denemante
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final pot size- growing in pots

Hey all,

Can you tell me a general rule of thumb for growing veggies in pots? Specifically, hot peppers like jalepenos, cayennes, ghost peppers, etc. I see pictures online of people growing what appear to be full-sized plant out of buckets.

I've done really well with my seed starting - but have about 100 little plants going - which is about 90% more than my garden can fit. I'll give a bunch away - but still be left with a ton I'd like to grow. They are already in 4 inch plastic pots.

I'd like the next move to be final.

So if I could just buy some cheap X gallon pots (perhaps even the black ones about 10-12 inches in diameter that bushes and trees come in at The Home Depot) - then I could just line them up across my back yard....

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hendi_alex
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Re: final pot size- growing in pots

I grow all of my peppers in 3 gallon nursery pots and they do great. Mine seem to do best here in S.C. when placed on the east side of a large oak tree, so that they only get direct sun until noon or one o'clock. The plants get water once per day when temperatures are under 88-90 and get watered twice per day when temperatures are over 90 degrees. I use one or two 3-4 foot stakes to give support.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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imafan26
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Re: final pot size- growing in pots

I use 4 gallon pots for tabasco peppers, but for short lived peppers 2 gallons are enough. If you can bury the pots in the ground it helps. Potted plants need water and regular feeding.
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denemante
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Re: final pot size- growing in pots

Hey Hendi_Alex - curious about your comment regarding keeping the peppers near the oak. So they only get 3-4 hours of direct sun? And the rest of the day the sun is either indirect or just shade?

I thought they were supposed to ideally get like 8+.

However - if not - I'm a happy guy because that would open up a lot of other places I could plant/place them :)

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hendi_alex
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Re: final pot size- growing in pots

They get morning sun from sunrise until about 1 p.m., probably about 5 hours of good sunlight, then filtered to scattered for the rest of the day. I've tried peppers in containers all over the yard, and they just can't seem to handle the afternoon sunlight when temperatures are upper 80's and hotter. Spring through May the plants are moved out further from the tree line and get more sunlight.

Last year we got lots of pepper from the 6-8 sweet pepper plants, steady supply from mid summer to frost. The 4-5 jalapeno plants gave us loads more peppers than we could eat from late May until frost.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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RogueRose
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Re: final pot size- growing in pots

I probably shouldn't say this, but I successfully grew my serranno & jalapeno in 1gallon pots. :shock: They did have to be watered every day and I put a bamboo stake in there for support, but I got more peppers than I could use.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: final pot size- growing in pots

It partly just depends on how much you want to care for them. You can grow things hydroponically with no soil, but then you are responsible for providing them constant maintenance, monitoring all the nutrient levels, etc. You can grow them in smaller pots and water probably twice a day in heat of summer and fertilize every week to make up for all the nutrients being lost by all that watering. Or you can grow them in large pots and maybe water every day or every other day depending on how large and fertilize once a month. Or you can stick them in the ground and if it is good soil and a reasonable amount of rain, they will take care of themselves.
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mattie g
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Re: final pot size- growing in pots

I grew serranos and jalapenos in two- or three-gallon pots last year and they came out OK. I didn't do anything fancy to them - just mulched with grass clippngs and watered when I thought it was necessary. I fed them compost tea a few times, as well. While I didn't get as many jalapenos as I did from the in-ground plant, it still produced plenty. However, the serrano didn't produce quite as well, perhaps because it was a terra cotta pot and I didn't water it enough. Either way, I still got "enough" from them.

This year, I've planted a habanero along with a red bell in a 17-gallon pot, and a jalapeno with another red bell in a 15-gallon pot. I'm expecting big things from them! I also have another jalapeno in a five-gallon pot and and a ring of fire in four-gallon pot - they should have plenty of room to grow.

In my experience, hot peppers can handle a little rough love much better than other plants can. In fact, they may even like it a little... :lol:

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hendi_alex
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Re: final pot size- growing in pots

Just remember to water the plants less than you did when they were in the smaller pots. The peppers like the soil to dry just a bit between watering and the extra soil will make for water retained much longer in the deeper portions of the containers.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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mattie g
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Re: final pot size- growing in pots

hendi_alex wrote:Just remember to water the plants less than you did when they were in the smaller pots. The peppers like the soil to dry just a bit between watering and the extra soil will make for water retained much longer in the deeper portions of the containers.
Agreed. They may need to stretch their legs a bit to find the water, but it doesn't hurt peppers when you force them to work hard.

imafan26
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Re: final pot size- growing in pots

A lot of it depends on the kind of pepper you have too. The habanero, bell peppers, and jalapenos, do fine in smaller pots. They are not that big and have shorter lives. The Naga Bhut Jolokia, superchili, and tabasco chilies are bigger plants and need bigger pots. Tabasco and superchili can live for years. I have a Naga Bhut Jolokia that I transplanted from a 6 inch pot into a 5 gallon pot and it is already trying to move into the ground. The superchili was in a one gallon pot and it went to ground a while ago.

P.S. If you dry the chilies after harvest the flavor intensifies.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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hendi_alex
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Re: final pot size- growing in pots

Photo below shows about half of my pepper plants that are growing in 3 gallon nursery pots. The plants are young with first mature pepper harvested yesterday.

Image
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Re: final pot size- growing in pots

@ Alex - Your 3 gallon pepper plants appear to have commercial fertilizer liberally applied (unless I'm mistaken). I was going to pose a general question under the container section - quite possibly you are the man to ask.

When potting up 1 to 5 gallon pots for all sorts of plants, how much 13-13-13 can i safely mix into the soil in the wheel barrow, before potting? Can you recommend a number of tablespoons per gallon?

I'd like to do that for both seed starter mix and for transplant mix - should i limit to transplant and leave the seed start without fertilizer?

Please advise :)

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hendi_alex
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Re: final pot size- growing in pots

Perlite is what you see in my planter soil. I plant peppers in high quality commercial potting soil blended with about 20% perlite to improve the drainage.

My usual blend:
64 quarts of good quality potting soil, usually Sta-Green or Miracle Grow.
16 quarts of perlite
1 pint of organic blend (cotton meal, kelp meal, blood meal, bone meal)
1-2 cups pelletized lime when planting tomatoes, peppers, or egg plant.

During the season, a good sprinkling of Osmocote is usually sprinkled on the surface of each container.

At the end of the season, this season old mix is used to top off raised beds which are not used to grow nightshade plants (so not much chance of disease issues). Any remaining soil used to grow nightshades is recycled for use in containers for ornamental plants.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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Re: final pot size- growing in pots

Thanks for sharing your recipe Alex - after posting i did come to my senses and think - i bet that's perlite.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating of it they say. Very nice plant pics. I checked some of your older post and you certainly have a wealth of knowledge. Thanks for being here and sharing!

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hendi_alex
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Re: final pot size- growing in pots

Thanks!

As far as seed starting, I rarely add any fertilizer, though most of the time use commercial seed starter. That takes very little soil for me as our plants are started in 2 inch community pots with five seeds in each pot. At the first true leaves, when the plants are up potted to individual pots, they are placed in my potting soil mix described above, though not generally with the lime until the plants reach one gallon sized pots. I've seldom have a problem with the rate of growth of the young seedlings except when weather related.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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hendi_alex
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Re: final pot size- growing in pots

BTW, as you know STA-Green has about 4 months worth of slow release fertilizer. If mixing my own soil or when recycling season old potting soil, I always add a small amount of cheap fertilizer to give an initial boost, probably a half cup per 3-4 cubic foot wheel barrow. At the same time a good amount of slow release is added as well, probably another half cup. Also another pint of organic fertilizer is added.

This method is not very precise. My aim is to give a season's worth of nutrients, but to hold the amount added down to a fairly low level, especially for the chemical fertilizers. For heavy feeders, as mentioned above, a second application of slow release is given sometime mid season to late season.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex



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