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Old 05-24-2016, 10:39 AM
 
572 posts, read 423,847 times
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Has anyone topped off their peppers?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I1BtTNIIcY

Mine are in their garden beds; does this mean it's too late? They haven't started to flower yet. (Zone 7 - Long Island NY)

Does it work? Did anyone actually get higher yields?
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Old 05-24-2016, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
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I am a huge proponent of topping peppers. I did it last season and had a harvest of over 3,000 peppers from 30 plants. Average of over 100 peppers per plant, but many were bell varieties that only produced 6 or 8, as is relatively common. Jalapenos, serranos, bananas, Jimmy Nardellos, etc. were extremely prolific.

If for nothing else, topping makes the plants very sturdy and much less prone to wind damage. I generally top them during the seedling stage once there are two full sets of true leaves. I would imagine topping already grown plants would work just fine - they'll send off bushier side growth. I don't tend to prune much beyond the initial topping stage, save for leaves here and there to promote better air flow, but I've seen videos of people who continue topping side growth and they typically have great results and extremely strong plants.

Peppers are very hardy, grow and produce quickly and can withstand quite a bit of abuse; at least that's my experience. I don't know how many plants you have, but why not try one or two and leave the others alone? Make some comparisons of your own.
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Old 05-24-2016, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
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I remember seeing that video. Did the guy ever do a follow up? He seemed to lop off some pretty grown plants. Maybe 2 months old?


I never did it but from what Nick proved to us and from my mistake doing it, I am a believer it works good.


Only flaw I had was we have a short growing season so chopping off any plant is like turning the calendar ahead a 2 weeks. But if they flower more, why not.


From my 1st time experience, and by accident here's the progress of it.




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Old 05-24-2016, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickMan7 View Post
I did it last season and had a harvest of over 3,000 peppers from 30 plants.
That..is..nuts! I still can't believe that. Gives me a great idea to count my yields.
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Old 05-24-2016, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Long Island/NYC
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Everything I've watched says you can't go wrong with topping them. I've never done it but I'm interested, I'd like smaller/bushier plants. I don't know if mine are able to be topped though, their stems are a mature tan color as opposed to a young green, I don't know if anything will grow from that. My largest is already flowering and producing though, so I think I'll just leave it.
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Old 05-24-2016, 05:33 PM
 
Location: S. FL (hell for me-wife loves it)
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I grow them year round down here, I'm going to have to try this. Thanks OP, for video. Thanks Nickman, for info on yields-wow!
Cambium, nice looking little double!
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Old 05-24-2016, 05:40 PM
 
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It works on tomato plants too. I learned it years ago from a nurseryman.
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:28 AM
 
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I did it! Took the plunge and topped 5 of my 6 bell pepper plants. (Gulp). I hope it works!
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Old 05-26-2016, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
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Good luck! I've never topped my peppers, but they've never done very well, either. The tomatoes to the right and the herbs to left may have been thriving, but the bell peppers just never liked my garden. Small peppers and hot peppers were always fine.
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
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Carrying this conversation in this thread...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
FYI .. My Topped Off Potted Peppers aren't doing better than the non topped off ones. I kinda had a feeling about that. .

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickMan7 View Post
Well, I am certainly sad to hear they aren't doing as well.


It's just strange that we have/had such different results, especially during the period before they went outside.
I think there are so many variables that one cannot take advice from or compare to another. I might not have exactly what others have. It might work better for someone down the road from me.


Sun, Soil, watering, insects, type of pepper, ect, ect.


While we still have a good 2 months of summer left, lets take a look at my comparisons...


Just took these pictures. Lets be fair and compare the same exact pepper type.


This I topped off is a Dr Martin Carrot Red.


Soil in pot is either Miracle Grow Potting soil or Compost or a mix.
4 hours of full sun which will start to get shaded by the cucumbers soon





Here is a Dr Martin Carrot Red I didn't top off. Already has a pepper on it but not as full? Only 1 stem from the bottom. Same height as topped off one.


Soil in pot is either Miracle Grow Potting soil or Compost or a mix.
About 5 hours of sun





Now look... Same topped pepper in 1st photo next to a non topped Dr Martin Carrot Red pepper plant on the right. Huge difference. Topped off better looking.


Not all seeds are the same?





Now, here's another one I had topped off. Didn't know what it was but apparently it has a pepper on it but not looking too full.


My other non topped off pepper plants have peppers also so there's really no big difference.


5-6hrs of sun with this one. Same soil type.





Conclusion: ? Each plant can produce different results even if same variety. Perhaps the topped off one is putting too much energy into 2 stems as opposed to 1 stem not topping off.


Perhaps the weather & climate here doesn't give the topped off ones enough time to produce since the energy is split. The lows in the 50s and highs in the 70s and low 80s is not good.

Perhaps we are comparing all this in the wrong year. Maybe it's this summer which has been dry and not hot.

Too many variables. One has to do their own test and keep doing it each year to compare results at their location.


I will keep an eye on it and have a mid season and final comparison summary. Will keep track of the yields too keeping them exactly where they are
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