Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Overwintering Pepper Plants by Master Gardener Karen Murphy

Photo courtesy ©Heather Clemons

There’s always something new to try when gardening. This fall I plan to overwinter peppers, which can be done in two ways.

Method 1:
1) Check plants for bugs or disease.  If diseased or heavily infested with pests, toss them. If not, spray the good plants gently with a hose to remove any insects.

2) Place the plants in containers using existing garden soil or a good, fresh potting mix. Slowly acclimate them to the indoors to avoid stressing the plants and continue to monitor for pests.

3) Once indoors, place in a sunny window and/or under grow lights or fluorescent lights. Peppers prefer temperatures of 60-70F, but not below 50F.

4) Do not let them dry out but water moderately, about once a week.  Continue to fertilize the plants.

5) Harvest peppers during the winter!

6) When planting time arrives, gradually move  the plants outside.

Method 2:
1) Follow steps 1 & 2 above.

2) Once indoors, place in a cool area (about 55F degrees) with a little light.

3) Reduce watering to every three weeks but don't let them go completely dry. The leaves will begin to drop initiating hibernation.

4) Cut back plants to approximately  4" leaving a "Y" shape. Remove any peppers.

5) About one to two months before planting time, move the plants to a warmer, brighter place in your home. Water the plants more frequently.

6) Follow step 6 above.

I plan to experiment with both techniques. Hopefully, I can pick some peppers but if not I'll have great plants for next year's garden!

- Karen Murphy, Bucks County Master Gardener

No comments:

Post a Comment