2023 Field Notes

Sweet Bell Pepper -- Capsicum annuum -- Yankee Bell & SVPB8415


Sown 3/27
Germination 4/2 (6 days)

Germination counts
4/3, 7am: 2
4/3, 4pm: 5
4/4, 8am: 13
4/4, 3pm: 29
4/4, 6pm: 31
4/5, 7am: 13/27 (40)
4/5, 4pm: 17/28 (45)
Final Count: 49

Split germination numbers above are for varieties Yankee Bell/SVPB8415.

3/27 -- Two varieties sown into a 20 row tray, one inch spacing between seeds. 29 of one variety and 32 of the other, so had a few extra seeds to play with. Used the custom germination mix. Covered with about 1/4 inch of material. Managed to move everything else off the heat mat so that these could be kept at 85 degrees. Bottom watering a little more frequently (like last year) because of the hotter temp of the heat mat, and spraying them down on occasion too to keep things moist until they germinate.

3/31 -- Nothing to report yet here. If last year is any indication, we'd expect to see initial germination sometime tomorrow.

4/4 -- First germination noticed on 4/2 - basically a bulge in the mix. By the evening of 4/4, past 30 germinated, so halfway done. Same as last year, once the first one of these shows up, the others come on quickly.

4/6 -- Continuing to be similar to last year, once the first one of these shows up, they all do. Over 40 germinated and more coming, expect the tray to be mostly complete by end of day tomorrow or maybe the next day. I need the heat mat for other things so good thing these are almost done! The Yankee Bell variety is slightly behind the SVPBs in germination.

4/8 -- Took these off of the heat mat officially yesterday. As is typical, they're getting big in a hurry, I would imagine I'll be potting these up in a few days.

4/11 -- I went ahead and potted these up today into potting mix, despite no true leaves to be found. I did this simply because there were no true leaves to be found - no signs of them, combined with the fact that I transplanted these at this time last year. Looking back at pictures from last year, these were significantly bigger plants at this same time, so clearly the custom mix I used this year did a fabulous job of germinating and then a pretty poor job at growing, which seems to be the story everywhere I used it. I also bottom watered them with some water with fertilizer at 1/3rd instructed strength.

4/14 -- Transplanting ended up being the right strategy, it would appear. True leaves showed up yesterday, and every seedling save one still looks good to me. (The one that doesn't is bent over, not sure how that happened.) Great relief here that I made the right call, I feel it could easily have worked out poorly.

4/24 -- These look great, no issues. Gave them some fertilizer water yesterday, keeping the watering to a minimum, though, as per requirements.

4/30 -- No issues whatsoever here, they're growing and look great.

5/23 -- Transplanted 17 of these into a 4x8 bed. 16 inch spacing used, three rows, and I offset the middle row to allow for more space and light to reach those plants. That's why I ended up with 17 transplants instead of 18. The plants themselves are very healthy, but I do feel like they're still a tiny bit behind where they should be - no flowers or buds yet, which isn't a concern, but I'll keep an eye on them, of course. Watered them in with the high phosphorus fertilizer. Here's what the bed alignment ended up looking like:
 C C C Y Y

6/13 -- These look...OK. I wouldn't say great - they really haven't gotten much bigger since transplant time. I largely attribute that to the weather - about a week after I transplanted these the weather became pretty cloudy and cool. I also need to remember that these were a bit behind as well when they were transplanted. I'll likely hit these with some fertilizer on the next dry day to give them a kick.

6/25 -- These haven't done a lot over the last couple of weeks, so I gave them some fertilizer this week. I am started to see some buds, so hopefully flowers aren't far off. The plants themselves look OK.

7/2 -- FINALLY seeing some flowers on these. Last year, on July 3, I had "many flowers" and some peppers, so these are 100% behind. By how much, I'm not sure, but it'll be interesting to see where these are in a week or so. Clearly obvious at this point that the growing medium I used for these set them behind!

7/8 -- Quite a few more flowers now, and tiny peppers as well. Things look good on the whole.

7/15 -- A good number of peppers now, small but looking just fine.

7/29 -- Harvested our first green pepper yesterday - was probably slightly early to grab it, but given the state of the tomatoes next door, figured as good a time as any! It was a very nice green pepper to eat. More coming, will probably let most of them properly ripen and get fatter before harvesting them, unless we're in the mood for a green peppers at any point.

8/5 -- Harvested and ate an additional green this past week, but now going to try to leave the rest of these alone to let them ripen up. Green peppers are good and all but orange and red are better!

8/25 -- Still largely waiting for these to color up. If I wanted nice green peppers, I'd have quite a few to choose from, but they're taking their time turning. Do have one red that I can likely grab today (once the rain stops!).

9/4 -- Have grabbed another red since my last update but no more yet - a number of them are coloring up though. That being said, this definitely won't be a bumper crop this year.

9/22 -- Have harvested a number of reds in the last few days, and a couple of very nice greens as well. That variety (Yankee Bell) has way outformed SVPB this year. But honestly neither of them has been amazing.