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Old February 3, 2018   #1
greenthumbomaha
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Default Kelp. Pinching Cold treatment - What to do

Specifically for NON HOT type peppers , I've accumulated information from several posts and want to verify the sequence

start seeds in growing medium with liquid kelp added for a "good memory" against disease and for production

(start seeds 2-4 weeks early to account for cold treatment and "topping" growing tips)

when first set of leaves appear give 2 weeks cold treatment

when 2 inches "top" growing tip to promote branching

mist with kelp

pinch any flowers before transplanting outdoors

pinch first set of flowers outdoors


I"ve never done any of the above for peppers so fingers crossed. Any mistakes, additions, or contradictions?

- Lisa

Last edited by greenthumbomaha; February 3, 2018 at 08:34 AM.
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Old February 3, 2018   #2
Worth1
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Too much pinching for me.

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Old February 3, 2018   #3
Father'sDaughter
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I've done none of the above, but I only grow mild-hots to super-hots. I have lost the grow tip on a few more mature seedlings (6-8 inches tall) and they do branch out earlier than the ones with intact grow tips. Not sure I would top them at 2 inches. Best of luck!


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Old February 3, 2018   #4
oakley
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I started mine this morning. About the same as last year. Potted up when it
seemed necessary and pinched the tops of a few when they seemed established
in those 4" pots and seemed a bit leggy.
Formed a nice canopy rather quickly so I pinched the growing tip on some
others as well.
First year I've had a decent harvest ever in such a short season.
I only pinched the one time. Snipped all early flowers. Once outside in deck pots
in warmer weather they took off. I was harvesting by the end of June.
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Old February 3, 2018   #5
rhines81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumbomaha View Post
Specifically for NON HOT type peppers , I've accumulated information from several posts and want to verify the sequence

start seeds in growing medium with liquid kelp added for a "good memory" against disease and for production

(start seeds 2-4 weeks early to account for cold treatment and "topping" growing tips)

when first set of leaves appear give 2 weeks cold treatment

when 2 inches "top" growing tip to promote branching

mist with kelp

pinch any flowers before transplanting outdoors

pinch first set of flowers outdoors


I"ve never done any of the above for peppers so fingers crossed. Any mistakes, additions, or contradictions?

- Lisa
I don't do this because of available space. I would have to heat a space to bring it up to 55F to do this, plus I'd also have to have additional grow lamps. I would never stress a pepper plant until it develops 3 sets of true leaves. I don't use kelp either. Putting a fan on them also helps with their cellular development too!

Good Luck, but here is my take on it:

1st - sow the seeds 14 weeks before 1st frost date. I wouldn't germinate the seeds in a treated media, probably doesn't hurt, but not necessary.

2nd - when 1st SET (pair) of true leaves are fully grown out, use a 1/2 strength fertilizer. Can repeat fertilizing weekly but every other week will do fine.

3rd - when the 3rd SET of leaves (not including the cotyledons) are fully out (normally 3-4 weeks after sprouting), pinch off the cotyledons and pot-up the plants into 3-1/2 to 4" pots. Wait a few days for them to de-stress ... THEN

4th - put the plants in a cool area (mid-50s) for 4 weeks. This will slow down their growth rate. Use artificial lighting or direct sun.

5th - bring the plants back to a warm environment, pinch off the main stem to about 3/4 of its current height (if its 12" lop it down to 9"). Let them grow out for the next 3-4 weeks. If it is still too cold out then you can extend this period for a couple more weeks. At 10-12 weeks old you will probably get flowers, pinch those off.

6th - spend the final week before transplant hardening off, pinch off any remaining flowers and then transplant to their final outdoor destination. I don't pinch flowers after transplant.

One of my Biker Billy Jalapenos at 24 days after sprout (today) - 3rd set of leaves 1/2 way out 4th set peeking out. The cotyledons are still there but hidden by the 2nd set of leaves. They will be indoor house plants this year as a separate experiment.
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Old February 5, 2018   #6
greenthumbomaha
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Several of your suggestions, rhines81, are an improvement over my initial thoughts. I'll be using coir as a seed starting medium, and I'll just add some ferts to grow a bit longer before their pot up. Another change is that I have 4 inch pots ready , I actually replaced all my 2 traditional inch pots with a more squat 2 inch pot for herbs. Several posts point to a more robust transplant with the larger size.

The kelp treatment was discussed in a thread I started about a month ago. The author of a "Starting From Seed" used this technique, although it was quickly shown as ineffective by some here.

I'll play be ear the cold treatment time in a few weeks.

I used to start peppers before tax season started in January and they were too tall and possibly stunted at plant out. Now retired from that occupation, I have the luxury of working at my pace. If you started peppers, pakley, I better get a move on. I moved here 23 years ago from NY/NJ area, just weeks after my son was born. The winter is colder, but spring arrives around the same time and spring temperatures are similar. My daughter used to play outside year round, and it was definitely a challenge staying indoors when raising my son.

I overwintered a few hot peppers but they were outdoor grown. Rhines81, are you planning to top your indoor only houseplant japaleno plants in winter?

- Lisa
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Old February 5, 2018   #7
bower
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Please let us know how it goes with the treatments!

I usually try to protect my peppers seedlings from any cold stress, but I'm sure I've stressed a few unintentionally. Since I'm not usually planting immature plants into the ground anyway, there's not much point.

I have been thinking about pinching tops though, to see if I can do better with certain types indoors. Specifically I want to grow some guajillos again this year but they tend to put on a lot of stem if we don't get a lot of sunshine. I may try pruning them to encourage branching and discourage the tallness. I was thinking to pinch the tip but only after the third set of true leaves.
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Old February 5, 2018   #8
rhines81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumbomaha View Post
Rhines81, are you planning to top your indoor only houseplant japaleno plants in winter?

- Lisa
I will top them all in about 6-7 more weeks and use those cuttings to propagate plants for this year's garden. If they ever reach 30 inches or more, I would consider topping them again.
I plan to let them grow year-round in front of my south facing bay window (only trimming if necessary). I mainly just want to see if the indoor plants can keep me supplied with fresh jalapenos year-round.
Next year, 2019, I will probably transplant them out in the garden and replace them with a different variety or varieties, depending on how this experiment goes.
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Old February 5, 2018   #9
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Ouch, I don't understand the purpose of pinching peppers. I have never done it nor given them the cold treatment. For me the key to a good pepper crop is to plant them or when the temperature and the soil is above 60 F. Pinching and cold treatment is more appropriate for tomatoes.

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Old February 6, 2018   #10
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Not sure about the cold treatment. I know that pepper transplant hate cold with a passion and will completely halt under certain temperature and get a pale yellow look.
For many peppers pinching first flowers can help hugely, maybe even the second flush, especially bell peppers.
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Old February 6, 2018   #11
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I have never tried pinching first flowers, but will give it a try this year to see if it does increase yield.

Alex
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Old February 6, 2018   #12
rhines81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zipcode View Post
Not sure about the cold treatment.
Putting the young plant in a cold environment (but not cold enough to kill it) does slow the growth as expected. The theory is that during this time period it will concentrate development at the cellular level and as a result the cell walls become more robust providing better resistance to temperature extremes and will also give it the capability to store more of the nutrients it needs for a higher production.

That's the theory anyhow.

Pinching the 1st set of flowers from a young plant gives it the opportunity to mature further (cellular development) without the stress of growing fruit.
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Old February 6, 2018   #13
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Over the years I have tried several "schemes" when it comes to peppers, both sweet and hot.

Last year I even went as far as pruning pepper plants thru out the growing season. I did some single stem and some double stem. I have tried topping the plants, early on and later on....

I agree about removing flowers.

I agree about early starting. I have some I started in Jan.

But beyond that, in my opinion, from years of practical experience, peppers like heat. They dont like cold. This year I am really giving them the heat and humidity (to the best of my ability) and it seems im being rewarded for that.

The seedlings are coming right along.
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Old February 7, 2018   #14
zipcode
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velikipop View Post
I have never tried pinching first flowers, but will give it a try this year to see if it does increase yield.
As you have noticed peppers produce in flushes. Each flush is usually more productive then the one before if all goes well.

By removing the first one or two flushes you are gaining time. Instead of the plant using 3 weeks let's say from flush 1 to 2 (since it has to grow those peppers), now it uses only one week, so you get directly to flush 3 faster. So you can gain one high flush per season instead of two weak ones.
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Old February 7, 2018   #15
Worth1
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I dont pinch flowers I pinch fruit if the plant is too little.
Reason, I hardly ever see early blooms set fruit.
I have seen tomato plants just sit and do nothing with one tomato not doing anything because they were too small.
As soon as the tomato was removed the plant would practically explode with growth.
Most of the time but not all of the time I dont debate what people do for peppers and so on that live in a different environment than me.

As for the peppers like hot weather thing, that can get out of hand where I live big time.
Hot weather in Maine or Germany is ((NOT)) hot weather in Texas.
Sure you guys might get a heat wave but our heat waves in the upper 90s and low 100's F last for 4 months.
We call it summer.

Ghost peppers DO NOT like that kind of weather.

Also if you look at the geography of where some of these peppers came from it is by far different than the Hollywood version of the hot desert Mexico with the cactus, rattlesnakes and thirsty dying horses and cowboys.

If it weren't for the drug cartels these areas would be a weather paradise compared to where I live.
It is no wonder these are the places civilizations thrived.

In short, hot weather and heat loving is only relative to what people think it is.

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