watering peppers

How Not to Water Your Peppers – Don’t Let This Happen to You!

How to water peppers so they live – that was my challenge this winter/spring growing season. It was either too much of a good thing, or something in the water that they couldn’t live with.

Fortunately, I think I have saved most of my peppers, although I expect that there is one casualty.  So, listen to what I have to say…and don’t let this happen to  you!  And the video below is probably worth a thousand words.

Water, Water Everywhere?

I put out the plants at the tag end of February, and I held back a bit on the water at first.  It was so chilly some nights that I didn’t want the plants to get too stressed out.  After it warmed up some in mid-March, I started watering more heavily/thoroughly.  The soil was nice and moist…when the torrential downpour came.

Everything was soaking wet!

Water Quality

And there was another variable that came into play – the quality of the water.  Which is how I almost killed my pepper plants.

We used to have two wells — one for our household use, and one for the garden.  Then sadly, the pump to the garden well gave up the ghost.  Lacking that, I used the outside (house) faucet closest to the garden.  But there was a problem…

…too much salt!  You see, since we have a water softening system, there was salt in that water.  Not enough to taste if you drank it, but certainly enough for the plant roots to notice.  And then more water with the sodium, and more…needless to say, the plants did not like it!

I first noticed the effects on one of my tomato plants.  Then, the pepper plants started shouting for some help (in their own way).  At first I thought it was too much water — when I stuck in my moisture meter, it showed wet.  So, I held back on water.  Then when I did water, the now-thirsty roots took in more salt.

You’ll see in the video the sad effects on some of my peppers.

Now not all the plants suffered as badly; the stronger plants held on somewhat longer than others.

It finally dawned on me that we must have some sort of overflow faucet on the well — to catch the water before it went into the softening system.  So I rummaged around in the shed where the softening system was and found the faucet.

Video Effects (But No Special Effects)

I decided to take a walk through my peppers and show you what I mean.  Get out your handkerchiefs!  Don’t let this happen to you!