Rodents party in the pepper plot

We planted our pepper starts a month ago but many of them haven’t grown. We had been puzzling over this for a couple weeks. They show almost continuous signs of water stress, yet they get plenty of water. Some of the plants have grown a couple feet, and others are no bigger than their marker stake.

Tiny stressed pepper

Finally, we pulled back the paper weed block and found signs of rodent damage everywhere. Some of the most stressed plants have a rodent hole right against their stem, and the whole bed is lofted with tunnels. (Rodents seem to ping-pong down beds with moisture when you use point watering.) I don’t think we are going to get the harvest we were hoping for even though most of the tiny plants have managed to set peppers. The picture below shows two peppers of the same variety, both planted at the same time.

Different pepper sizes

Lee here. – I want to thank Sidney for leaving her toy wheel barrel near my corn plot. It’s great for the sense of scale. ­čÖé

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2 Responses to Rodents party in the pepper plot

  1. ShimFarm says:

    Heh heh heh, toy wheel barrow for scale! I think our corn is over 6′ tall, this will be a good year provided we don’t have any catastrophic storms. Sweet corn is already in farm stands all over here – haven’t had any yet, but tonight’s the night.

    That’s what I dislike about weed block. You don’t really have any control over what’s going on underneath, do you? Well, it looks like those peppers that are growing are really thriving. Better luck next time, I suppose.

    • robin says:

      That is Lee’s gripe about weed block too. The tomatoes are doing excellent so I guess that means the rodents haven’t bothered them as much. I like the black weed block to help get the peppers and tomatoes a heat edge. I should do an experiment next year and see if there really is a difference between the black weed block and the tomato/pepper growth. Maybe unseen rodent damage can also play into it.

      Your corn sounds awfully big. Lee is going to feel jealous. ­čÖé He has been watching the heat units and hoping his little plot makes it before the rain comes.

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