Something weird going on with my peppers

So, a couple weeks ago I noticed that the Sugar Rush Cream peppers had something funky going on:

New leaves coming in  pale and twisted.  Mature leaves were fine, but some of the in between new and mature leaves were also affected at least a little.

Thinking I had another deficiency I did some research.  The only thing that appears to match is a calcium deficiency, but that makes no sense.  While I did seem to have a magnesium deficiency again this year I specifically went out of my way to treat it with a commercially purchased Calcium/Magnesium blend supplement in an attempt to avoid that sort of problem.  There are some insects that can cause curled leaves, but they tend to affect mature leaves more than new.

It was suggested to me that maybe the weather was the problem.  When I first noticed it, it was right after the first heatwave broke and all of the beds were a bit over-wet due to the thunderstorms.  But the beds dried out quickly enough, and the problem only seemed to get worse, not better.  Course, our weather has been especially screw this year.  DRY and HOT, then almost chilly and soaking wet, then back to DRY and HOT.

I bought and treated that bed with a tomato/vegetable fertilizer high in calcium.  And at least one of the plants looks less pale and twisted, though the leaves aren’t back to normal yet.  But now the problem appears to be spreading.   At least one of the cayenne plants is doing the same thing, and this morning I spotted the same signs on one of the habaneros.

All three are located in the stock tank self-wicking beds.  They ARE drained, via drilled holes in one end right at the soil line, so I don’t think they’re over wet (and yes I confirmed that they are still draining via those holes).  But the stock tanks are also the oldest part of my garden, so its possible that there’s a deficiency cropping up I guess.

I went ahead and treated the whole garden with the tomato/vegi fertilizer, since it seemed to help at least a little with the Sugar Rush peppers.

I also got ahold of the information I need to arrange soil testing for my garden.  But I was planning on holding off doing that till fall, as it requires digging into the beds at least a few inches, which would mean pulling up weed barrier and disturbing the roots of plants.  I might be regretting that decision.

4 Comments

  1. Comment by bogie:

    I have always equated lighter leaves with excess water – but if your beds drain fairly well, then that shouldn’t be it. It may be a stress reaction from too much sun while it has been hot (I’ve heard that sometimes peppers are covered with netting down south to keep them cooler). Let us know if you find the root cause (pun intended – LOL)

    • Comment by Ruth:

      If it had just been the initial problem I could believe it was to much water, they drain, but those were some heavy rain storms. But the others popped up in the middle of the dry spell in between. If I don’t see a significant improvement from the fertilizer I might open the drains and drain them completely. Course, we’re about to be poured on this week…..

  2. Comment by doug:

    you have manure with an herbicide residue.

    • Comment by Ruth:

      Not so much, since I didn’t actually add anything to those beds this year, and the only herbicide I’ve used on the property in years is vinegar.