Small bell peppers. Too hot?


DrMike27

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I decided I was going to be a pepper farmer this year...mostly because I started about 30 pepper plants inside and they all actually grew...a good problem to have I guess. Needless to say, the Phoenix sun seems to be more than they can handle. All of them are established and about 12” tall, but the fruits are very, very small (less than 3”). All of my plants (except 3) are in my raised beds and on a drip system. However, the 3 in containers are the ones doing the best with good looking fruits growing. The containers are also on my patio and get partial shade. The beds get direct sunlight from about 7am-~4pm. It has been 100+ degrees every day for the last month.

Applied a 12-0-0 fertilizer back in February/March, and used a 10-10-10 organic fertilizer at the start of May. I also mulched the beds with about 2-3” of wood chips after the plants were established. The containers get all the same nutrients, but are hand watered each day.

Is there anything I can do, or is it just the product of the Arizona heat? Thinking I may need a shade cloth, but I also don’t really have a good place to really set one up.

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Logan

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I think that it's the sun all the time on the plants.
Can't you set up a frame and drape the shading over but peg it down well.

Here i have to grow my chilli plants same family as bell peppers in the conservatory
and find that they don't like a lot of sun, they wilt until the evening when the sun goes down a bit.
 

DrMike27

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Ya mine are definitely wilting during the day. My issues with a shade cloth are twofold: I don’t want to anchor it to the wall immediately behind the bed and irritate the neighbors, and I also have a really curious 1 year old who likes to touch/destroy things more than just look.
 

Logan

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Can you dig them up?but make sure that you've got a lot of soil around them and do it when the sun has gone down a bit.

I know what a one year old can get up to. When mine was about that age he managed to climb the 6ft fence and run down the road, luckily it was a quiet street/close.
 

Meadowlark

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They will drop their blossoms if daytime temperatures are above 90° F. However, they usually will grow to maturity any fruit set before that.

We've been 96 to 98 deg. for several days now and still getting good peppers that set fruit earlier.

One thing to consider, on most peppers, if left alone, they will experience a great revival in late summer/fall when temps get back below 90 deg. This usually is the best productivity of the year for mine. I just ride it out until Sept. when they start blooming and setting fruit again.
 
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I lived in Mesa for 20 years. for peppers and tomato's come april , put a small tent up over plants in early morn and take down before dark. if you don't have room to do that, then secure a few umbrellas up
 
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I'm thinking about planting Moringa trees all over the place. They cast just the right amount of shade for the annuals (acting like a shade cloth -- not too shady), they fix nitrogen in the soil and they're edible.

Is there such a thing as the "perfect solution"?:cool:
 

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