Who doesn’t want more peppers? Sweet or spicy, this one little trick can lead to much bigger pepper harvests.
So what is the secret sauce? Picking early flower buds off your peppers, read on to learn more.
Picking Pepper Flowers
Peppers try and flower when they are still very young, you want to remove all of these pepper plants while the plant is still young.
This is because creating flowers and fruit uses up a lot of energy.
We want this energy to be going into leaf and root development instead.
This leads to a much larger plant overall, producing many more peppers over the season.
So even though removing your first flowers can be very tough, it is well worth it.
How To Pick
Nipping the flowers off is a simple job, I walk round the greenhouse and nip out any small buds I see using my fingers.
You can see that these plants are starting to bud and want to flower.
But look at the size of them; they are still large seedlings at this point.
Creating fruit would put huge pepper on the plant and sap any available energy.
Instead, we want all of this energy to go into further growth.
This way we end up with a much bigger plant that can support more peppers.
So even though it is hard, we are playing the long game here and will be rewarded in a few months.
When Not To Pick
Even though I encourage you to pick your pepper flowers, there are a few times when you shouldn’t.
Really Hot Peppers
Extremely hot peppers often tend to take a long time to develop and grow fully.
You often don’t want to pick the flowers off these plants so that you have enough time for the fruit to develop properly.
If You Are Behind
If you started your peppers a little late or if they have suffered some form of setback, then picking the flowers might not be advised.
We have a short season here in the UK for peppers, so if you are already behind, then putting the plant even further back is not a good idea.
If You Grow In A Cold Region
If you grow in a really cold region, were talking Scottish highlands and above, then it again is not a good idea to pick the first flowers.
That is because your growing season is so short that you do not want to increase the amount of time your peppers take to develop.
So even though you will end up with bigger pepper plants, you won’t have the time to actually benefit from this when it comes to harvests.