Senior Member
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:17 pm
Location: NorthWest NJ

Peppers question - Flowers

The past few years my pepper production hasn't been all that great. This year I planted about 10 pepper plants, all the same variety. My question is about early flowering. I've heard mixed reviews on this. Some say to pick the early flowers off and you'll get good production later, others say leave them a lone. Which is correct because I'd love to have a good crop this year.

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Senior Member
Posts: 118
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:28 pm
Location: CT River Valley

I pick mine off. But I've found that you have to do it with care, and pinch off the whole shoot that has the buds, right down to the stem, otherwise you get funky subsequent growth.

It gives the plant some time to develop better roots & foliage. The years that I've pinched produced better than the years that I didn't.

Had a soil test lately? Peppers need magnesium to do well. And neutral soil, so they can access calcium. The conventional spacing is 12-18 inches, but I bump mine out to 2 feet apart or more.

I've also found that mulching them will actually have a negative effect. They really need as much heat as possible, and straw or leaf mulch cools the root zone. Black plastic keeps the root zone toasty, but then you will have to irrigate in some fashion.

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 1855
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:40 pm
Location: N. California

I always pick off the first few or so, this makes the plant concentrate on growing bigger, where now its first fruit set will be a lot more than one or two peppers. it has more leaves for photosynthesis and bigger roots for gathering nutrients. and I think that gives bigger yields.

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