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Mid-Season Pruning and Potting Up: Your Pepper Questions Answered!

hey guys Veronica here so I just wanted

to cover a few pepper questions that I

feel like I get a lot to see if maybe a

quick video on this couldn't help you

out a little so I picked up the six pack

of Italian wax peppers at the nursery

the other day this past weekend because

they looked really sad and I just I love

this variety of pepper and this is

actually one that I had planted out in

the garden earlier this spring the

rabbits and squirrels got to it was

basically like nothing left and so when

I saw these that you can see just like

the stem difference here's one I've

already pruned cuz that's what I'm gonna

be showing you umm it's twice as thick

maybe three times as thick as this

little guy and I just decided these guys

need a good home and I want some of

these peppers so let's take them and

make a youtube video answer all of the

questions that I've been getting about

mid and late season pruning so at this

point in the season what I'm looking to

do is once I've gotten that initial

harvest and I've picked off you know

anything that's ripe I'm looking to kind

of reshape these plants so that I may

get another harvest before it gets too

cold and also start reshaping them so

that I can dig them up in the later in

the fall and put them in pots in the

greenhouse and then try and overwinter

them so I'll show you this guy because

this was the one I as I mentioned I've

already pruned so one of the problems

when you buy plants just late to see

them in a six pack if a lot of times

they're gonna be really root bound now

what does that mean so when a plant

becomes root bound what happens is this

plant basically sends out roots in this

little two-inch cell in the six pack and

it'll send out roots in all directions

looking for water and nutrients now when

a root hits the cell wall and like the

inside of a pot then it's going to go

either left or right

and just kind of find a direction to

circle and look for more nutrients and

eventually what will happen is those

roots will circles so much that they

will start to constrict the base of this

plant and they will send up flowers and

they will send up send out fruit and the

plant is getting ready to die at that

point it's done its job it's completed

its reproductive cycle and it's sowing

seeds for the next generation we don't

let these plants to die quite yet so

what I'll do is there's a couple of

things you can do actually one thing we

want to do is loosen up this root ball a

little so either you can go in if it's

not too tight and just kind of like

gently move these roots out a little

with your fingers the other thing you

can do is just get a container of water

and let them soak in there for a minute

and then that'll help kind of separate

them a little one of the things I do if

they're really rebound is I'll just take

the sharp end with my pruners and I'll

slice just down these roots to break

them up a little you don't want to cut

too much of the roots because in the

plant is just gonna go into total shock

but sometimes slicing the roots in those

spaces where they've started to turn

will help break them up from that

pattern that they're stuck in where

they're they're basically a broken

record and then it'll help them go out

into the soil that you're going to be

giving them and look for nutrients

somewhere else rather than continuing to

wrapped in the soil

now another thing that I notice and why

this happens and why I'm answering this

question is I'll get a lot of pictures

of peppers where the leaves are sort of

wilting or dying or the flowers fall off

or there's a couple of fruit setting or

whatever and most of the time not all of

the time but most of the time when

someone's like what's wrong with my

plant it's because it's in a pot that's

this size so you're maybe getting it

from the nursery and like one of these

four inch pots all right

and this looks healthy and good this is

that proving Habanera that I picked up

also I've wanted one of these for a

while so

anyway so you'll see these roots they're

just starting to fill out the cell now

and that's actually a really nice root

system it's only starting to wrap at the

very base but the sides are pretty you

know they're going out and then down

what we want it's going to be easy to

break up now this plant can't exist in

this four inch pot the entirety of its

life because what starts to happen is

it's going to push up fruit it's going

I'm running out of nutrients I need to

produce as quickly as possible and then

it produces fruit and then it starts to

die so what you want to do is you them

into a bigger pot now something like a

six inch pot will work for a little

while but honestly with some of these

longer season peppers it's not gonna get

you through an entire season very easily

like you're gonna have to pay attention

to the water on this you might have to

you know top dress it with some compost

or worm castings what I like to do

instead is start them once I have like a

seedling that's a good size it's move

them into a two and a half gallon pot

minimum I prefer to suck them up and

five gallon pots but you can use any

size just I would go at least two and a

half gallons so that you had ample

nutrients this is about actually as big

as the root ball will get when you plant

them out in the garden with the

exception of a few of the like you know

bigger Bush varieties of peppers but for

the most part with most of the peppers

you're gonna be growing in your garden

two and a half gallons is gonna suffice

give it some nice you know dynamic

compost and I guess a potting soil mix

if you're growing inside so it's a

little bit lighter like mix this

together make sure that there's enough

nutrients in that soil so the other

thing that you guys send me is once how

wait is too late to prune

so you've seen I've pruned this guy and

the pieces I've pruned off of it there

were no buds so this is like a late

season pruning I harvested all the

peppers off I checked to see if I was

pruning off a ton of flowers or not

because we don't want to do that we're

gonna look at one that I haven't touched

so I can show you what we're looking for

as you go through and crayons so that

you can use sort of like deductive

reasoning to decide you know what parts

you're gonna take off so the first thing

I'll do is I'll take off any ripe fruit

or overripe fruit just to get a better

visual I also take off any leaves that

don't look happy

anything that's you know starting to

brown on the edges here's one over here

like this or that's yellowing and then

what I'll do is I'll look at this plant

I'll see okay is there more fruit

forming are there more buds and

depending on where that's happening like

this branch right here doesn't have any

so then I'll start just taking off some

of the leg of your branches like this

and I want to take too much usually like

I see a lot of flowers forming at the

top of this line so oh wait and then

I'll come back to it once it's planted

once the roots have been loosened and I

see that there's growth happening and I

may take off you know some Sakura

gripped at the base and I'll see if all

of these nodes that have been shaded

because it's in a six pack if gonna

start to leaf out as well and then I'll

go back through and I'll go okay you

know are things like bending to the

points if they're going to break so I'll

shape it throughout the rest of the

season until it's time to move them into

into the greenhouse for the winter so

that's basically it you just you have to

mean I the one piece of advice I can

give you in pruning late season is just

look at your plant and see you know how

is it growing how do you want it to be

shaped what sort of fruit is it

supporting and then go from there so

that's it for this today and if you have

any questions please leave them in the

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if you'd like to learn more about all of

this and until next time happy gardening

okay bye