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brown pepper spots

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by gardeningwaldo on July 14, 2005 08:21 AM
I am growing some bell pepper plants on containers (first try at container gardening), and have recently run into a few problems. For the first 2 months or so, they did amazing (even better than the ones in my regular garden back home). However, now that they are producing peppers, things have taken a turn for the worse. While the plants themselves still look fairly healthy, the peppers are getting brown spots on them. Although the 3 plants are different varieties, they are all showing the same symptoms. Because the spots seem to grow, I have been picking the peppers once the spots reach roughly the size of a penny. The rest of the pepper seems healthy and tasty (or at least as tasty as you would expect such a small pepper to be). Any idea’s what could be going on?

Thanks for the help!!!!

Here is a picture of the problem

and here is a link to a larger picture of the while container garden so you can get an idea for the size of the plants and pots. BTW, I used miracle grow potting soil and am afraid to fertilize such a small area of soil for fear of burning the roots.

let me know if you need any more info
by Dixie Angel on July 14, 2005 09:40 PM
Welcome to the forum, Waldo! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. [grin]

I have been seeing some of those same spots on some of my peppers in the garden, too! I am wondering if it is something like blossom end rot? Maybe someone will be along shortly to answer your question and then I will have my answer, too!


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by Triss on July 14, 2005 10:03 PM
Looks like sun burn. Peppers often get this if they are exposed to a lot of direct sun. Pepper is still good to eat if you just cut off the burned spot.

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We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.
by gardeningwaldo on July 15, 2005 08:42 AM
Thanks for the suggestion!
If it is sunburn, what should I do about it? Being that they are in pots, it would be really easy for me to move them under a picnic table to give them shade… unfortunately, I am not home during the day so that means they would pretty much never get any direct sunlight. And correct me if I am wrong, but peppers are one of those plants that like a lot of bright, direct sunlight. I suppose I could try it with one and see what kind of results I get.

Also, I have been talking to fellow gardeners, and someone suggested that they may not be getting enough water. I know that the soil in the center of the pots stays nice and moist between waterings, so I figured that was good enough. However, the top inch or so, and the soil around the edge of the pots does dry out. Could this be enough to cause spots like that from drought? (I water once a day when we have temps in the 90’s and sunny weather, and every other day or so when temps are in the 80’s and more overcast). Lately, I have been putting some grass and stuff around the base of the plants to help the soil retain water.

One other thing is that the tops may have outgrown the roots. I notice that the plants seem to wilt from 10AM to 2PM, and then perk right back up as soon as the sun is less intense. All I can figure is that the root system is not large enough to supply adequate water to the top during peek sun hours. I suppose what I really need is a good vegetable container gardening resource. Anyone know of any?
And finally, I just want everyone to know that I am growing these peppers IN pots, not on pots.. sorry for the typo in the original message. Yall probably figured that out though.
by Dixie Angel on July 15, 2005 08:58 AM
Thanks for your answer, Triss, but like Waldo I am wondering what to do about it. Mine are in the garden in direct sunlight and I am not going to pot them up...


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by weezie13 on July 16, 2005 09:01 PM
I've never had that happen to my peppers,
but I use an umbrella or two on some of my
plants, like just planting on a hot day
or the tomatoes are suseptable to it, just
after planting too!!!

Or get some landscaping fabric and drape it over,
it has oles in it...
Or you can buy a shade cloth from several catalogs, that would go over a greeenhouse...??

Or just put something tall in front of it...

****As for the umbrella's...
I love to go to those Dollar Tree stores,
and Dollar General's.....
They have the hand held umbrella's for a buck..
for seedlings, I"ll use those, cause I can just put them on the ground..
but at the Dollar Generals or Family Dollar's..
they'll have kids beach umbrella's for a couple bucks more, *********they are soooooooo adorable,
the colors and patterns they come in, and it's fun to dress up a "green" garden with them...*****

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Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by gardeningwaldo on July 18, 2005 06:55 AM
Thanks for the replies everyone!
I have done some research, and it appears that I have blossom end rot due to a calcium deficiency, caused by widely varying water levels.

There is an excellent resource that I suggest you check out here. They have pictures of blossom end rot on both peppers and tomatoes.

Dixie Angel, are your spots white or tan? If they are white, they are sun scorching, and if they are tan, than they are blossom end rot. Mine are tan, and in JUST the right spot to be a classic case of blossom end rot. I recommend checking out the site for a more detailed solution, but basically, add lime to your soil, and make sure that the water level in it doesn’t vary a great deal by watering regularly.

I will be starting a new thread to try and figure out a solution to my blossom end rot problem.

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