January 1, 2011 at 10:58 pm #254088Ajays MumMember
Hi all, Happy New Year!
I remember reading some time ago about some of you doing an experiment with perennial capsicums.
I live north west of Sydney at about 100m above sea level, so pretty hot summers (except in wet years like this one), the occasional frost most winters, good rainfall from February til October.
Well, last year my capsicums were a failure but some volunteers grew in the compost heap and after reading about the perennial capsicum experiment, I decided in autumn to keep them rather than pull them out. Last year all I got was some tiny thin- walled green caps that were chewed or rotted before they were worth eating. I transplanted the volunteers to the wicking beds and they survived the winter. Now they are huge and fruiting with lovely strong healthy caps that are even lasting long enough to turn red! I made a great risotto yesterday with some and there are plenty more out in the garden.
I’m excited about my little experiment- I’m better known for my black thumb than for my successes I’m afraid! Any ideas as to whether I should leave them another year and keep them going infinitum? They are getting quite tall but still have more flowers and fruit forming for this season. What about pruning after fruiting? Advice appreciated,
TovaJanuary 2, 2011 at 3:49 am #486234ErthgirlMember
I remember and old timer who shared his chilli growing secrets with me…. and chillis and capsicums are in the same family so should apply to capsicums.
He said the best fruit always came off the second year plants (which seems to be what you’re experiencing.
He also said when they’ve finished fruiting to prune back bush really hard and you’ll get a third year of fruiting of them…. although it won’t be as prolific as the second year, but definately worth a go.
I’ve done this with my chilli plants this year and they too, are absolutely laden…. I pruned it back really hard last year and gave it some sulfate of potash when it started flowering.
yay for your wonderful capsicums… that risotto sounded yummo!January 2, 2011 at 3:51 am #486235ErthgirlMember
ahhh forgot to mention, he said three years is about the life of the plant… you could keep it going but the productivity will drop right off.
So best to put some new seedlings in when your capsicums are in their second year, so you’ll keep the production going.January 2, 2011 at 9:46 am #486236coloursMember
Excellent work Ajay’s mum! I wonder if the same can be applied to any member of the solenawae family. Up here I have probs with eggplant. As soon as the plant is starting to bear (it takes that long), the frosts come along and wipe out the fruit. I wonder if I leave them in the ground til the next spring I might give them a head start?
Similarly, I was thinking about investing in a glasshouse, so I can raise seedlings, giving them a head start. The only thing is, I don’t know if once raised, do I then stick them in the ground only to get their feet cold and have them looking up at me wondering when they landed in antartica and taking just as long to fruit as normal? Is it worth getting a glasshouse for that purpose only?
I know tomatoes are a perennial vine in the tropics and if you keep them warm enough they will continue to grow and fruit almost indefinitely. There is an experiment set up at Hawkesbury TAFE. The tomato vine has grown laps around a rather large glasshouse and survived countless seasons. Thanks for your contribution to science! (Riley’s mum)January 2, 2011 at 10:28 am #486237GrethMember
My current third year capsicum is looking rather sad. Second year chilli is doing very well.
I have managed tomato fruit in midwinter from a volunteer vine in the shadehouse!
It can be done, but not all plants survive and probably best to keep starting new plants.January 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm #486238
When we lived in Brisbane I kept capsicums going for 3-4 yrs MIL kept chillies going for up to 6 yrs.
I would prune them in May only because they were getting a bit leggy, give them a feed and enjoy nice crisp capsicums for Spring, all fruit that were pruned off was sliced and frozen for use in Winter soups and curries.
I had 4 capsicums planted here and they were growing great but the rain came and they are now sick looking I might have no fruit this year and by the time the soil dries enough to replant it will be too late for a crop. 🙁January 3, 2011 at 2:11 pm #486239gartenfeeMember
cant you transplant them into big pots Judi?January 3, 2011 at 2:47 pm #486240
I tried to plant into a big pot I did the best looking one last week and all the dirt dripped off and I broke several of the roots I pruned it back as well, I’ve put it on the shady side of the house but it is looking no better.
I’m looking into some raised beds about 40cm high but I will have to add it to the list if it needs any tools I wont be able to do it……. DH is very protective of his tools.January 3, 2011 at 4:32 pm #486241WombatMember
Woo hoo, well done.
We have 3 capsicums and 1 chillie in the front wicking bed so I will see if I can coax them into living through the winter this year!
NevJanuary 3, 2011 at 5:01 pm #486242
Only way I’ll get capsicums and chillies through Winter here is to bring them inside.January 3, 2011 at 10:31 pm #486243Ajays MumMember
I will prune them back in May and see how they go in the third year but will plant some more as well. My eggplants have done nothing this year so if they survive the 28 spotted lady birds I will let them stay in the beds over winter too and see what happens.
Colours, we have some old windows from a friend’s house, perhaps you, Riley, Ajay and I can try building a little greenhouse on the northern side of our shed and we can both try using it.
Nev, I would think your climate would be fairly similar to ours- worth a try for sure!January 4, 2011 at 12:38 am #486244coloursMember
That sounds great! I’ll ask Riley’s dad if he has any other materiel we need and/or tools. Let’s continue the experiment!
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