Watch My Food Grow ~ A South Florida Raised Vegetable Garden

Florida Backyard Raised Vegetable Garden

Peppers in Distress

April 6th, 2012 by Lila Steinhoff

During an unusually rainy time in March, the poblano, jalapeno, banana and bell peppers I planted began to suffer from, what looked like, damping off.

Damping off is my guess, because everything else in the box is doing well. The drainage in the box may not have been sufficient for the peppers. The stems turned brown and soft , the leaves wilted and the plants were dying.

Build and Set Up a Box with Better Drainage

Peppers need rich, airy soil with very good drainage. To have peppers, I would need a third box that I could adjust to get better drainage. My husband constructed a box, 24 inches by 42 inches from plywood left over from a previous project. The box is smaller than my others, but it will be used only for assorted peppers.

Drainage and Weed Barrier

The bottom of the pepper box was lined with a single layer of scrap red brick.

Weed barrier cloth was placed on the bricks to contain the dirt and prevent weeds and grasses from growing up from underneath.

All the soil I purchased from the nursery was used in the large box set up earlier this spring, so I took the easy, fast way. I filled the pepper box with a bagged garden soil and planted all new pepper plants.

Looking Much Better

Better drainage means that these plants have to be watered more often. It has been about a week, and it looks like the new plants are taking hold. So far so good.

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  • Interesting pepper problem. Thanks for the pics. I was thinking that damping off would only be a problem with very young seedlings. I hope your new box with better drainage works out well for you.