Best Weather for Peppers
by National Gardening Association Editors
As any good gardener knows, a lot of variables go into producing a good crop of any vegetable. Just like other plants, peppers, eggplant, and okra have their likes and dislikes as far as good growing conditions are concerned. They especially like heat and dislike cool nights.
The Right Temperature
Peppers and eggplant are fussiest right around blossom time. They'll have a poor fruit set if temperatures at night are below 55° F or above 75° F while they're blossoming, and they'll also drop their blossoms if daytime temperatures are above 90° F. These temperatures will also delay maturing of the fruit that does manage to set. Eggplant and peppers can also become stunted during cool weather and then not grow well once warm weather returns. Rapid growth is necessary for quality fruit production. It's interesting to note that large-fruited eggplant are more demanding than small-fruited varieties. So, if you've had a difficult time in the past growing eggplant, settle for the more succulent, smaller-fruited varieties.
There isn't much a gardener can do about hot weather, but covering plants with cardboard boxes at night may keep in the day's heat if you expect a cool night. Using the circle of black roofing paper mentioned earlier may also help if the weather turns cool.
Okra blossoms last only a day whether or not they're pollinated. Constant rainy weather when they're blooming can reduce yields because bees aren't very active in rain.
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