Why can't I grow green peppers?

Asked July 1, 2018, 7:34 PM EDT

I have not been successful in growing green peppers on Ocean Pines. My first garden had too much shade. In a second sunny location in my neighbors yard I observed the peppers were shaded by the tomato plants. When I moved the peppers they perked up. I moved my garden again when the neighbor hosting my garden moved. The new location has late afternoon shade. I am using a raised bed by moving the frame again to this location. I have attached pictures of the pepper plants. The lower leaves are fading to yellow. There looks like some leaves had dropped or enjoyed by the rabbits. The one fruit is knobby. Other fruits have dropped after the bloom has fallen off. Thanks for any insights. Wesley Paulson Ocean Pines MD

Worcester County Maryland

1 Response

Bell pepper can be a challenging crop. Please read our online information about planting, care, and problems.

We think that a few small adjustments will get you on the road to success.
1. The plant in the photo is a bit small to be producing fruit. Pinch off pepper blossoms for 2-4 weeks after setting out transplants. This allows the plant to produce a large enough root system to support high fruit production.
2. Give your plants at least 2 ft. of space in each direction. In the photo it appears that other plants may be competing for water and nutrients.
3. Fertilize your pepper plants at or right after planting and once fruits begin to form (with a balanced fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium).
4. Add organic matter to the soil prior to planting.
5. Use a mulch around plants to conserve soil moisture and limit weeds.
6. A site with later afternoon shade is good for peppers. They tend to drop flowers and fruits during the hottest weeks of summer. Many gardeners find that plants produce best in July and September. jt