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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone ever transplanted pepper plants?

I planted a bunch of pepper plants in an area where the soil may have issues. Several years ago I had a large bonfire there, and for some reason the plants are not growing. Even the grass has issues growing there.

I thought about digging the plants up and moving then to a better location.

The bonfire was pine, oak, sweet gum, no trash. Several years ago some pine and sweet gum were cut off the property. The limbs were piled up and burned during a new years party bonfire. The fire burned for days, maybe even close to a week?

I need to get the soil tested to find out what is going on.

What is strange, I grew stuff in the field the year after the bonefire. I grew squash, beans, corn, potatoes, and everything did great.

I do not understand what happened for the soil to do this?

The area is a small patch behind my house. If I really wanted to, I could disk up several acres in another field and plant until I was tired of planting. I may do that with a fall garden, not sure though.

So, would it be worth to move the plants to soil that does not have so much potash in it?
 

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gardener & news junkie
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I don't see why not transplant them if you have concerns about the soil. I've done peppers, tomatoes and all sorts of volunteer flowers. How long has it been since they were set out?

If the plants haven't been planted too long they probably won't mind moving. And if they have been there a while, just make sure to get enough soil with them to ease the transition. Hmmm... rethinking... if they're doing poorly you might not want to take a lot of that old soil with them.

When I'm transplanting something that's been in a while, I usually remove a shovel full of soil where they're moving to, dig up a shovel full of that plant and set it down in the new hole. Easy peasy and not a lot of root stress. And it wouldn't hurt to dose them with some half strength Miracle Grow or such to ease the transition.

A soil test would be interesting! Something's up with the soil, I think.
 

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gard'ner
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The fire burned for days... maybe even a week!

So... how much of the ash was left in the same spot?

Wood ash makes the soil alkaline.
Good stuff for eastern soils if used in moderation, not so good if left several inches deep.

One year I dumped the entire winter's ash out on one of my beds... I couldn't grow anything there for a couple years!

Nowadays, I pile up the treetops in the new section and burn them, and then till it in with the horse manure, and I have very good results... but it is a moderate amount of ash.

What the extension agent said about wood ash, was that pound for pound, it was equivalent to the same amount of lime.

Of course, wood ash is a faster product than lime.

I've transplanted peppers without difficulty... the only problem you might have, is if the temp is in the 90s there... if it's hot, I pot up the transplants and leave them under a tree for a week or so.

Edit:
Not sure what to think about the soil if it grew without difficulty immediately after the fire... might be an issue with micro nutrients...
although...
Did you put the chicken poop there?

Peppers do not like chicken poop!

Not sure that you can salvage them if you've cooked them with poultry manure.
 

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patriarch
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People do some strange things. Some people burn tires and motor oils on bonfires. But you say it produced the following year. So, that eliminates the fire issue. The fire would have sterilized the soil. How deep, depends on how hot it got. Good reason grass seeds fail to sprout. Has the soil had a good tilling/ plowing? Compaction of the soil is the #1 reason for growth failure in plants.
It just could be the weather, its sure strange this year. Surely, the spot can't be that big to contain your whole garden. You mention beds, can't help you on beds. I have no beds, just flower beds around the yard and house.
I spread my winters ashes from the woodstove on the garden every year with no ill effects. Been doing it for years. Manures, compost, and wood ashes. What can be any better?
 

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2nd year for my habanero

I saved one that I had in the garden last year, potted it, set it in a South facing window, fought aphids off of it by spraying it with water+dish soap, and now, it's starting to set on blooms. I won't plant it outside again until about mid-May, it's snowing at 5,600' south of Denver today. (it'll be 64F tomorrow though)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The fire burned for days... maybe even a week!

So... how much of the ash was left in the same spot?

Wood ash makes the soil alkaline.
Good stuff for eastern soils if used in moderation, not so good if left several inches deep.
The pile of ash was so high, a tractor was used to level it out. I am going to guess 24 - 30 inches tall, by may 8 feet across?
 

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The pile of ash was so high, a tractor was used to level it out. I am going to guess 24 - 30 inches tall, by may 8 feet across?
Geez! That's a lot of "lime"! I'm wondering. Lime takes a few months to actually change the soil pH. If you planted right after tilling it in there probably wouldn't have been a lot of pH change. But after a while it might have been waaaay too alkaline. Do a pH test on that sucker. :D:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
And....
What about the chicken poop?

Did you put it around the peppers?
Aged chicken manure from under the brooder house was used to help plant the plants.

Fresher manure was tilled into the ground and used to make the rows up. The manure was not added until the plants were a couple of weeks old.

I have tried urinating around the base of the plants, and nothing seems to be working.
 

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King of Canada
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Aged chicken manure from under the brooder house was used to help plant the plants.

Fresher manure was tilled into the ground and used to make the rows up. The manure was not added until the plants were a couple of weeks old.

I have tried urinating around the base of the plants, and nothing seems to be working.
Most people don't believe this, but there is such a thing as too much nitrogen.

Not sure if that's your issue or not. But it's a thing
 

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gard'ner
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Most people don't believe this, but there is such a thing as too much nitrogen.

Not sure if that's your issue or not. But it's a thing
Not surprised that your peppers are failing.

Added chicken poop to them TWICE!
Planted them on top of an ash pile that was so deep that it needed to be leveled with a tractor!

You know... common wisdom dictates that you change one thing per planting to observe what difference it makes... as compared to the planting where nothing is changed....

But... peppers do NOT like chicken poop.

and... before you ask... tomatoes will produce a whole lot of top growth, and very few flowers when given poultry poop. so... not so good for tomatoes either.
 

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King of Canada
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I'll bet the soil is incredibly alkaline from the ashes.

Ashes work faster than lime to alkalinize the soil.

Aged chicken manure and fresh chicken manure contains plenty of nitrogen. Nitrogen is good for plant growth. But not in excessive amounts.

Kev, I think you should be doing some research on organic farming/gardening/permaculture and trying some new things.

I threw my pepper transplants in the ground last year and all produced a good amount of peppers.

Started some jalapeños and some bell peppers this year and more tomatoes.

I can grow nearly anything in my zone 2b.

You have to build up the soil life. Feed them proper nutrition to get great growing plants and better food nutrition.

I wasn't born with green thumbs, but now my thumbs are extremely green. My wife calls me a "master gardener". I don't think I'm anywhere near that, and don't wish to be.

I love learning and trying new things in my garden.
 
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