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overwintering Winter and Central Florida....

OK so i didnt get any response to my first post, so maybe i worded it wrong, i am just editing the original a bit different. Not double post.

Ok onward to the issue. I know winter in florida is well... MILD. But here in Orlando we still hit a frost in the 20's a few times. So my question is should i bring them in, and if so how much light do i need for a month or two of winter? I am not sure if i even need to cut the roots and branches or just bring the plants into my office. It is facing southeast btw. One person at the local hydro store stated that unless it is repeated frosts here day after day, then the peppers can stay outside here in Orlando.

What do you guys think? any local guys have experience with this? I would like to develop some mother plants. I would hate for my Caballero plant to die off. Its my first really "good" plant result.

Thanks for the help
Gabe
 
i think the hydro guy you talked to was right.
where i live we only get a few nights of frost. so on those nights i just cover my plants that are in the ground with blankets. and my potted plants just move to the shed for the night.
 
What I have been doing here in Lakeland is to bring the plants into my garage just during the night that we have anything below freezing, and then bring them back out into the sun for the day. One night last year I thought we were going to be good and it went just below freezing, and I lost all my plants that I had left outside.(I had brought my favorite one inside) It really depends on how many plants you have and if you have the space to bring them in.
Something I am going to try this year is to cut the plants back about a month before the temps start getting too bad, like in November. My bhuts are 6 feet wide and 4 1/2 feet tall. My scorpions are 5 to 7 feet tall and about 3 to 4 feet wide. This is going to be a pain to bring in, and I'll want to cut them back in the spring anyway. So by cutting them later this year, after they normally stop producing good peppers, they will push out some minimal growth that will suck up the sun, but they won't be so huge that they are hard to move in and out.
Now, if you are lucky enough to be in a location that it will never get below 28 to 30F, you may want to consider getting some "8 degree" frost cloth. People in the business call it that because whatever is inside the cloth will be 8 degrees warmer than what it is outside. You can grow the plants outside and just cover on those bad nights. You can lamost grow them under the cloth, but not quite. The 2 degree cloth is sometimes used for starting a garden earlier in the season because it is thin enough to let all the light in you need and water can get through as well. The 4 degree cloth is in between and might be good enough to grow under for an extended time, but I can't say for sure.
 
I am ouside of J-ville, on the coast, and we also get a few days between 20F-40F, so I am building several short hoop houses with PVC pipe and visqueen/PP sheeting. If I can afford them I am getting some aquarium heaters to go in 5gal buckets to generate some radiant heat.

I don't have a garage, and my bhuts and Datils are way to big to fit in my workshop this year.
 
Most years a light covering if in the ground, potted ones i just move to the back porch near the sliders. The exception was last year or 2 when we hit 19 here in Casselberry. where are you at?
 
^^^Agree. Cover if in ground. Bring inside if potted. Frosts usually occurs overnight for few-several hours. Once the sun is back out, temps warm up quickly and you can bring the plants back outside.
 
Hea Datil, how about taking your buckets and burying them in the ground so that the ground will naturally heat the water in the buckets? If your going to run electricity to your hoops, you may as well put a heater in there. Last year, when it was 15F outside, I heated a 12 x 12 x 6 greenhouse just by burying a 55 gallon drum (filled 3/4 full with water) and covering it with a half drum. I put holes in the bottom drum right at the ground level and then a 3 inch square hole on the top of the half drum. The cold air sinks into the bottom holes and after it is heated by the water, which is heated by the ground, the warm air rises through the top hole. None of my plants had any damage without any need for electricity or anything. I tested what was going on when it was 18F outside, the water was 62F, and the air coming out the hole was 57F.
 
Hea Datil, how about taking your buckets and burying them in the ground so that the ground will naturally heat the water in the buckets? If your going to run electricity to your hoops, you may as well put a heater in there. Last year, when it was 15F outside, I heated a 12 x 12 x 6 greenhouse just by burying a 55 gallon drum (filled 3/4 full with water) and covering it with a half drum. I put holes in the bottom drum right at the ground level and then a 3 inch square hole on the top of the half drum. The cold air sinks into the bottom holes and after it is heated by the water, which is heated by the ground, the warm air rises through the top hole. None of my plants had any damage without any need for electricity or anything. I tested what was going on when it was 18F outside, the water was 62F, and the air coming out the hole was 57F.


not to be stoopid, but I will need a photo to understand this.

I was considering burying or bulkheading the buckets, and pots, but I can't do it till i backhoe the damn bamboo that has invaded the yard again. I hate my old neighbors.
 
I'm in Panama City. If the prediction is for freezing temperatures, I cover some with blankets and bring others into the pool house.
 
Wow, great info and advice for Central Fl here. Just confirmed what I was considering doing for my small garden plot. BTW, what size buckets are good to use for peppers? Do I need something like 5 gallon buckets or will something smaller do for the ones I don't want to put in the ground?
 
I have been trying the smart pots from the hydro store, so far they seem to be performing a lil better than the plastic, but early on so far.
 
I live in Central Florida, also. Will bringing them in or covering them during frost conditions, allow them to produce peppers all year? Thanks.
 
Wow, great info and advice for Central Fl here. Just confirmed what I was considering doing for my small garden plot. BTW, what size buckets are good to use for peppers? Do I need something like 5 gallon buckets or will something smaller do for the ones I don't want to put in the ground?

I prefer 5 gallons or larger.

I live in Central Florida, also. Will bringing them in or covering them during frost conditions, allow them to produce peppers all year? Thanks.

They will produce all year. Some varieties, like the hot Trinidad peppers, may produce smaller pods due to cooler temps in winter.
 
The only other thing I would say is that I'm still not sure when is the best time to cut them back...

I think based on my experience is that you should cut them back early as in Now.

I have cut back peppers when it's close to freezing events when they didn't come back. On the other hand, I cut back a Caribbean Red a couple of weeks ago and its now coming back. It will be fine I think through the winter as long as I protect it with blankets.

However, I have a Besler's Cherry that seems to be very frost resistant and doesn't need any care other than some minimal covering.

The really important plants this year, like my Datils, will go in the pool house.
 
I'm down in Broward, but we have a similar 2 - 3 days of frost warnings each year. Here's what I do:

Since this is always a passing condition, I have a very temporary structure I use.

Simply get a few long pieces of bamboo stake, the thickest you can find. Or even up the ante and use some 1x2 wooden stakes.

Make a small perimeter around your plants with the stakes then simply lay a dark colored tarp over top. I use a few bricks to hold the edges down in case of wind.

If it's going to be seriously cold, I use my misters/foggers from my watering kit, I leave them on over night. The water coming out of the tap never gets below 70 degrees and keeps the inside of the tarp like a sauna.

In the day time pull the tarp back to let the plants soak up some solar warmth.

This kept my plants alive and happy all winter, while the peppers out at the nursery I frequent, without protection, all were dead a week after our really really cold weekend.
 
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