Garden & Greenhouse October 2017 Issue - Page 26

The Aggressive Application Group The aggressive application group consisted of two red rocket cayenne pepper plants and two ana- heim pepper plants. This group received one table- spoon of Easy Grow + per gallon of water with each feeding. Getting Started - Frequency of Feedings I live in a hardiness zone where the last average frost date is June 15th (not exactly the ideal place to grow hot peppers, but I have had decent luck with them in previous years). The peppers were started from seed by a local nursery and delivered to me in early June. I kept them in their original contain- ers (seedling cells) and housed them in a small cold frame until June 17th. On June 17th, I transplanted each pepper plant into a three gallon container for the test. My idea, when I started this grow test, was to feed the plants with fertilizer (excluding the control group) twice a week. However, due to an extremely rainy month of June, I was not able to feed that often because I didn’t feel comfortable adding more mois- ture to the soil. In fact, throughout the month of June and into early July, the planting containers never had a chance to dry out. They were essentially water logged and I was concerned about losing the plants to root rot. As many experienced gardeners know, if a grow- ing medium never has a chance to dry out, it loses its ability to hold oxygen. When a plant’s roots no lon- ger have access to oxygen, pathogens, such as root rot, can take hold. I decided to still feed the plants the fertilizer regimen once a week, regardless of the rain and the soaked containers, so I could continue with the test, even if it was not ideal conditions. Results After Week 1 There were no noticeable changes after week one, except that one of the cayenne peppers in the control group started to turn yellow. This could have been due to transplant shock, lack of nutrients, or pathogens which established in the over-saturated soil. All of the other plants seemed to have taken the transplant well and looked poised for growth. After Week 2 After week two there was a noticeable difference between the plants that received the Easy Grow + 26 www.GardenandGreenhouse.net October 2017