Bell Pepper Varieties Chosen for 2011:
RED BELL PEPPERS:
ORANGE BELL PEPPERS:
YELLOW BELL PEPPERS:
- Super Heavyweight
- Quadrato Asti Giallo (New trial for this year!)
PURPLE & BROWN BELL PEPPERS:
- Purple Beauty
- Sweet Chocolate (New trial for this year!)
Since the last few years of my bell pepper crops haven’t been very productive, I researched all of the problems that lead to low production. I have concluded that the likely causes of my problem have been:
- High temperatures: Temperatures above 90 degrees F lead to blossom drop. Last summer we had a rather hot summer, with July’s average temperature was 88.7 and our highs were always above 90. Next season I will give them more shade for the afternoon sun, and sprinkle at mid-day with water.
- Water Stress: This is a more remote possibility, but can be prevented easily next year. Whenever the top inch of the soil is dry, I will water. I also did not mulch them last year, which means their root zone was probably dry…so they were probably water-stressed.
- Low Humidity: Always a problem in Redding…next season I will have some misters and a water feature going from under the nearby pergola and sitting area to keep it more humid.
- Transplant Shock: Shock results in stunted plant growth. Pepper seedlings are very tender, so hardening off is 1-week important. Also, if they get too much sun or heat on the first day they are in the ground it can shock them. This was likely to have happened last year. This year I will harden them off well and plant the seedlings in the late afternoon or on a very cloudy day.
- Tarnished Plant Bug: Not too sure about what to do about these…they will have to wait until my next research article!