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Winter Pepper

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Winter Pepper

Post  jmsieglaff on 1/22/2014, 7:19 pm

So what do us in the north have to do during the winter to keep garden time from standing still?  Grow something.

In the middle of December I was eating some mini red, orange and yellow bell peppers from the store.  I don't remember what color the pepper was but I tossed a seed into the gerber daisy pot on the kitchen table.  About 10 days later I noticed a little seedling poking through the ground.  I plucked it out with some toothpicks and planted it in a cup with some potting mixing and some organic fertilizer and placed it on the windowsill that faces south by the kitchen sink.  And the pepper is doing well.  I think I'll keep growing it and eventually plant it in a pot this spring and see what I get. 


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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/22/2014, 7:40 pm

Cood! We have a red pepper plant growing and fruiting at my office.

I wish I could figure out how to get some mini cucumber seeds from the store bought ones. I love those puppies and would love to start some, but they seem to be seedless.

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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  quiltbea on 1/22/2014, 9:08 pm

Hey, a little over a week ago I harvested two sweet Redskin peppers from a potted pepper I brought inside in the fall.



Here they are still on the plant the day after Christmas.
This is pretty darn good for a gardener in Maine.

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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  malefacter on 1/22/2014, 10:34 pm

wow they look good

 one time i grew a chilly pepper under a cfl it only made one pepper Rolling Eyes

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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  sanderson on 1/23/2014, 2:12 am

QB,  What a pretty red Christmas pepper!  Perfect for the decor!

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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  jmsieglaff on 3/29/2014, 7:36 pm

So back in January I was reading a thread about pinching the main stem of a pepper plant to encourage bushy growth with side branches--maybe it was boffer?  Anyway, I pinched back my winter experiment pepper plant back in January.  By mid February very small buds were growing in the junctions of the main stem and leaves.  By mid March these buds began opening as leaves and have continued to grow as side branches.  Here is what the plant looks like today.  I added arrows to point out where branches were growing.  IIRC, it was said pinching the main stem will give higher yields, maybe because the plant will have more leaves on more branches?  It sure took a while to get the branches to grow, so I won't be doing that with my spring sowed seeds (which are just germinating)--but it was neat to see the pinching off working with the side branching.  Maybe next year I should start my peppers 6 or so weeks early and pinch them all.


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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  sanderson on 3/29/2014, 7:56 pm

JM, I also tried cutting the stems back to about 6-8" and over-wintering in the green house, keeping above freezing.  I had no idea/confidence it would work so well.  I wonder how many years you can keep doing this?? The store-bought yellow and red bells were the ones I was really hoping would make it.


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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  jmsieglaff on 3/29/2014, 8:15 pm

Wow very nice, so you just trimmed the stems back to that length and removed side branches?  Impressive results!  I wonder if my cool dark basement would work for something like that over our long winters.

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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  sanderson on 3/29/2014, 8:43 pm

Thanks.  I only cut the main stem short.  Eventually the leaves fell off and they looked awfully naked!
Here's how I amended the pots early spring.  I was too lazy/nervous to remove from pot and add more compost. Maybe someone who knows what they are doing will answer your question about the basement.



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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/29/2014, 10:11 pm

I think the pinching is also to:

1. Create more shoot growth, which turns into leaves that shade the fruit and protect it from sun scald; and

2. Raise humidity around the plant, which they're supposed to love. I remember reading a recommendation to plant oregano close to the base of pepper plants so that it would shade the ground and increase humidity for the peppers. So I guess that's a "thing" with peppers.

Dunno myself. Never pinched an inch. Did grow oregano pretty close to my peppers last year, and both plants did well, so at least it didn't hurt.

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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  camprn on 3/29/2014, 10:33 pm

@jmsieglaff wrote: Maybe next year I should start my peppers 6 or so weeks early and pinch them all.

That's what I do. It works great!

I'm happy for your pepper plant! What a Face What a Face 

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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  jmsieglaff on 3/30/2014, 10:13 pm

Based on how this one plants work I'll have to do that.  Which means I'll be starting my peppers ~ Feb. 1 ish--sounds crazy, but I don't they'll be too tall under the lights given I'll be pinching them back and the time it takes for the side shoots to grow.

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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  bonnie0128 on 3/31/2014, 8:31 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
I wish I could figure out how to get some mini cucumber seeds from the store bought ones.  I love those puppies and would love to start some, but they seem to be seedless.

Are you still looking for seed for these type of cucumbers?  I have been too and I've narrowed down some choices.  I think the closest are likely Picolino, which are an F1 hybrid that is best picked at 4-5".  Other options include: Baby Persian F1 (aka Green Fingers - once source says 3-5", another says 8-10"), Rocky F1 (3.5"), Katrina (5.5-6.5"), Amiga F1 (6"), Manny F1, Socrates F1 (7"), and Tyria F1 (14").  Basically, English Cucumbers (aka burpless, European, hothouse, seedless, gourmet, greenhouse, japanese, mediterranean, and persian).

I haven't ordered any seeds yet as I don't have the funds this year but I'm still looking to see if I can turn any up in a trade or locally.  Let me know if you find out any other options or actually give it a go!

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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  jmsieglaff on 5/31/2014, 9:56 pm

The winter pepper that I pinched off the main stem is bushed out into a small tree and is enjoying its home on the deck.  It is loaded with flowers and small peppers.  I do think this will make me start all peppers early and pinch the main stems.


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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  sanderson on 6/1/2014, 3:42 am

Great pepper plant!

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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  Goosegirl on 6/1/2014, 8:02 am

Gorgeous plant!!! I am currently waiting for my pepper plants to get big enough to be able to pinch!   

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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  jmsieglaff on 6/1/2014, 8:35 am

GG, you should post at the end of the season how your pinched peppers go.  After I pinched this plant it took quite a while until branches started to grow from the leaf/steam notches--probably about 6 weeks and that was just the start of the little branches.  Now this plant was indoors, cool, and not getting quality summer sunshine, so I'm guessing your plants will grow much faster.  Not trying to convince you to call the dogs off, but I wonder how long it will take for those side branches to develop to the point where they'll start flowering and then producing ripe fruit.  If being outside makes them grow a lot faster and your results are good, maybe I don't need to bother starting them as early as I'm thinking in 2015.  Are you going to pinch all or pinch some and not others so you can compare?  Any other pepper pinchers have anything to add?

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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  Goosegirl on 6/1/2014, 8:48 am

I plan on pinching only a few, so I can compare. I have 8 plants, so if I pinch 2 or 3 I should get a good comparison.

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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  jmsieglaff on 6/1/2014, 8:53 am

Nice, what varieties are you growing?

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Re: Winter Pepper

Post  Goosegirl on 6/1/2014, 10:20 am

King of the North and Etuida - a variety from Baker Creek that is supposed to be good for the north as well.

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