Topping

Its almost like I know what I’m doing.

Well folks, the peppers are growing very well. I’m going to get kind of technical in this post, so grab a cup of coffee.

I now have all 5 of my superhot plants in larger containers. I am doing some experimentation with a technique called “topping.” This consists of cutting off the very top of the plant when it is young, to encourage denser growth. By denser growth I mean more branches forming lower on the plant, instead of a tall plant that branches higher up. I have some good pictures to illustrate.

I was afraid to try this last year (who would want to cut off part of a plant that they worked so hard to grow?!), but now that I see the results I am amazed.

Below are the 3 plants that were still in solo cups, these are the ones I topped. Below is immediately after topping, I just cut off the few leaves at the very top, leaving the main stalk and bigger leaves.

 

20140707_181015

You can see on the bottom plant that some small leaves were already starting to sprout.   Topping allows more light to reach these leaves and encourages more leaves and branches to form on the main stalk of the plant.

Here is a shot from a couple weeks later comparing a topped plant to an un-topped plant:

20140717_115238

Un-topped:

20140717_115244

As you can see the un-topped plant has a pretty barren stalk, while the topped one is much bushier.  This should lead to more branches, which hopefully leads to more peppers down the road!

Another topic I mentioned in previous posts is the roots of the plants.  I put some plants into reusable grocery bags so the roots will “self-prune.”  This is more similar to how they grow in the ground.  In a solid pot, the root will reach the side of the pot, and then make a turn and keep growing.  In these bags, when the root hits the side it can sense the air (since the bags are porous) and will stop growing.  This is “self-pruning.”

Below is a picture of the roots of a plan when removed from the solo cup.  You can see how the roots keep growing along the side of the cup:

20140712_172804

That’s enough technical jargon for one post, hope you learned a thing or two.

Here are the 5 plants all together:

20140712_174329

And a nice harvest today!:

20140719_173604

Stay tuned and stay spicy, there will be more to come!

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s