50s to set them out because they just do better once the cold snaps are over. If you can keep some pepper plants alive outside they will do okay but every time I compare production on an overwintered variety as opposed to a new plant they don't usually perform as well over the course of the whole season. The overwintered plant will however give you some very early spring peppers that are much earlier than the new ones. I may try starting a few bell pepper seed as early as November and hope they don't get too leggy and tall before spring gets here.

Bill
I need to look more into the aphid issue.

I guess it is a "to each his own thing," for me (a newbie gardener) it was a challenge for me to manage seed starting in February and March let alone trying it earlier. I just don't have the resources and skill to keep tons of seedlings warm, lit, pest and disease-free. I plan on doing seed-starting with tomatoes and I will likely plant some peppers and eggplants, but given their slow germination and growth rate during the cooler months, it may be easier for me to over-winter peppers starting in November and December and the overwintered peppers be the bulk of my pepper crop the following season than for me to do seed-starting in November and December.

I have to also look into the productivity angle, I am fine if the productivity is the same, but I have read some claims that the productivity improves in the second year.

ETA:
One particular challenge is that after all the waiting for germination and getting the second set of leaves, some critter comes along and munches the plant down to a nub.

Last edited by agee12; August 4, 2017 at 07:04 PM.
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Old August 4, 2017   #7
Gerardo
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My overwintered plants jumped from the starting line and never looked back.

A good summer for peppers this year.

Good luck
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Old August 4, 2017   #8
Worth1
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My over wintered pepper plant did the same thing.
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Old August 4, 2017   #9
ScottinAtlanta
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Overwintering peppers is a must. Production goes up by at least 4 times in year 2, and at least 6 times for superhots. I have some peppers that are now 5 years old, and producing literally several hundreds of peppers (yellow fatali, yellow scorpions, Bombay Morich, Chocolate Congos, habaneros..)

Mild peppers like jalapenos and hot lemon also over winter very well.

Another advantage is that I get peppers much faster - by April or May rather than June.

I have found sweet peppers to be harder to over winter. I lose about half of them. Poblanos are the exception - they overwinter well. In general, sweet peppers seem more fragile and less likely to spring back. But those that do, also produce much earlier. I have over wintered Golden Marconis, sweet cherry peppers, Shepherds Rams Horn, and Pritavit.

My technique for moving them inside is to dig them up, wash the roots bare by dunking them in a bucket of water, replant in fresh potting soil, prune back moderately, and keep them mildly watered. They will lose most of their leaves by 10-12 weeks, by which time in Atlanta it is time to replant them outside. I wash the roots bare again, and plant them in deep compost. That avoids bringing insects inside, and gives them a sustainable life until ready to go outside. I spray with a light kelp mixture every few weeks to give them some nutrients.
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Old August 4, 2017   #10
Shrinkrap
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I have been overwintering chinenes for the last three or four years and my new plants seem to grow big and flower sooner. But I still do it.i never know for sure what I'm getting and the three year old ( I think; top) always gives me exactly what I'm expecting.
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