AMKuska's 2023 Garden

AMKuska

Garden Master
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
2,257
Reaction score
5,521
Points
317
Location
Washington
Interesting about how the plant won't continue to put on top growth if it senses that there is no where for the roots to develop. I see that with my little soil blocks for sure. At the 3 week mark they all just sit there, unless bumped up or planted out to the garden-- and then they take off again. Part of it could be the ability to add fertilizer or manure when bumping them up too; that certainly gives the plants a boost of nutritients to stimulate green growth.
:)
I've been watering these guys with a weak fertilizer solution. My poor husband has been wildly complaining about each new "odorless" fertilizer I have brought in, poor dear. We finally found one that he can bear while working in the garage.

I imagine that weak fertilizer is nothing to being plopped into a hole filled with compost and other plant groceries though.
 
Last edited:

AMKuska

Garden Master
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
2,257
Reaction score
5,521
Points
317
Location
Washington
I got curious today and potted up my biggest pepper plant. This one didn't seem to have the shortening problem, and is 6" tall where my small pepper probably isn't even 2". I was expecting to see a really large, intense root system like the small plant had--but actually it hadn't even circled the pot yet.

I guess this one didn't bother to check pot size, so it grew larger up top? Not sure.
 

baymule

Garden Master
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
18,539
Reaction score
35,599
Points
457
Location
Trinity County Texas
Just curious about how deep the pot was that the pepper was in?

My gardening neighbour was away on vacation last year when the garlic needed to be harvested, so I offered to pull it for her so it wouldn't over-develop. She has clay soil, and while I had heard about 'heavy clay soil' I did not realize that it is actually heavy-- like cement. It felt like someone was on the other end of the garlic, trying to hold it down. Wow.
That heavy clay soil is concrete when dry, slick as soap when damp, and when fully saturated, will suck a truck down to its axles. Clay will crack concrete slab foundations too.
 

heirloomgal

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
3,792
Reaction score
12,080
Points
235
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
I got curious today and potted up my biggest pepper plant. This one didn't seem to have the shortening problem, and is 6" tall where my small pepper probably isn't even 2". I was expecting to see a really large, intense root system like the small plant had--but actually it hadn't even circled the pot yet.

I guess this one didn't bother to check pot size, so it grew larger up top? Not sure.
Peppers are one of the garden veggies that can be mystifying. Oddly, my experience with peppers has been that the smaller the pot the larger the production of peppers. A pepper growing friend told me that when the roots find the pot edge it encourages them to produce, which is why she only does pots and modest sized ones at that. I've found that too over the years, with hots at least.

A few years ago I grew a pepper called Cserko, basically a cherry bomb type. Because, as usual, I couldn't throw out the extra plants, I stuck three of them in this small window box planter. I couldn't believe the production, I harvested nearly 2 cups of seeds from those 3 plants there was so many peppers. Bells wouldn't have done that I'm sure, but those small hots were able.

Have you considered doing a pH test on the soil mix? The large root/small top growth situation may be a stress response of something related to N. Something may be causing issues with uptake. I've had significant issues with purchased soil mixes these last years that have a maladjusted pH. I also once had Pro-Mix that was loaded with a photosynthesis inhibitor, which caused major stunting, though they refused to reveal to me what said inhibitor was. I can only imagine the peat bog was contaminated at harvest.
 

Branching Out

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Dec 2, 2022
Messages
1,548
Reaction score
4,889
Points
175
Location
Southwestern B.C.
Peppers are one of the garden veggies that can be mystifying for sure. Today I watered all of my seedlings with fish fertilizer, and the pepper seedlings were placed in a bin of the fertilizer solution so they could draw the water up from the bottom. All of the peppers drank up the water quickly within 15 minutes or so-- with the exception of the Hot Red Cherry peppers. I am thinking that their root system might be different from the rest perhaps. I gave them extra time in the water, and eventually they seemed well saturated as well.
 

AMKuska

Garden Master
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
2,257
Reaction score
5,521
Points
317
Location
Washington
Peppers are one of the garden veggies that can be mystifying. Oddly, my experience with peppers has been that the smaller the pot the larger the production of peppers. A pepper growing friend told me that when the roots find the pot edge it encourages them to produce, which is why she only does pots and modest sized ones at that. I've found that too over the years, with hots at least.

A few years ago I grew a pepper called Cserko, basically a cherry bomb type. Because, as usual, I couldn't throw out the extra plants, I stuck three of them in this small window box planter. I couldn't believe the production, I harvested nearly 2 cups of seeds from those 3 plants there was so many peppers. Bells wouldn't have done that I'm sure, but those small hots were able.

Have you considered doing a pH test on the soil mix? The large root/small top growth situation may be a stress response of something related to N. Something may be causing issues with uptake. I've had significant issues with purchased soil mixes these last years that have a maladjusted pH. I also once had Pro-Mix that was loaded with a photosynthesis inhibitor, which caused major stunting, though they refused to reveal to me what said inhibitor was. I can only imagine the peat bog was contaminated at harvest.
Hmm, with all the trouble I've been having with potting soil, it might be a worth while idea. I have a test kit and some digital testers. I'll double check and see if anything unusual comes up.
 

AMKuska

Garden Master
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
2,257
Reaction score
5,521
Points
317
Location
Washington
Does anyone know if I should water dormant garlic? I figured they could refrigerate outside as well as inside. They're planted, but not sure if they need to be treated like living plants or not...
 

heirloomgal

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
3,792
Reaction score
12,080
Points
235
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
Hmm, with all the trouble I've been having with potting soil, it might be a worth while idea. I have a test kit and some digital testers. I'll double check and see if anything unusual comes up.
I came across something surprising last night about potting soil. In the UK they are really stepping away from harvesting the peat bogs, and this is giving rise to alternatives in the potting soil market. However, according to this report they haven't come up with a really good alternative and people were posting pictures of stunted seedlings in this alt mix. I don't know what these alt mixes were made with, and don't know what yours are in, but something to keep in mind.

It did have me wondering why these other mixes are performing so poorly. Peat has no nutrition and pH wise is really out of whack when not adjusted.
 

AMKuska

Garden Master
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
2,257
Reaction score
5,521
Points
317
Location
Washington
I came across something surprising last night about potting soil. In the UK they are really stepping away from harvesting the peat bogs, and this is giving rise to alternatives in the potting soil market. However, according to this report they haven't come up with a really good alternative and people were posting pictures of stunted seedlings in this alt mix. I don't know what these alt mixes were made with, and don't know what yours are in, but something to keep in mind.

It did have me wondering why these other mixes are performing so poorly. Peat has no nutrition and pH wise is really out of whack when not adjusted.
The UK is absolutely right to step away from harvesting peat moss. I don't use it when ever possible, except when it is given to me by others. I think it's a great medium, but just not worth the environmental degradation it causes.

I tried coco coir, as the initial seedling medium as it is sterile. It does a fine job, but obviously you need to pot up to something with nutritional value. I think my current one is made with coco coir, earth worm castings, compost, and tree bark.
 

Latest posts

Top