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Pepper Production in Wicking Containers

Pepper Production in Wicking Containers

by Karlee Pruitt

During the summer of 2020, we decided to plant pepper plants within the same wicking containers used for the tomato variety trials in our coldframe. We did not collect production data, since these plants were grown as a preliminary idea.

The four pepper varieties we used were Highlander Anaheim, Red Ember Cayenne, Early Jalapeño, and Jimmy Nardello.

Highlander Anaheim is a slightly spicy, large pepper. These plants were very large and very productive.

The Red Ember Cayenne is a moderately spicy, medium-sized pepper. It was the first to produce fruit and turn red. Cayennes have been harvested off of this plant since late May, and it was still in full production as of late August.

The Early Jalapeño was very surprising. It is a relatively small pepper, but is very spicy – even more so than larger jalapeños found in stores.

The only sweet pepper we used was the Jimmy Nardello. This pepper ended up having the best flavor out of all the peppers. While green, the peppers are very mild, but as soon as the pepper turns red, the sugars become very pronounced, and this creates an outstanding flavor.

The three spicy varieties, (Highlander Anaheim, Red Ember Cayenne, and Early Jalapeño) can be sourced from Johnny’s Seeds in Maine, and the Jimmy Nardello can be sourced from Osborne Seeds in Washington.

We observed that the pepper plants thrived within the wicking container system. Three plants were planted in each 30-gallon container. While the plants did thrive, we noted that the plants in containers with just two plants were larger and had higher production.

For those wishing to have a few plants within wicking containers, we suggest using pepper plants! These plants can be transplanted by April, with production beginning in June and continuing into the fall.

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