There has been a lot of discussion about growing pepper plants in the Tower Garden, so I thought others might find what I experienced helpful.
I did plant two jalapeno plants in my Tower Garden a few months ago which I started from seed. They did, in fact, grow through the colder months and - with help from 'red' (36W, 3 Bands) Grow lights - they did flower and produce peppers. In fact, they grew and grew...and grew! I did harvest about 2 dozen peppers from both plants. I did not hand pollinate; peppers will self-pollinate - although hand pollination is probably helpful as is having some kind of air flow to the tower so pollin can 'move.'
However, the down side to this - I am not sure how, but, despite taking every precaution I could think of, I ended up with aphids on both plants. This, ultimately, was my reason for getting rid of the plants. In fact, they became very infested...
Since getting rid of them, I have been checking the Tower daily...no more aphids...
What I believe happened is the CSA I purchased from, delivered produce weekly. I started finding aphids on ALL their deliveries. I washed their produce in the sink- I had pepper plant cuttings on the window sill above the sink, which I would put with the Tower garden during the day because of lighting. The aphids must have gotten onto the cuttings; then on to the peppers in the Tower. Aphids - as it turns out - are especially fond of pepper plants.
Once they got onto the pepper plants they must have laid ( microscopic) eggs, which I did not see. They must have kept propagating via the pepper plants, because, although they did show up on a few other plants in the Tower Garden, the pepper plants were infested.
For now, I think I will stick with 'harvestable' plants like lettuces and greens, as well as herbs...because they are all growing beautifully in the Tower Garden.
Here is more information about my experiences growing peppers in the Tower Garden:
- Grew them from seed; no problem getting them to germinate and grow.
- Used a Full Spectrum CFL Grow Light Bulb 60 Watt Bulb 5500K H60 light on them during the day; started leaving a 36W, 3 Bands 'red' light on them at night to make them flower. This light will also make other plants flower (including squash, which flower beautifully under this light) Be careful, though; this light will make harvestable plants bolt early.
- Trunk- which looked like a wood tree trunk-on both plants got rather large (2-2.5 inches in diameter )
- The roots - I cut them back often when I discovered them reaching the reservoir- got as thick as felt pad at the base of the plant, and was actually rectangular in shape under the plant itself...not dangle-y.
- Did NOT hand pollinate - although one upside from the 'aphid invasion - they were mainly on all the new tips and wherever they were, plant produced flowers AND peppers. ( so there must have been pollination occurring from their activity.
- Did not use a cage; I used a few pieces of garden wire (twist tie) in a few spots for support. I did trim the plant back often to keep it from extending even further out than it already was.
Hope this is helpful to anyone considering growing peppers INDOORS in the Tower Garden.
I may try a pepper plant again. and, by the way, discontinued my membership to my local CSA!