Pepper problems. Small leathery leaves on new growth


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Hi! I’m new to this forum and desperate for advice on what might be happening with my Nu-Mex Big Jims, as well as some lemon jalapeños.
Plants were growing fine in raised beds with combo of potting mix, peat moss (about 2 inches amended in), compost, and a bit of garden soil added. It’s very light and fluffy.
FertilIzed with Tomato Tone.
Two months after planting, new growth is stunted, very dark green, and leathery. Most existing blossoms are falling off.
Soil PH is 8. Added the peat moss to lower PH before planting but hasn’t been working well.
Sprayed bi-weekly with Cal-Mag.
Temps around 27 Celsius during the day.
Was very windy for a few weeks.
Rain off and on but drainage is good and plants aren’t overly wet.
Long summer days here in Canada. Zone 3B. Plants do get some afternoon shade.
44333DDF-89B2-4A3F-B6AB-29BAAC25166F.jpeg

I can’t figure out what could be wrong!
Thought I would ask you, the experts.
 
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I'm no expert but if it's very dark green could there be too much added chemistry? Somebody more experienced may correct me but it seems like you used quite a bit of stuff at least for me. I just used compost and a little sprinkle of rock dust type stuff and they are fruiting quite well and looking good. In my humble opinion a little bit of organic root booster and maybe some liquid silicon would be the most I'd use when they are young to get a good fluffy white root system and defensive cell walls respectively. I'm growing in containers by the way as well though and I add a bit of stuff to aid drainage/airflow to the roots too.

My Mulato Islano, Yellow Luchbox and Purple Jalepeno seem to be doing the best. Closly followed by Tasmanian Black, Serano and a bit slower are the Machu Picchu.

Still learning myself though so somebody may have other suggestions as to your specific problem.
 
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Those soil ingredients don't sound like the pH would be that high to me but if your soils pH is 8.0 or possibly higher then that could cause a micronutrient deficiency because the plant can't uptake the nutrient.

How did you check the soils pH?
 
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I'm no expert but if it's very dark green could there be too much added chemistry? Somebody more experienced may correct me but it seems like you used quite a bit of stuff at least for me. I just used compost and a little sprinkle of rock dust type stuff and they are fruiting quite well and looking good. In my humble opinion a little bit of organic root booster and maybe some liquid silicon would be the most I'd use when they are young to get a good fluffy white root system and defensive cell walls respectively. I'm growing in containers by the way as well though and I add a bit of stuff to aid drainage/airflow to the roots too.

My Mulato Islano, Yellow Luchbox and Purple Jalepeno seem to be doing the best. Closly followed by Tasmanian Black, Serano and a bit slower are the Machu Picchu.

Still learning myself though so somebody may have other suggestions as to your specific problem.
I was thinking that as well but then wondered if an organic with low numbers would cause it? Last year my plants in that bed struggled. I should have added more compost and will definitely do that next season! The plants in the pics were started in April indoors and planted out June 1 so they were quite large. I used a root inoculant when I put them in the bed and potted them up a few times before that. I was hoping to get them out sooner but we had a late start to the season. I’m interested in learning more about liquid silicone. Have never heard of it being used on plants before!
 
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Those soil ingredients don't sound like the pH would be that high to me but if your soils pH is 8.0 or possibly higher then that could cause a micronutrient deficiency because the plant can't uptake the nutrient.

How did you check the soils pH?
I was thinking the same thing. My only thought would be that it might be caused by the fertilizer which has calcium? Or, could be because our water is a fairly high PH, though I haven’t checked this. We are located on what used to be a lake bed. Lots of limestone in the area. Garden soil never has a calcium deficiency here but it’s clay soil. I don’t use it in the raised beds of course.
I used soil PH strips as well as the PH tester in which a capsule is added to the soil water. Both showed super high PH readings.
No idea how to bring the PH gradually down with the plants on the bed. Strange thing is my tomatoes in separate beds are doing great!
 
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Sounds like you may have needed some fresh compost at the least. Too much calcium maybe and there's some nutrient lock out. Limestone neutralises acid even after all those years of carbonic acid in the rain water. I've just ordered some green sand for micronutrients but I'll only try a bit on one plant as an experiment as they look pretty good at the moment.

This might be worth a read through: https://www.growerexperts.com/how-to-lower-ph-in-soil-fast/

A bit of well rotted manure might help but I think I heard it can be a long process actually to lower the PH. Maybe containers or a contained bed might be an idea for certain plants if you have naturally alkaline local conditions.
 
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Did you use distilled water or your tap water to check the pH?
If you used your tap water then that may be why the pH read that high when in reality it probably isn't that high.
 
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Limestone neutralises acid even after all those years of carbonic acid in the rain water.
There are places near here where so much limestone has been eaten away that sudden sink holes are appearing. There was a picture of a house fallen into one in the paper recently.
Sorry, I digress.
 

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