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Senior Member
Posts: 180
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:30 am
Location: Western Tennessee

How can Poblano Peppers reach full size?

I have been working on this for a few years in Tennessee, and only recently am I finally seeing any good results - I just can't figure out what is going on.

*Western TN is notorious for soil that lacks in EVERYTHING essential

My plants this year got off to a bad start, because after they went outdoors there was a bad cooling off of the local climate that was totally unexpected!

But the first peppers were very small, and the plants seemed to take a long time to catch on.

NOW however, in the far late end of the season here I am seeing pepper that are at last getting up to major size, and the plants as well. Some of the plants have branches shooting up as high as three or four feet - I'm guessing the size and health of the plant itself has a lot to do with it, and any early forming peppers should have been removed....

The soil I used is mainly bagged "Garden Soil" from Lowes (with fertilizer in it), mixed about half and half with hardwood bark mulch to provide air pockets, nutrients, and biomass in the planters. Possibly the mulch was late in breaking down, I just have no idea. But I finally have peppers that are 5 -6 inches long or more...

This is very puzzling to me.

* any old friends of mine that remember me here - hello to you too!

Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:41 pm

Mine took some time to grow this year too. (Southern Ontario Canada) What I added this year to the soil was Pearlite. It creates the airpockets in the soil so the roots could breath. One pepper plant I got from a greenhouse took its time to establish itself, but once it did, holy junk it took off! I would suggest pearlite for your garden next year, as well if if need fertilizer, are there any mushroom farms near by you? Here we have a farm that throws out its used compost after the harvest and it is free to take. Get a little bit of that in the ground and let it sit for a while before planting anything. It may help.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 970
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:21 am
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

The wood chips most likely tied up the nitrogen.
Wood chips are ok for a top dressing but if mixed with the soil, will tie up the nitrogen until they start to decompose, then they will release the nitrogen.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7422
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

I live in TN too 30 miles south of Nashville in Murfreesboro TN. I read online that peppers thrive in hot weather but I do not find that to be true in my garden. The information that I read was saying how well peppers grow in India near the equator. I use to grow better pepper when I lived in Illinois where weather is cooler than TN. Peppers did not do well in Arizona when I lived there. Several years ago I tilled a 3.3 cu ft bale of peat moss into my garden pepper row and pepper plants grew 6 ft tall with lots of very large peppers. Since then every time I don't use peat moss my pepper plants are small and don't make may peppers until fall when weather is cooler. If I till in peat moss the next year I get 6 ft tall pepper plants loaded with peppers again. I have been trying to figure out why peat moss makes my peppers grow so well, is it because peat moss makes the soil acid or what? Last week I was thinking how watermelons grow best in sandy soil where roots can grow deep that made me think maybe peat moss loosens the soil so pepper plant roots can grow deep. Maybe very loose soil is good for pepper plants? The past few years I have not used peat moss so my pepper plants were small with few peppers until cooler weather. Next year I am going to till lots of peat moss in the pepper row to see if I get 6 ft tall pepper plants loaded with peppers again.

Don't till wood chips, saw dust, tree leaves or any none composted material into the soil in large quantities it uses up all the nitrogen in the soil and nitrogen will not return until all the wood chips have composted away or replaced with fertilizer.

Add pellet lime and wood ash to your soil. Pellet lime is about $6 for a 30 lb bag at Farmers Co-op. Wood ash contains about 30% lime, potash and lots of minerals for plants.

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